Friday, September 29, 2023

Alex Jones, Nikolas Cruz, and school shootings


In the same week, one jury declined to recommend the death penalty for the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School, and another ordered an entertainer who falsely reported that the shooting at Sandy Hook was a hoax to pay almost a billion dollars to the families of victims.

Ann Arbor—Ribbons in memorial of Sandy Hook, a year later (Deb Nystrom/Flickr Creative Commons)

First, the good news: Alex Jones and his companies, Infowars and Free Speech Systems, were ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to some of the parents of victims murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

He falsely claimed that the massacre of children, many of them 6 years old, teachers, and the principal at the school was faked and that the victims were “crisis actors.” That untrue picture he painted was found libelous, which it is.

He had stated on several occasions that the purpose of the hoax was to create political pressure for gun control, Reuters reported. But his ultimate motive in disseminating these lies was to make money.

The bad news: The shooter at the 2018 mass murder at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder, but a jury voted 9-3 to recommend a sentence of life imprisonment.

The jury’s recommendation left many family members of the victims feeling angry. “This shooter did not deserve compassion,” CNN quoted Tony Montalto, the father of 14-year-old victim Gina, as saying. “Did he show the compassion to Gina when he put the weapon against her chest and chose to pull that trigger—or any of the other three times that he shot her? Was that compassionate?”

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.


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