If you were to ask me the moment my heart broke regarding America, I would tell you it was when I discovered Sandy Hook “truthers.”
In case you’re not aware – and I am very sad to have been the one to tell you – some people either believe the December 2012 massacre of 20 elementary-school children didn’t happen or was staged by the Obama administration to enact gun control. There are cults of these people, poring over television footage trying to prove there were actors or that news reports in progress that misreported facts were threads in some great conspiracy, the end result of which is the seizure of all guns in ‘Merica. You can confront them with facts. Heck, Lenny Pozner, whose six-year-was killed in the massacre, has. It does nothing.
Every mass shooting in America spores these people like freaking mold; like mold, they are near-impossible to get rid of. I haven’t delved into whatever nuttery surrounds the Mandalay Bay massacre because I am working very hard on my sobriety, but tangible reports from social media tell me dildos are already out in force claiming Stephen Paddock was a patsy for a — hold on, let me get my megaphone — FALSE FLAG.
Let me tell you MY conspiracy theory, launched in the wee hours of the morn when things seem darkest.
Every “false flag” theory hinges on one thing: that this will be the tragedy that enables the gun grab. Christ, this goes back to at least the Clinton administration when as a goth kid, I was getting shaken down in school lest I become Houston’s Columbine. If the government kills enough kids/people/puppies/I dunno unicorns?, then the populace will accept disarmament and freedom will die.
Thing is, though, it has literally never happened. If the government’s plan is to use tragedy to spark confiscation, then the government’s plan is really crappy. Know how many new gun control laws were enacted post-Sandy Hook? None.
You know what did happen, though, which also happened after the Mandalay Bay massacre? Gun manufacturers’ stocks went up.
They always go up. Some yo-yo with a grudge takes an AR-15 on a lethal joyride, and gun sales go through the roof in anticipation of the day some lethal aficionado might not get to crank out bullets at high speed. Personal apocalypses are framed as cogs in the government wheel of oppression. Blood becomes irrelevant in service to hobbyist convenience.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
So, if you’re conspiratorially minded, let me put forth a premise. What if people like Stephen Paddock are all agents of the gun lobby to increase sales?
I grew up on ‘80s/’90s cartoons. I have the entire run of Toxic Crusaders somewhere on a VHS. I think Gremlins 2 and The Stuff are the greatest social commentaries of their period. I am perfectly used to thinking of corporations as the bad guys. Watching more modern fare like The Smartest Guys in the Room has not really changed my mind on the subject.
Corporate greed isn’t a fantasy. It’s a fact. I’m fairly sure the various gun manufacturers do not throw money away on figuring out how to turn a semi-automatic assault rifle into a fully automatic facsimile without knowing there’s a market. When you make a product designed to kill a bunch of people and then it’s used to kill a bunch of people, that’s the bottom line.
So, tin-foil hatters, I ask you. What is more likely? That the government, which has literally never been able to do a single thing about gun control no matter how many people die, is the shadow-mind behind these massacres, or it's the ginormous corporations who literally always profit from said massacres? Gun stocks are up; complete bans on guns in Congress are not. Just saying.