January 15th, 2013

The conspiracists tackle Newtown

I suppose there have always been conspiracists who believe everything is a plot, perpetrated either by the government or a shadowy band of powerful schemers bent on manipulating us for their own nefarious purposes (are those two groups redundant?).

I’ve written about the phenomenon before, here and here, as well as the fact that I think it really got going with the Kennedy assassination. But I think the tendency has proliferated in recent years, particularly as the internet grows, because now conspiracists have an easier way to disseminate information and feed into each others’ paranoia.

Newtown is a good example:

A man who found six children in his driveway in Newtown, Conn., after their teacher had been shot and killed in last month’s school massacre has become the target of conspiracy theorists who believe the shootings were staged.

“I don’t know what to do,” Gene Rosen told Salon.com. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘How much am I being paid?’”

Rosen, a 69-year-old retired psychologist who lives near Sandy Hook Elementary School where the shootings took place, says his inbox is filled with emails like this one:

How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?

“The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” Rosen said, adding that he’s sought the advice of a retired state police officer and plans to alert the FBI.

Talk to the media and identify yourself at your peril.

Neither right nor left is immune to these conspiracy theorists; I’d be hard-pressed to say which side has less and which more, but both have plenty. They just specialize in different things. In the case of Newtown, my guess is that it’s the fringe of the right who are overrepresented.
As for the “arguments”:

Most revolve around the idea that the shooting was a “false flag” operation, designed to, among other things, dupe Americans into accepting a United Nations weapons treaty that will rob them of their gun rights. Who would want such a thing to pass? Depending on who you believe, it’s the global banking industry, the Freemasons, and Barack Obama (who is also the anti-christ) acting on behalf of “his Illuminati Jewish handlers like Mayor Bloomberg of NY and Dianne Feinstein.” Again, anti-Semitism finds a way in.

In an earlier post about conspiracy theorists, I wrote that a significant driver of anti-Semitism is the conspiracy theory and humans’ propensity for it. I have seen nothing since to change my mind.

[NOTE: This is not to say that conspiracies do not exist. Some do; for example, I believe that this one did and does, as does this one. One of the difficult thing about differentiating between founded and unfounded conspiracy theories is that the crazy far-fetched ones can taint the sane ones, and the sane ones can give credence to the crazy ones.]

34 Responses to “The conspiracists tackle Newtown”

  1. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    What’s remarkable about this is the ‘need for speed’ by the left. Unlike 9/11 where an active foreign party was the perpetrator(s), the single shooter who was mentally disturbed is a known and agreed perpetrator is gone. The rush just encourages conspiracists as the official Connecticut report is not yet released. They type of response in NY State and by Obama can more easily be compared to the Reichstag Fire than to a reasoned response. At least the Warren Commission took the time to do a good job. It didn’t eliminate the Conspiracists (Oliver Stone?) but made is harder to encourage them.

  2. lacune Says:

    One thing I’ve not heard brought up regarding Newtown is the shooting occurring just a week before the supposed “end of the world”. I’d like to hear what actual psychiatrists observed in their patients in the leadup to December 21, but I could imagine that many disturbed patients might become agitated because they would be prone to take the “apocalypse” seriously. If the shooter didn’t snap, the timing of the assault could have been a deranged mind looking to accomplish something before the world ended.

  3. George Pal Says:

    A significant driver of conspiracy theories is government. There’s the abrogation of the Constitution; the dismissal of the legislature in deference to the executive order; and the occasional, now seemingly annual, Supreme Court ruling, citing not law but penumbrae. One might be led to believe there are conspirators behind it all.

    “…the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes…”
    Benjamin “The Marrano” Disraeli to the British House of Commons, 1852

  4. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Some Canadian Provinces Says:

    I don’t have time to write on this right at the moment, but a couple quick notes:

    1) President Obama was ALREADY involved in a known conspiracy to instigate a gun control situation, called “Fast And Furious”. Yeah, yeah, “He knew nothing about it”. Bovine Excreta. The Pope doesn’t know about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, either.

    2) There are A LOT (more later) of conflicting evidence from the early part of the shooting. First, there were THREE guns at the scene — two handguns IN the school, and a third LONG GUN in the trunk of (asshole’s) car. Then there is FOOTAGE of the gun in the trunk, and it’s CLEARLY not an AR-15. And then, after about 24 hours, this AR-15 magically appears, and the coroner says all the children were shot with it. And these parents show up and the footage of them just LOOKS awfully specious. One gets on the screen he’s literally suppressing a smile, then almost visibly “works” himself up to a scrunched-face emotional look… no real tears visible, though. One child is on the screen who was in the school and she barely looks concerned. There’s not the slightest whisp of trauma or real fear on the face of this child.

    I’m not saying there IS a conspiracy, but the lack of skepticism and the failure of the reporters to ask ANY hard questions or expect anything MIGHT be amiss is an issue here.

    I personally don’t believe there’s any question about a shooting, but the numbers and the gun(s) used seem to be potentially at issue. His mother DID have an AR-15, but, after Fast and Furious I would not put it past this Admin to have taken it and transported it to the scene and planted it. Total people needfully involved in this conspiracy at the low level — **maybe** 4…

    More actual data, later. Sorry, gotta go.

  5. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Some Canadian Provinces Says:

    Also, it should be noted, the best environment for conspiracies to flourish in a jaded society that lacks the naivete and innocence of a young society, is the one in which there are conspiracies around every corner — because then any claims of an actual, real conspiracy get handwaved off quickly without any real consideration as being possible.

  6. holmes Says:

    I wonder if the horror and randomness of these events, like Newtown and 9/11, invite conspiracists to take action because they cant’ confront it. It’s too difficult to face the idea of a world so terrible and lost that these awful things could happen at random. So to give the world some semblance of order, they create these conspiracies, often run by government because that is a simple faceless concept onto which they can map their anxieties. But I’m just spitballin’ here.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    holmes: I think you are correct. I wrote something to that effect in my previous posts about conspiracy theorists.

  8. parker Says:

    F&F definitely smells like a conspiracy. Something is deeply deceitful about the regime’s response after Benghazi. Is there a conspiracy involved? I don’t know, but I do want answers. However, the 9-11 ‘truthers’ are completely wacko and I see Newtown conspiracy theories in the same light. Newtown was the work of a twisted, sick soul. No need to invent false flags.

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    as well as the fact that I think it really got going with the Kennedy assassination.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory

    too bad most didnt read it before
    now its huge, and all left based

    all that remains of the paragraph of the origins of what was a common knowlege thing from reading throughout history, into the realm of it never happens… is this

    Originally a neutral term, since the mid-1960s it has acquired a somewhat derogatory meaning, implying a paranoid tendency to see the influence of some malign covert agency in events.

    The term is sometimes used to automatically dismiss claims that are deemed ridiculous, misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish or irrational.

    A proven conspiracy theory, such as the notion that United States President Richard Nixon and his aides were behind the Watergate break-in and cover-up, is usually referred to as something else, such as investigative journalism or historical analysis.

    so if you have a conspiracy, the code is not to call it that, but something else, reserving the proper words with being a nut. that way, a person speaking properly, and not in the know, would be marginalized for using the right terms. while a person who was in the know, could make an outlandish claim, but as long as they avoided that term, would be defended.

    cool… eh?

    they even have a link to the ‘classics’, and ignore how injecting nutty theories into the pool can make good ideas and real facts seem flimsy as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conspiracy_theories

    New World Order

    This conspiracy theory states that a group of international elites controls and manipulates governments, industry, and media organizations worldwide. The primary tool they use to dominate nations is the system of central banking. They are said to have funded and in some cases caused most of the major wars of the last 200 years, carry out false flag attacks to manipulate populations into supporting them, and they have a grip on the world economy, deliberately causing inflation and depressions at will. Operatives working for the New World Order are said to be placed in high positions in government and industry. The people behind the New World Order are thought to be international bankers, in particular the owners of the private banks in the Federal Reserve System and other central banks, and members of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg Group

    all of the above hinges on the definition of “control’, and what such means outside normal ranges of effort. and the problem with their take on it is the idea its monolithic, not factions that each try to move things, and not necessarily working together.

    The rest of the list is more of the classics.

    however, where are the conspiracy theories that were found out, other than Nixon?

    anyone remember when the the Mafia was considered a conspiracy theory? that la cosa nostra didnt exist? well, was john gotti real or not?

    The Dreyfus Affair where the french government conspired to blame him and imprison him

    and what about those stories about the CIA drugging people? MK-ULTRA was an actual program, and they did drug people. There is lots of information on that now that we can read archives that only open after so many years. one of the more interesting projects they never bring up on wacko shows is the creating of voices in a persons head using a maser.

    Operation Mockingbird was exposed by the church committee.

    The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is a biggie… notice is not in the list of crazy theories. but that one is a theory on a theory since most dont know that it was not funded by the government, but by big time socialists whose funds also went to things like the highlander school… which trained rosa parks to do her thing on the bus after the state forced bus companies to enforce law… (today the mask is off and the websites proudly proclaim this part of history. they dont think they have to hide it anymore i guess).

    how about the current conspiracy to keep Sanger and all that stuff hidden from the conversation about birth control and state eugenics as a social good.

    COINTELPRO?

    there is still things that were started from odd programs and so on, that exist out there still running.

    what about CIA drug running in LA?
    what about obama and his guns in mexico thing?

    turned out the kids were better than that contrived thing that was supposed to do the same thing!

    justify the gun grab they needed. their conspiracy got caught, and was causing problems. then newtown, and now they have a better crisis they could not have planned.

    The Business Plot – this is the one where Prescott bush was going to seize power, and stop FDR… but now is said it was for the purpose of a fascist dictatorship.

    Operation Ajax

    Operation Snow White (this one would blow most peoples minds. the church of Scientology infiltrates the state, and….”136 organizations, agencies and foreign embassies were infiltrated”)

    its funny, but another site covering the new world order, rather than say how ridiculous it is. goes into the history of the Fabians, their desires, the members, and other such history. remember the fabians coat of arms is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

    and you brought up kennedy..
    the reason for the conspiracy with kennedy is all the wacky odd things around it. and while everyone talks about the warren commission, no one talks about the 2nd investigation by the government.

    United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations said it was a conspiracy, but not what most say is. go figure.

    i say its a cluster f*c* and a big mess.

    the HSCA found that there was a “probable conspiracy,” though it was unable to determine the nature of that conspiracy or its other participants…

    and there is a lot more from them that people dont discuss. my take is i have no idea… the ground on it is so trampled no one will ever know until some real interesting archives are opened way after we are gone

    George de Mohrenschildt committed suicide the night before he was to testify. Then there is the money that is on record of the state department giving Oswald money before he went to Russia, and more after he came back. then there is Operation Mongoose. David Ferrie committed suicide just before testimony as well.

    Operation Mongoose / Cuban Project
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Project

    E Howard Hunt claimed to be with Oswald, and he was the guy who did what with Watergate?

    there is a reason i bring up hunt..
    because the conspiracy is a conspiracy!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._Howard_Hunt

    Former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin indicated in 1999 that Hunt was made part of a fabricated conspiracy theory disseminated by a Soviet “active measures” program designed to discredit the CIA and the United States. According to Mitrokhin, the KGB created a forged letter from Oswald to Hunt implying that the two were linked as conspirators, then forwarded copies of it to “three of the most active conspiracy buffs” in 1975. Mitrokhin indicated that the photocopies were accompanied by a fake cover letter from an anonymous source alleging that the original had been given to FBI Director Clarence Kelley and was apparently being suppressed

    :)

  10. carl in atlanta Says:

    Neo: Re your Note: I’ve long been wanting to learn more about the Alger Hiss affair, but frankly it’s so reminiscent of what’s going on right now that I don’t know if I’m ready to get even further depressed. Fallout from the politicization of Newtown has resulted in my having to give up a close friendship that goes back over 20 years, but finally we each had to declare to the other that “Here I stand. I can do no other”. Hard. I will miss him.
    Still, I’ve put “Witness” on my Amazon wish list. [and will be sure to use your portal] Thanks for the good educationyou provide.

  11. rickl Says:

    Newtown may not be a literal Reichstag Fire, but it’s a functional equivalent, given the way the totalitarians are milking it for all it’s worth and are doing it as fast as possible.

    They’ve learned not only to not let a crisis go to waste, but to be prepared to exploit a serendipitous crisis when it presents itself. They don’t even need to deliberately create a Reichstag Fire anymore. Who says people don’t learn from history?

    I think that one of the things that is driving conspiracy theories is the way practically everything reported during the first 24 hours turned out to be wrong. The media breathlessly and gleefully spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). For example, I clearly remember early reports that said the shooter had murdered his father in New Jersey before he travelled to Connecticut, killed his mother, and continued his spree at the school.

    I’d still like to know how he got ahold of his mother’s guns. Did she keep them locked up or not? Supposedly she was on the verge of having him committed. One would think that she would either keep them in a safe, or else give them to friends for safekeeping in order to keep them away from him, if she was so concerned about his sanity. That sort of information should already have been made public following the police investigation.

    At this point I distrust practically everything I hear in the MSM, since they are so clearly pushing an agenda.

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    conspiracy theorists who latch on things that arent, miss conspiracies that are.

    but the real explanation is very easy
    and you wont find it in pop psychology, or in arm chair musings guessing what it is. its not control, or that pet thing.

    its very very simple…

    most people live in an illusory world where they believe that the majority of what they know and what they are told is factual.

    once you start digging in the files as to what people actually have done, you no longer have any limits as a regular person thinks they have that they can use to judge.

    for instance…
    the average person would discount a newtown conspiracy on the grounds that no one would do that for gain.

    but the conspiracy theorist can rack off quite a number of heinous things done that top that.

    once you go down that corridor, you end up with jesus angletons desease… ie. a house of mirrors where no one knows whats real or what isnt.

    and the fact that various states have acted out and those acts were later known add to it a whole lot

    in the post above, i hope the end doesnt get deleted, i show that oswald is believed to work with hunt… but that conspiracy is a conspiracy set up by the soviets, and mitrokhen reveals that.

    what of the conspiracy theory that AIDS was made in an american biolab. despite Gorbachev admitting its an active measure, how many still recite it? how many use it today as the modern version of tuskeegee syphilis? meanwhile, it was to establish equal evil if the americans found out about the weaponized anthrax escape from the russian lab.

    it worked. the americans still speak of aids from biolabs and say nothing about the treaty breaking accident.

    you read history, your going to read about a huge system of conspiracies. why did Elizabeth kill Mary? what happened to ceasar? Caligula? who tried to assassinate the first emperor? what about the borgias?

    the problem is knowing a large amount of what people have done to achieve, means you lose your ability to use actions as a ruler of limit.

    the horror of the atrocity is common in history that spans thousands of years and a huge globe.

    they OFTEN confuse opportunism with conspiracy

    it also doesnt help that marxism and a few other ideologies and one religion make screwing with peoples heads a requirement. not to mention that Clauswitz and Tsun Tsu are both in agreement saying that war is deception.

    the conspiracy theorists know that people are at war, even when they are not at war. so they know that there are such deceptions going on constantly. and they want to find them. some they do, some they dont.

    the nature of deception is you don’t know
    the shield of the deception is ambiguity
    (i have said this and other things before)

    so the degree of nastiness or evil is not a tell

    nor is statistics, coincidences do exist and a chain of

    actions of rampant opportunists can look like improbability

    the norm of those we trust to inform us truthfully constantly lying (and easily being caught at it)

    the departments of various governments charged with actually doing things, in which all their actions and even their existence is one big conspiracy!

    all those things dont work once you step into the hall of mirrors. even evidence, as mitrokhin makes clear, may not be evidence. nothing and everything is.

    our state and press and all that has endeavored since the cold war to end this belief. to end the idea that other states are at war when at peace, and to even protect oneself from such.

    Wasnt the red head spy that now does fashion such a fun thing?

    i guess you could tell the tale of two annes..

    Anna Politkovskaya
    and
    Anna Chapman

    Kushchyenko reminds me historically of a famous blond in all of this stuff.

    also, these things became more public after wwii and the exploits of the agencies, and the books they wrote. like ian fleming writing james bond… and lots of others.

    watching people construct hot air balloons to get over the wall from east to west Germany. i doubt they did that as a DIY project publicly. as the tunnels were also not public, whether Germany or Mexico border. then there was the guys that built the glider.

    and everyone has planned with a friend to do something and not tell others…

    to not believe in conspiracies and all that on some level is to take up the lefts desire to ignore human nature.

    its to ignore men and women cheating on each other (and not having the decency to tell their others)

    its to find out someone did something

    heck, you cant even watch harry potter and not have a conspiracy. sherlock holmes? etc

  13. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Climate Change Skeptic Extraordinaire Says:

    }}} Artfldgr

    Note also a claim made in Posner’s book “Case closed”, which Posner utterly ignored. Supposedly, Oswald went hunting while in the USSR (note: where he gave up his citizenship, and managed to get it back remarkably quickly). The people he went hunting with noted that he was a particularly bad shot… using a *shotgun*. If you can’t hit anything with a shotgun, you must be astoundingly bad. Yet this guy purportedly pulled off one of the more impressive three-shot volleys in the history of target practice. The problem with the Kennedy thing is not any single point. You can tear down almost any, if not every, one of them with a reasonable handwave. But the sheer VOLUME of them just stands out, and creates this giant WALL of “things that make you go… ‘hmm.’” It’s like Kennedy was the luckiest man on Earth until Dallas, and then suddenly everything possible went to -1 million luck points all at once.

    Also, you missed Iran-Contra in your list of exposed but notably successful conspiracies — successful in that it operated for a good while before getting outed.

  14. thomass Says:

    socialism is about a capitalist conspiracy.

    and get lefties talking about corporations…

  15. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Climate Change Skeptic Extraordinaire Says:

    }}} you read history, your going to read about a huge system of conspiracies.

    …and no one even mentions the nation whose very name MEANS conspiracies: Byzantium. ;-)

  16. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Climate Change Skeptic Extraordinaire Says:

    Also, yet another “conspiracy” was the efforts to suppress all the communism that had infiltrated the Truman administration. As Ann Coulter notes in “Treason”, the Venona transcripts show that *Senator* McCarthy was correct to be concerned. McCarthy, btw, was only after communists *in government*, with access to secured information, before he was media raped by The Left, and had nothing to do with the clearly reprehensible HUAC — a *House* committee.

    This ties to Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, but those are hardly the whole of it.

    Say what you will about Coulter, she does a pretty thorough job of documenting McCarthy’s case as correct in Treason.

  17. thomass Says:

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Some Canadian Provinces Says:

    “One gets on the screen he’s literally suppressing a smile”

    Smiling when happy is not actually one of the universal human facial expressions. That’s learned behavior. In some parts of the world people smile when confused. I know I’ve had to fight the urge to do when stressed…

  18. John Scotus Says:

    We are in a post-modern world, where many people have become unglued from all reality and all reason. These conspiracy nuts are really just taking the same memes used by many politicians, media figures, and journalists, to their logical conclusions. In this sense, they are an ugly mirror being held up to our faces, showing us that in the end the whole world really is going insane.

  19. parker Says:

    “… given the way the totalitarians are milking it for all it’s worth and are doing it as fast as possible.”

    Same as it ever was; this has been the rule all my adult life. Opportunism is not the same thing as conspiracy. Conspiracies happen, but not as often as conspiracy theorists imagine.

  20. Sirkowski Says:

    Nah, you’re nuts just like the rest of ‘em.

  21. parker Says:

    “Nah, you’re nuts just like the rest of ‘em.”

    Nah, nah, nah it takes one to know one. Its like pornography, we know it when we see it, and sometimes we know it when we don’t see it.

    Bush-chimp-Hitler-Cheney-Darth! However, it is undeniable that BHO is a supreme narcissistic boy child with a chip on his shoulder bigger than Gibraltar.

  22. Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gender Bïgǒt Says:

    Some links:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqpjJ6P-NSQ

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/18/us/connecticut-lanza-guns/index.html

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/15/us/connecticut-school-shooting/index.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RDw0DUpKssA

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/14/school-shooting-connecticut/1769367/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9746267/Connecticut-school-shooting-live.html

    How the hell do you “miss” an AR-15 — for HOURS — when there are no other long guns present? When there’s only a single perp? What did some cop go, “I thought that AR-15 lying on the ground was yours, dude!?”

    Did the bastard “hide” it? If so, then this should’ve been stated at some point.

    Again, this isn’t “Yeah, no doubt there’s a conspiracy!!”

    This is “Hmmm, how the hell did this gun so ‘magically’ appear with no previous note, only after so many hours?”

    And I’d be one HELL of a lot less inclined to believe something hinky going on — most likely a simple fraud about the weapon used — if this administration had not already attempted to perpetrate a conspiracy related to gun control in the first place

  23. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Two unanswered questions about Sandy Hook.

    It was reported it took the cops twenty minutes to show up. Anybody seen any attempts to verify this?
    Anybody seen any attempts to find out why twenty mortal minutes?
    Me either.
    I can imagine the cops wouldn’t be interested in starting anything over this, if true, and would put off any inquiries that could be put off. But somebody with some clout ought to try.

  24. Biagio Bruno Says:

    Conspiracy theories are like stopped clocks. Right just often enough to keep everyone confused. And in the case of Sandy Hook, that’s what gun control advocates are counting on, confusion and the raw emotion of dead children. Those who can think critically already know that murders committed with assault rifles are quite rare, and if dead kids are the issue there should be marshal law in Chicago.

    Those who don’t think but just feel and rely on “I heard . . . ” as a reliable news source have already made up their minds that something must be done right now, and can’t discern how distant what’s being proposed is from the desired goal. It’s very much like the Reichstag fire in that its being used to stampede people into doing exactly the wrong thing.

  25. Brainster Says:

    Neither right nor left is immune to these conspiracy theorists; I’d be hard-pressed to say which side has less and which more, but both have plenty.

    In general, government conspiracy theories are more popular with the right, and corporate conspiracy theories are more popular with the left.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey: like so many things about the Newtown shootings, your information about the timing of the police response appears to be incorrect. It is very difficult to get official word on anything about Newtown, but the Wiki entry (which is footnoted; you can check it yourself to see if you feel the information is valid) indicates that the first calls came in to the Newtown police at 9:35 and to the state police at 9:41. The shooter stopped shooting (and presumably killed himself) some time between 9:46 and 9:49, reportedly because he realized the police had come. The Wiki entry says that police radio indicates he killed himself fifteen minutes after the first call came in to the police. So, if you figure out it takes a little while to get into the car, some time to drive to the school (how far away was it located?), some time for the killer to realize the police are there and to commit suicide, you realize that unless the police station is one minute from the school (which I doubt), the response was pretty quick.

  27. holmes Says:

    Where is kolnai, btw?

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    holmes: he hasn’t been around here for about a month. Hope he’s okay!

  29. MissJean Says:

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Some Canadian Provinces Says:

    “One gets on the screen he’s literally suppressing a smile”

    When I was a teenager, I attended a citizenship seminar that included visits from state politicians and a couple naturalized citizens on what America meant. One was a woman whose family had survived Nazis and had fallen asleep in a ditch when they were discovered by Russian soldiers who raped her mother and sister, then shot them all. She SMILED the whole time she told this part of the story, a terrible smile that was sort of pasted-on.

    I didn’t see that sort of smile again until I attended the funeral of a close family friend’s who was brutally killed. And we laughed so much at the wake that the funeral director had to come in and quiet us down. We were in shock and clutching at straws.

    Also, people on the autistic spectrum tend to have inappropriate reactions to emotional situations. Smiling at a loved one’s death was mentioned in a textbook I read last year; I think it was called “Look at me when I’m talking to you” or something like that.

    Incidentally, a few years ago here in the Detroit area, there was a woman killed in the parking lot of a grocery store. When he talked to the reporters, he didn’t display the “proper” amount of grief, so people started suggesting that he had a hand in killing her. It turned out that no, he didn’t. It was a complete stranger who was jacking her car who killed her. The family even had a press conference to discuss what it was like to have people turning on their dad, who was basically just an undemonstrative guy.

  30. Richard Aubrey Says:

    neo.
    Thanks for the info on the response. If it takes that long to respond, if that’s the minimum expected time, then it appears the cops are useless–nothing personal, guys–unless they’re already on site.
    So we have, say, fifteen minutes. Lot can happen, including reloading a single-shot muzzle loader about forty times if you’re good.

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey: by the way, the response time might have been less than fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes is apparently the time from the initial call to the shooter’s suicide. The suicide apparently occurred when the shooter perceived the police had located him. They may have arrived quite a bit earlier than that.

    I agree: in a situation like this, the only response that matters, really, must be very quick. That’s why someone armed at the scene is probably the only way to prevent a lot of carnage.

    Of course, without the police’s arrival, even after that much time, the shooter probably would have been able to kill even more people. In the Breivik shooting, the perpetrator reportedly had an hour and a half to do his damage before police arrived (it was on an island). He stalked and killed 77 people.

  32. Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gender Bïgǒt Says:

    Neo, there’s a “poster” floating around, no idea as the the reliability of the statistic, but it says:

    Average number of people killed in sprees when the police are the “first responder”: 18

    Average number of people killed in sprees when an armed local citizen is the “first responder”: 2

    I don’t know if that’s true, or even accurate, but it does seem likely to be. I’d love to see an actual paper, with a data trail, that shows what the real numbers are.

  33. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Gender.
    I’d heard 14 and 4.

  34. Ymarsakar Says:

    Just prove the conspiracy. All the stuff about 9/11 was either unprovable or unproven still this day

    There are plenty of ways to investigate group organized terror, either cellular or memetic or ideologically based.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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