Sandy Hook was the most deadly school shooting to date. However, some don't believe it ever happened. Multiple conspiracy sites such as Infowars promote the idea that Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax. One such believer, Lucy Richards, now faces 20 years in jail for allegedly making threats to the family of a victim.

Richards threatens Sandy Hook parent

According to prosecutors, she sent four threatening messages to Lenny Pozner, a parent of a child who died at Sandy Hook.

The threats consisted of things like “You gonna die. Death is coming to you real soon.” Each charge can get a maximum of five years in federal prison. The charges are federal because the threats were made across state lines.

Pozner is famous in the survivor community. Formerly a conspiracy theorist himself, he cut ties with that part of his life after his son was killed and he realised how dehumanising trying to find conspiracies in everything was.

Pozner started the HONR Network, an organisation dedicated to advocating for mass shooting victims. He has seen his and other survivors' family photographs used by so-called "truthers" and has taken to filing copyright claims on Youtube and other sites to get them removed.

What is the Sandy Hook theory?

Ever since Sandy Hook, there's been a massive amount of conspiracy theories surrounding it. The condensed version of these theories is that the whole thing was staged by the government to push gun control legislation.

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The nuts and bolts of the conspiracy theory vary from one theorist to another. Some say the children were gunned down by government agents. Others say that the children never existed and the massacre never happened.

Pozner is not the only example of a mass shooting victim's family being threatened by a "truther." Carlee Soto, the sister of a teacher who was killed in the attack, reported being doxxed (having one's personal information disseminated to encourage someone to use it for violence) and getting Facebook messages like "they are coming for you".

What can Sandy Hook families do?

Dealing with these conspiracy theorists isn't easy. One part is because of the First Amendment. As horrific as the hoaxers are, they still have the freedom to say those things. However, Sandy Hook survivors do have options. One such option is calling the authorities, which is what happened here.

An as yet unused option would be a libel suit. As conspiracy theorists, become more brazen.

It may become necessary to sue the sites that propagate them. The legal definition of libel is a false statement that causes injury to one's business or reputation. It would be hard to argue against a Sandy Hook parent who claimed they've been harmed by a site claiming they were in on some conspiracy that escalated to them receiving death threats or actual violence as the target of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory had happened this week.

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