Conspiracy theories don’t honor victims

On that sad day in December when news of the tragic school shooting in Connecticut dominated not just our televisions and computers but also our conversations, thoughts and fears, many in our area noted that Newton, Conn., was comparable in size to Elkins.

“Imagine something that horrible happening in a town our size,” many of us said, feeling closer to the parents who lost their children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Unfortunately, those parents still are being victimized two months later. A group of “Sandy Hook truthers” are accusing the parents – along with witnesses, survivors and the government – of staging, or faking, the entire event.

Since January, more than 10 videos have been posted to YouTube which claim that our government set up the shooting so gun control laws can be approved. One video, “The Sandy Hook Shooting – Fully Exposed” has been viewed more than 10 million times.

These videos have apparently convinced some people. Gene Rosen, who brought six Sandy Hook children into his home after finding them in his driveway during the shooting drama, has been harassed by telephone and email and online by “Sandy Hook truthers” who think he’s not a hero, but a liar.

It’s hard to imagine anything more disrespectful than telling a grieving parent that they’re lying about their child being murdered.

Although our country has a long history of conspiracy theorists questioning the government’s “official version” of historic events – from John F. Kennedy’s assassination to the moon landing to the Sept. 11 attacks – the “Sandy Hook truthers” have gone past questioning authority to disrespecting the dead.

Twenty school children, ages 6 and 7, were killed at Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, 2012. Those poor kids are gone forever, and their parents will never stop grieving over them. No matter how much we may oppose gun control laws, those are facts that should never be forgotten.