Last month, I wrote that I wouldn’t be delving into a detailed debunking of conspiracy theories regarding the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, since most were just clickbait trolling that weren’t worthy of anyone’s time.
I had no idea that I’d be writing the same thing just weeks later.
Sunday morning, a gunman walked toward a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, carrying an assault rifle and shooting at random.
After being confronted by a bystander carrying a shotgun, the man drove off, and wound up shooting himself. At this time, his butcher’s bill stands at 26 dead and at least 20 wounded.
Given that this crime was much less public, it didn’t give rise to the instant clutch of second shooter conspiracy theories that the Las Vegas shooting did. It was a more private location, with no video taken during the attack.
But that doesn’t mean the internet shit machine didn’t instantly start churning out nonsense about the shooting being perpetrated by either a Muslim convert or an anti-Trump antifa looking to kick off a race war.
Beyond that, there were the usual claims that “something is off” about the shooting due to various confirmation biases in the minds of conspiracy theorists. In this case, it’s that the picture of the shooter released to the media is fake, because the person has no ears.
If these claims of Islam, antifa, and false flags sound familiar, it’s because they’re the exact same garbage spewed out after Las Vegas.
And unfortunately, just like Vegas again, Google’s algorithm wasn’t able to distinguish attention-seeking fake news from the real thing.
What was churned out after the shooting doesn’t even rise to the level of conspiracy theory. There’s no “conspiracy” being alleged, nor is there any sort of “theory” about the shooting that anyone is putting forward.
These are hoaxes. Transparent, easily falsified, obviously fake hoaxes.
For the record, the Texas shooting wasn’t a Muslim convert or a far-left Bernie Sanders worshiping antifa.
From what we know, he had a history of domestic abuse and bad conduct in the military, a trait he shares with a number of other mass shooters. He’d been given a court martial and discharge after being convicted of assaulting not just his wife at the time, but also their child.
The shooting itself might have been spurred by a “domestic situation” possibly involving the parents of his ex-wife, who attended the church he attacked.
It would seem that the real problem isn’t ISIS or antifa, but mentally unstable convicted domestic abusers having ready access to weapons with incredible killing power.
That’s not a conspiracy theory, sadly. It’s a fact of life in America.