Snopes.com has been hard at work debunking a rather peculiar conspiracy theory involving the recent school shooting in Connecticut: that it was all an elaborate hoax orchestrated by the White House as part of its master plan to de-arm America.
The evidence on which these budding theories are based is, even by the standards of fringe conspiracy theory, remarkably thin, and demand massive collusion between hundreds of private citizens, the federal government, local authorities, and the news media.
The theorists claim some of the parents and witnesses are paid actors who, because they don’t shed tears on camera, are pretending their children died. The “Sandy Hook Shooting – Fully Exposed” video shows a photo of children hugging Obama during a visit to Newtown. The theorists claim one of the little girls is Emilie Parker, who was killed in the shooting. The little girl, who shares many of Emilie’s features, is her sister.
Other claims point to contradictory media statements during the coverage immediately after the event. One of those, which was cleared up soon after, was that shooter Adam Lanza couldn’t have killed students with a semi-automatic rifle because it was found in his car by police officers. That weapon was in fact, police say, a shotgun they pulled out of his trunk.
Another component of the theory is that there were multiple shooters. But a man initially handcuffed in the nearby woods by police (and implicated by theorists) was a father trying to visit his son’s school when he heard shots ring out. He was interviewed and released, but this detail dropped from news coverage when Lanza was identified.