An NRA official sought the help of a Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist who has attacked the families of survivors.
An NRA official worked with a conspiracy theorist who has harassed the surviving families of the Sandy Hook school shooting.
The Huffington Post reports that NRA training instructor and program coordinator Mark Richardson sought out Wolfgang Halbig as part of an effort to push conspiracies about the mass school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.
Halbig is a contributor to Infowars, Alex Jones' conspiracy website. He has pushed a nonsense theory that one of the Sandy Hook victims, 6-year-old Avielle Richman, did not die in the shooting. Halbig also encouraged people to harass Avielle's family. Her father, Jeremy Richman, died on Monday after committing suicide.
One day after the Florida shooting, Richardson emailed Halbig and invoked long-debunked conspiracies about Sandy Hook.
"There is so much to this story," Richardson wrote from his official NRA email address. He then claimed — falsely — that the Parkland shooter "was not alone."
"After 4 years of emailing the NRA I finally got a response in light of the Broward County School Shooting," Halbig wrote in one of the emails, linking the conspiracy theorist and the gun extremist group.
27 people were murdered in the Sandy Hook school shooting, including 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7.
17 people were murdered in the Stoneman Douglas shooting, 14 of them were teenaged children.
The email was uncovered as part of an ongoing lawsuit between Sandy Hook parents and conspiracy theorist (and Trump ally) Alex Jones. Jones has been a leading promoter of a plethora of absurd and dangerous conspiracies surrounding Sandy Hook.
As for the NRA, attacking citizens after a school shooting is an admitted part of their official playbook.
Recent video from an undercover sting operation caught top NRA communications officials advising pro-gun advocates to "shame" those calling for gun-safety regulations after a mass shooting.
The NRA has steadfastly opposed calls to secure children and families by attacking gun safety proposals with wide, popular appeal.
After the Parkland shooting, the NRA and its media arm, NRA TV, viciously attacked the teenage survivors of the massacre who began the March for Our Lives movement against gun violence.
Allying itself with a conspiracy theorist who worked to hurt the families of one of the worst mass shootings in American history is just the latest in a seemingly never-ending descent to new lows for the NRA.
It is part of a venomous playbook, fueled in part by foreign money, that Americans have began to push back against.
The NRA has begun losing the war for hearts and minds, and as more people learn about its underhanded tactics, they will lose even more ground.
Published with permission of The American Independent