“I lost my son. I buried my son. I held my son with a bullet hole through his head.”
That’s Neil Heslin, who lost his six-year-old son in the 2012 Sandy Hook Massacre. I legitimately cannot think of anything more painful and traumatizing and world-ending than cradling the dead body of my child, or burying a son or daughter gunned down in a senseless, horrific massacre of kindergarteners.
But to do that, to survive that, to try and move on with your life, and then to have a belligerent, blowhard conspiracy theorist earn millions of dollars from that pain is unconscionable. What Alex Jones has done over the years, in perpetuating the idea that the parents of dead school children are “crisis actors” and that a man did not fatally shoot 20 six-year-olds, is one of the grossest, most vile things a person could ever do.
Neil Heslin, Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa (who also lost a child in the shooting) have finally said enough, and now they are suing Alex Jones for defamation. They’re asking for over $1 million in each suit, but this is not about the money. This is about sending a message to Jones and others like him that it is not OK to profit off of emotionally torturous lies.
“Even after these folks had to experience this trauma, for the next five years they were tormented by Alex Jones with vicious lies about them,” Mark Bankston, the lawyer handling the cases for the parents, told HuffPost. “And these lies were meant to convince his audience that the Sandy Hook parents are frauds and have perpetrated a sinister lie on the American people.”
Alex Jones is the most vocal of the Sandy Hook Truthers, and this lawsuit extends from a segment he did last year called “Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed,” in which he claims — among other things — that the parents of the deceased children are actors and that proof somehow lies in the fact that some parents claimed that they held the bodies of their dead children, but that the medical examiner apparently did not make their bodies available.
I have no idea what the truth of that is — and frankly, I don’t care — but to call these grieving parents actors, who apparently have an agenda to take away their guns, is beyond heinous. I hope they don’t settle. I hope they insist upon a trial, and I hope the jury awards them enough in punitive damages to bury Infowars and Alex Jones forever.