Persistent Hoax Claims Hang Over Sandy Hook Anniversary
And parents who lost their children talk about life after tragedy
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2016 1:07 PM CST
Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.   (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

(Newser) – Wednesday is the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, in which 20 elementary school students and six teachers were killed by a gunman in Newtown, Connecticut. It was the deadliest school shooting in US history and third deadliest US shooting of any kind. Here's what you need to know as the country remembers the tragedy:

  • Following the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama called for America to ignore politics and work together on "common-sense gun laws," ABC News reports. That he's leaving office without that happening—having watched two major gun-control bills die in the Senate—is one of the biggest regrets of his presidency.
  • So-called "Sandy Hook truthers"—people who believe the shooting and deaths were a hoax—have spent the past four years harassing the victims' families. A piece at New York Magazine asserts that Donald Trump isn't helping matters by aligning himself with conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones of InfoWars.
  • People speaks to a number of parents who lost children in the shooting to find out about their lives four years later. They spend their days being strong for their surviving children, working on gun-control legislation, and helping others around the world.
  • Following the shooting, Newtown received more than $45 million from charities and the government. The Hartford Courant digs into where that money went, discovering that most of it is being spent on mental health services—though one charity gave more than $65,000 to each of the victim's families.
  • The Guardian reports on what it calls a small victory for the victims' families after Obama on Tuesday signed a bill into law to increase access to mental health care. Sandy Hook parents had been pushing the bill for years, and one calls it their "first big success at the federal level."
  • Photographer JB Nicholas covered the shooting for the New York Daily News, capturing a haunting image of a body bag leaving the school. On Narratively, he has a message for Sandy Hook truthers: "I know for a fact that the shooting really happened...F*** anyone who says otherwise."
  • Finally, an opinion piece on Bearing Arms calls anyone focusing on "love" during Wednesday's anniversary—instead of how to get more guns in schools—"mewling pukes" and "crisply-tailored cowards."

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