In this modern era of YouTube, Alex Jones, jet fuel, and steel beams, every major tragedy in America quickly finds itself being assaulted by conspiracy theorists. The Parkland, Florida high school shooting is no exception.
In truth, there really are no exceptions to the rule. September 11th, 2001 – a day in which thousands of Americans were killed – hasn’t even been immune from the perverse touch of the tinfoil hatted. The theories surrounding that particular tragedy are only rivaled in size and scope by the amateur research that’s been done in the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Unfortunately, school shootings have not escaped the wrath of these nonsensical narratives, despite the horrific dredging of personal tragedy that they appear to be.
In the case of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, conspiracy theorists accused the government of staging the entire incident and then destroying the school in order to cover up the evidence of their farce. These basement-dwelling neckbeards truly believed, and vociferously defended, the idea that this monument to grief and loss should been allowed to remain standing, only to be probed, prodded, and marginalized by every YouTube user within earshot.
Now, the Parkland, Florida school shooting is coming under scrutiny as well, with a number of theories circulating on the internet regarding “crisis actors” taking the place of students in order to politicize the tragedy. The theory has become so widespread in recent days that one member of the Florida legislature’s staff has been fired for pushing it on his colleagues.
“An aide to a Florida House lawmaker was fired Tuesday after he said that Parkland students who were speaking out on gun control after Wednesday’s mass shooting were paid actors.
“Benjamin Kelly, the aide to Republican Rep. Shawn Harrison, emailed Tampa Bay Times reporter Alex Leary to claim that two Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who appeared on CNN weren’t actually survivors of the attack.
“‘Both kids in the picture are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen,’ Kelly reportedly emailed the newspaper. When the Tampa Bay reporter asked for proof, the House aide sent a follow-up email claiming the same student who appeared on CNN, David Hogg, was in another state hundreds of miles away.
“‘There is a clip on you tube that shows Mr. Hogg out in California. (I guess he transferred?)’ Kelly’s email reportedly stated.”
The David Hogg story seems to truly be a perplexing coincidence, but certainly not enough of an abnormality to declare that the shooting itself was being manipulated by the imaginary powers that be.
Once again, it looks as though we will have to wade through the conspiracy muck for the months to come. Fortunately for us, Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz was taken into custody alive, and will likely put to rest any conspiracy theories remaining by the time he is sentenced.