The mother of one of the outspoken teenagers from the Parkland, Florida school where 17 people were murdered by a 19-year-old gunman has revealed that her family has received death threats as a result of lies posted and broadcast by right-wing conspiracy nuts.
Rebecca Boldrick, an elementary school teacher and the mother of 17-year-old student David Hogg, said the crazy conspiracy theories online about her son and husband have become dangerous to her family after death threats were made.
“I’m under so much stress,” she told the Washington Post about her week since the shooting. “I’m angry and exhausted. Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”
She is proud of her son, David, who during the shooting took his role as a school journalist seriously and interviewed fellow students about what they were experiencing.
Since then Hogg has been vocal in media interviews, including an appearance on CNN, in stating his belief that there must be a greater effort to make schools safe, and that means passing sensible laws to control the ownership and use of weapons like the semi-automatic rifle a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School used to murder and maim people on February 14.
During one appearance on TV, David Hogg mentioned that his father was retired from the FBI.
That set off a storm of conspiracy theories online – texts, posts, tweets, and videos – claiming in various ways that Hogg was not really a student, but was an actor who goes to the scene of school shootings, and that he was put up to his statements by the FBI where his father worked.
Boldrick said it is true her husband did work for the FBI until October 2016, mostly as an agent at airports in Los Angeles and Florida, before he retired.
She said her 51-year-old husband retired because he had been diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease several years ago, which he had not previously revealed because of fear of being embarrassed.
The truth, of course, is that David Hogg is a student at the Parkland school and is speaking from his heart, and his dad did not put him up to it, nor did the FBI.
The conspiracy theorists want to believe the FBI was involved in coaching these kids because their investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian agent in order to tilt the 2016 election in Donald’s favor.
So this is another example of the very real danger posed when crazy, lying, fantasizing conspiracy theorists and right-wing activists jump on a tragedy for their own purposes and put other people’s lives on the line as a result.
Guns kill people, but sometimes it takes a push from these visions liars to get the gun owners to go out and do their bidding for real.
Remember the “Pizzagate” conspiracy where right-wing nutjobs claimed a Washington pizza parlor was actually housing a secret Clinton pedophile ring? Those conspiracies ended with a gunman entering the shop and firing a gun into the floor because he literally believed that child sex slaves were being held in the basement.
These are reasons David Hogg and the other students are right to demand there be fewer guns and that there be laws to regulate who can own them.