Sandy Hook shooting summary report triggers misinformation before it is even released

A summary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting report is due to be released Monday, but that hasn’t stopped people from speculating about some of the information within the report, or what it might mean.

Leaks from those always conveniently “unnamed sources” claimed earlier that police officers responding to the shooting were told to wait for backup before approaching the school, countering standard “active shooter” doctrine that was almost universally adopted after the Columbine High School massacre.

Not only did the statement not make sense, it also conflicted with the already known timeline which said officers were entering the school just minutes after the attack began.

It now seems that some irresponsible reporters tried to interpret radio traffic they didn’t understand, and made  a hash of it:

The head of the Newtown Police Union said that the order for first responders to wait before entering Sandy Hook Elementary School was directed toward ambulance personnel, not police officers.

Union president Scott Ruszczyk said it is “standard protocol not to send in unarmed people to a scene that is not secure.”

Questions about the police department’s response to the mass shooting surfaced after two sources told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers on Wednesday that 911 calls between the school and emergency dispatchers indicated someone at police headquarters ordered officers to “wait until you go into the building” where gunman Adam Lanza killed 26 people, 20 of them first-grade students.

Of course, this sort of incompetent and unprincipled reporting from the Connecticut media is what triggered the birth of Sandy Hook Truthers in the hours and days following this horrible crime. Thanks to the media’s “publish/broadcast any and every rumor without verifying it” approach, contradictory information flooded the airwaves, which is a practice which does not seem to have abated as we recently learned from watching the misinformation reported during the LAX terminal shooting, or the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco in July.

Frankly, I think I get why people would rather believe in elaborate conspiracy theories than the terrifying reality of what occurred.

If someone can convince themselves that a shadowy government agency was behind the atrocities that took place inside Sandy Hook Elementary, then it wasn’t a random event, but something that was carefully planned out and controlled… someone was in charge, and there was reason to it even if it was horrible.

It’s a lot less painful to believe in a grand government conspiracy than be forced to deal with the even more harsh and terrifying reality that human monsters can lurk inside almost anyone, and lash out against anyone, anywhere, without warning or reason.