Once again, a cross-country slime trail leads to Florida:
Last year, one day after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a training coordinator for the National Rifle Association reached out to a loony-bird conspiracy theorist in Seminole County to help discredit the police version of the crime.
The NRA drooler is named Mark Richardson.
The Florida drooler is a character named Wolfgang Halbig, who briefly worked as a state trooper and has spent years pushing the nauseating theory that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was a hoax.
Emails between Richardson and Halbig, published last week by HuffPost, surfaced in one of numerous lawsuits against Alex Jones. He’s the twitchy-eyed “Infowars” gasbag who has been tormenting the Sandy Hook families ever since 26 children and staff members were murdered by a young gunman at the school.
Halbig has appeared as an “expert” on Jones’ radio program, now banished from major social media platforms.
On Feb. 15, 2018, the day after the Parkland killings, Halbig was excited to get an email from the NRA’s Richardson saying: “You have included me with a lot of Information since the Sandy Hook Incident and I do appreciate it very much. Concerning what happened in Florida yesterday, I have been asking the question and no one else seems to be asking it.”
Armed with zero facts, Richardson asserted that the shooter, a former student using a legally purchased assault rifle, could not have acted alone, as the police said.
Halbig’s response was an email with a subject line that included, in all capital letters, the name of Avielle Richman.
She was one of the first-graders murdered in a classroom at Sandy Hook. Halbig has savaged her parents online, claiming they faked her death in order to “steal money” from taxpayers.
Avielle’s father, Jeremy Richman, started a foundation in his daughter’s name. A neuroscientist, he spoke at Florida Atlantic University on March 19 about brain research to identify and treat potentially violent persons.
Six days later, Richman killed himself at the office of the Avielle Foundation in Newtown. His death followed the recent suicides of a 2018 Stoneman Douglas graduate and a 16-year-old sophomore at the school.
While the reasons for such acts are seldom simple or fully understood, there is no doubt that his daughter’s death haunted Richman. Any parent would be in agony.
Halbig’s crusade against Richman is despicable, but the conspiracy community on the internet is crawling with such creatures. Why would the NRA enlist one of them?
Richardson told the HuffPost that he was merely asking a “legitimate question” about how the Parkland shooter had gotten in the school.
Oddly, Richardson chose to ask a person whom he knew had no inside knowledge of the assault, no contacts in Broward law enforcement and no credibility. A person whom he knew was harassing the Sandy Hook families and had once spammed Newtown authorities seeking crime-scene documents relating to “bodily fluids, brain matter, skull fragments and around 45-60 gallons of blood.”
That would be the blood and brain matter of dead children and teachers.
As of this writing, the NRA hasn’t commented on Richardson’s chummy emails to Halbig, which included the signoff: “Thank you for all the information. And for what you do. STAY SAFE.”
The NRA didn’t have much to say about the 17 Parkland victims. It spins the image as a citizen’s defender of the Second Amendment, but its true constituency is firearms manufacturers.
Fear sells guns, and the NRA is in the fear-mongering, gun-selling business. Every mass shooting is an opportunity to warn members to stock up before the government bans all firearms.
Yet since President Obama left office without confiscating everybody’s guns, the NRA has struggled. Membership is falling, and in 2017 it reported a $55 million drop in dues collected.
Firearms sales are down; Remington, which manufactures the assault rifle used at Sandy Hook, last week filed for bankruptcy.
Ironically, Wolfgang the Whacko had been trying with no success to endear himself to the NRA. After the Parkland slaughter, when Richardson emailed him out of the blue, Halbig wrote to friends:
“After 4 years of emailing the NRA I finally got a response in light of the Broward County School Shooting. … Now why?”
Because, Wolfgang, the guys running the NRA are even worse than you. They don’t have the excuse of being unhinged loons.