The Only Mass Shooting Conspiracy Theory Primer You’ll Ever Need

Over a span of less than 24 hours, America endured two more mass shootings, both carried out by young white men armed with assault rifles, and fed by internet-driven hate. The motivations of El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius and Dayton shooter Connor Betts appear to have been different, with Betts in particular seeming to be driven more by personal animosity and hatred of women than any political cause.

The causes of the two shootings might diverge, but one thing that doesn’t is the conspiracy theories that started up in their wake. The discourse about the El Paso shooting was flooded almost from the first moment with fake news, memes, errors in early reporting, nebulous conspiracy theories, and outright lies.

The Dayton shooting didn’t generate much in the way of conspiracies, but that’s only due to it taking place late on a Saturday night. By then, it was easy enough to lump the two shootings together as part of some kind of vast plot, carried out in two different places by the same shadowy group.

Longtime watchers of the early discourse around mass shootings will recognize everything that was written and said about El Paso, because it’s the same stuff that’s written and said about every mass shooting. They all have the same conspiracy theories, the same fake allegations, the same mistaken eyewitness reports, and the same attempts to flood the news cycle with fakes in order to create chaos.

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The Second Shooter Security Blanket

A few days ago, I wrote about how the vast majority of the inevitable conspiracy theories about the Las Vegas terrorist attack weren’t worth the time or trouble to debunk.

Naturally, the flow of conspiracies and allegations about the attack has only gotten worse.

Thanks to the totally unfounded “intel” posted on social media by “citizen journalists” who all want you to give them money, the internet has determined what actually happened and what “they” don’t want you to know.

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