Expert says theories about controversial events is not new - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Expert says conspiracy theories about controversial events is not new


A Quinnipiac University professor explained why some people believe that the shooting at an elementary school never happened.

On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother as she slept in her bed. He then traveled the few miles to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he proceeded to shoot out a security window, make his way into the building and kill 20 children and six adults.

"I think there is a curiosity by this and I think we live in a very cynical and skeptical age that is promoted in part by the various truthers, conspiracies," said Quinnipiac University Associate Professor Richard Hanley.

Since the shooting, videos have surfaced including one on Youtube that has more than 50,000 hits. The 30-minute video claims that the shooting was a conspiracy set up by the government.

"There has always been some sort of piece of our DNA that refuses to believe in reality and thinks that events are driven by conspiracies by the rich and powerful," Hanley said.

Some of the victims' families have started speaking out against the allegations. One of them is the family of Ana Marquez-Greene, who defended their child's love of God.

"Well I'm here to let you know that our 6-year-old loved God," Ana's mother Nelba Marquez-Greene wrote on her Facebook page. "So DOES my 8-year-old. So do I. So does my husband."

Nelba Marquez-Greene also answered people's desire for the "real" story.

"Here is the real story - Evil visited Newtown. Now it's our choice to respond. We choose good. We choose life. We choose hope," she said. "We choose that even though we're sad and we weren't perfect parents we got one thing right - we invested in eternal things."

On the day of the mass shooting, six of the kids had made it to Gene Rosen's house. He told Eyewitness News that he took care of the kids until their parents picked them up.

Rosen spoke to Eyewitness News and several news outlets following the shooting and described a student's reaction.

"He was crying uncontrollably and he started saying, 'We can't go back to the school,'" Rosen previously said. "'We don't have a teacher.'"

However, since those interviews, Rosen told Eyewitness News he's getting attacked by conspiracy theorists who say the mass shooting never happened.

On the internet, people have called Rosen a hired, paid crisis actor. He is hurt by the accusations.

"I can deal with this but, I'm thinking about the families of the perished and the families of the survivors," Rosen told Eyewitness News. "Their grief is so unimaginable and to put a layer on top of that, is just immoral."

When it comes to those videos, Hanley said unfortunately, it's freedom of speech.

"This sort of behavior, this sort of video is covered by First Amendment rights," he said. "And that it will be with us for this tragedy for years to come as well as other tragedies that await our future."

Hanley also mentioned these conspiracies also happened after Sept. 11 attacks. Many said the event didn't happen or it was staged.

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