Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Conversation with a conspiracy theorist

"Hey, Ian, did you see this amazing video?"

"What video?"

"Oh man! It proves that the Sandy Hook shooting was a diversion by the Obama administration to get the public on the side of gun control."

"Aren't most Americans already in favor of at least some gun control?"

"See? It worked!"

"OK, hold on. Are you suggesting that the mass murder of children and teachers was a political maneuver by a sitting U.S. president?"

"I thought it was ridiculous too until I saw the video, man!"

"And you say this video completely changed your mind about Sandy Hook?"

"Well, not completely."

"What do you mean?"

"I always suspected something was amiss."

"Like what?"

"The timing. I mean, Obama! He wants to take our guns away."

"He barely addressed the gun issue until the recent spate of shootings."

"See?!!"

"No, I don't see."

"Then watch the video. Look at the parents and the people who shielded the kids. Actors, man! Crisis actors."

"What makes you think they're actors?"

"There's some footage showing them not crying."

"People in mourning don't cry every second; it's too emotionally draining. Have you ever lost someone close to you? It's a wide range of emotions. Grief. Despair. Sadness. Memories. Laughter. Levity. Poise. Though I can think of one video where the people never stopped crying. Came out of North Korea."

"This video examines angles that the mainstream media won't."

"Because they're fringe views legitimized only by selective editing."

"Maybe. But hey, the video at least made you think."

"Think about what? How crank conspiracies have become mainstream in our attempt to deny that we have a problem with guns? Or a black president?"

"It led to some interesting discussion."

"No. It lent credence to ideas that don't deserve it."

"A professor is on board, so don't give me that."

"So let me get this straight — you're convinced that Newtown was a conspiracy because a college professor said so and because you saw a highly partisan video? And you're outraged because of what you see as the exploitation of small children to drive the point home?"

"Indeed."

"Clearly, someone's out to make you look unhinged, hypocritical and fatally unable to question anything that claims what you so desperately want to be true."

"See? It's a conspiracy!"

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