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article imageOp-Ed: Sandy Hook 'truthers' send death threats to victim's family

By Megan Hamilton     Jan 15, 2016 in World
Newtown - His name was Noah Pozner, and he was only six years old when he was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Dec. 2012.
Grieving over the loss of a child has to be the worst tragedy a parent has to go through, but for this family, the grief is compounded by the fact that they are receiving death threats from people who stupidly believe the Sandy Hook massacre is a hoax.
How low can they go?
Pretty low, it seems.
In December, Noah's frustrated parents wrote a letter to the Sun-Sentinel alleging that former Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy was harassing them by asking that they prove the murders really happened, The Washington Post reports.
He was fired for unrelated reasons, as the Sun-Sentinel reports here,but fortunately fired, nonetheless.
Noah's parents, Lenny and Veronique Pozner, were taking steps to prevent Noah's photo from being used by conspiracy websites, so Tracy sent them a certified letter demanding that they prove they were Noah's parents and that Noah ever lived, the couple wrote in the Sun-Sentinel.
Online, Tracy called the Pozners "alleged parents" and accused them of profiting from Sandy Hook. He also accused them of fabricating the little boy's death certificate.
Using twisted logic, Tracy wrote:
"If Noah actually died, there would have been no reason to fake it."
A memorial to those murdered at Sandy Hook.
A memorial to those murdered at Sandy Hook.
YouTube screen grab Odyssey Networks
Some people went even lower than that after Tracy was fired, and the death threats started, the Post reports.
"You're gonna die you [deleted]...And what are you going to do about it? You can do absolutely nothing...this is coming to you real soon [deleted]. You going to die," and "You [expletive deleted] look behind you, justice is coming to you real soon."
Threats aren't really anything new for Pozner, who is regularly bombarded on the social media with ugly comments like "Eventually you'll be tried for your crimes of treason against the people," and "I won't be satisfied until the caskets are opened..." or lastly, "How much money did you get for faking all of this?"
He's worried about his safety and tries to stay vigilant all the time, he said.
He noted there's a network of people who believe that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a hoax designed to curry support for gun control, and that the mass media reported on a shooting that never occurred.
He told the Post he thinks the daily hateful threats on social media may have been spurred by Tracy's firing, or possibly by President Obama's recent gun control executive order. It could even be spurred by both, he notes. Those who believe recent mass shootings are a hoax are in a kind of echo chamber, Pozner notes, where the same misinformation and theories are being traded around. He highlights some of their hate-filled posts on a web site he founded, the HONR Network victims' rights group.
Winning Democrats reports that the Pozners were quite upset over Tracy's certified letter, which is completely understandably. He even demanded that they prove they were the rightful owners of his photographic image. That's pretty disgusting and low.
"We found this so outrageous and unsettling that we filed a police report for harassment," the Pozners wrote in the Sun-Sentinel. "Once Tracy realized we would not respond, he subjected us to ridicule and contempt on his blog, boasting to his readers that the 'unfulfilled request' was 'noteworthy' because we had used copyright claims to 'thwart continued research of the Sandy Hook massacre event.'
Disturbingly, there's a possibility that Tracy may fight to keep his job, the Sun-Sentinel reports. But he might not be using the typical appeals process, however.
The United Faculty of Florida is providing Tracy, who has worked at FAU since 2002, with legal representation. He's a former president of the union's FAU chapter. And current President Robert Zoeller wouldn't say why the union thinks the former professor was wrongly fired.
FAU officials fired Tracy for insubordination and circumvention of FAU policies, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
In a letter to the former professor, Diane Alperin, vice provost for FAU noted that for three years, he failed to submit a "Report of Outside Employment or Professional Activity Form," something that faculty is required to provide.
Generally, these forms require faculty members to list other jobs they have--things like teaching at other universities, or unpaid activities that could conflict with their responsibilities at FAU.
Meanwhile, Lenny and Veronique Pozner are left to deal with their very real grief, as are all of the families who lost loved ones in this massacre that was very real. They are forced to balance this terrible grief with the insane rantings of conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones who stop at nothing to try to prove this was all some hoax, because Obama, you know.
"It's been three years since my son's life was snuffed out by an act of senseless violence and I'm left in a fog of disbelief. Disbelief that a deranged madman could be so callous to kill our children, but perhaps even more baffled that there are those who would deny us the peace we so desperately need to overcome our insurmountable loss," he wrote in an email to the Post. "Right now I'm just...I'm just numb!"
He is a father of two daughters trying to balance that with grief and honoring the memory of his murdered little boy. A little boy he hasn't been able to hug for three years.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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