A Florida professor known for his fixation on conspiracy theories has questioned whether the Sandy Hook school massacre occurred and suggested it was a set-up by the Obama administration to promote gun control.
Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy raised the crackpot questions about the massacre on his blog and in interviews.
“Regardless of where one stands on the Second Amendment and gun control, it is not unreasonable to suggest the Obama administration complicity or direct oversight of an incident that has in very short order sparked a national debate on the very topic—and not coincidentally remains a key piece of Obama’s political platform,” the 47-year-old tenured professor of communication wrote on his blog, memoryholeblog.com.
In another post, he wrote, “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place — at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.”
Tracy also called a gut-wrenching public appearance by Robert Parker, the father of a first-grader who was shot to death, “contrived,” and asked Florida’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper, “Was this to a certain degree constructed? Was this a drill?”
“Something most likely took place,” he told the newspaper. “One is left with the impression that a real tragedy took place.”
Officials in Newtown slammed Tracy as an “embarrassment” to his school and called on Florida Atlantic officials to fire him.
“Shame on you, too, FAU, to even have someone like this on your payroll,” Newtown First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra, a former teacher, told FoxNews.com.
“Professor Tracy is an embarrassment to me as an educator and should be to you as well. I can assure you, sadly, that the events here in Newtown unfolded exactly as are being reported, with the horrible outcome of the violent death of 26 innocent people, including 20 children.
“It is outrageous and an insult to all caring people to think that this man would chose this event as a stage for his outlandish conspiracy theories,” she added, calling his statements “wrong, inconsiderate and insensitive.”
Florida Atlantic distanced itself from Tracy’s comments.
“James Tracy does not speak for the university,” university spokeswoman Lisa Metcalf said. “The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way.”
On campus, Tracy is known for promoting his cuckoo theories in a class, “The Culture of Conspiracy,” the Sun-Sentinel reported.
He’s also expressed skepticism about the Kennedy assassination, 9/11 and the mass shooting at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in July.
He told the newspaper he believed he was simply upholding his duty as a “scholar and public intellectual.”
“Although some may see [my theories] as beyond the pale, I am doing what we should be doing as academics,” he said.