This comes from New York Mag’s Matt Stieb, who tells a story that really, really shouldn’t surprise us, but which is distasteful even by the extremely low standards of the NRA and Infowars:
The day after a shooter killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a National Rifle Association officer sent a message from his official email to an Infowars writer known for harassing parents of children killed at Sandy Hook. According to emails obtained by HuffPost, NRA training instructor and program coordinator Mark Richardson contacted Wolfgang Halbig — who has made several trips to Newtown, Connecticut, to self-investigate the 2012 shooting where 20 children and six adults were fatally shot — to pitch the Infowars contributor a potential conspiracy theory about the attack in Florida.
Literally the day after the shooting. The bodies of the 17 murdered students and staff were barely cold by the time an NRA representative was trying to spread a blatantly incorrect conspiracy designed to spread blame around the Parkland community, and by extension diminish the NRA’s culpability. And he picked his recipient well: Halbig is a Sandy Hook truther, and has spread conspiracies about at least two Newtown, CT parents faking their six-year-old daughter’s death. In response to Richardson’s email, Halbig apparently wrote that girl’s name in all-caps, as if the Parkland shooting somehow validated his Sandy Hook beliefs.
Here’s the full text of Richardson’s original email:
Concerning what happened in Florida yesterday, I have been asking the question and no one else seems to be asking it. How is it that Cruz was able gain access to a secured facility while in possession of a rifle, multiple magazines, smoke grenades and a gas mask? To pull the fire alarm, he had to already be inside. Correct? When my Children were in school the only way into the school was through the front door and past the main office. We have been told that he was. Prohibited from entering the building With a backpack. No longer a student, why was he allowed in the building at all? Where was all the equipment, in his back pocket? Just like SH, there is so much more to this story. He was not alone. Just a few questions that have surfaced in the past 24 hours. Thank you for all the information And for what you do. STAY SAFE
If you want a simple explanation for how he was able to enter the school: It’s a public school. Not Fort Knox.
Not long after the email was sent, Infowars ran a story called “Video: Second Shooter Reported in Florida Massacre,” but as NYMag points out, it isn’t known whether Halbig wrote the story.
The email was released during the discovery phase of a Sandy Hook parent’s lawsuit against Alex Jones. In the space of one week this month, two Parkland survivors have committed suicide.