This is the first in a series of financial sanctions for far-right American conspirator Alex Jones. Pro-arms, he had claimed on his Infowars site that the massacre at the school in Sandy Hook, in the state of Connecticut, was only a staging orchestrated by opponents of the carrying of firearms. This is the worst mass shooting in an American school: in 2012, a 20-year-old young man armed with an automatic rifle executed 20 children and 6 adult women, before committing suicide on the spot. Since then, the establishment has been razed to be rebuilt.
Like so many other school shootings, the Sandy Hook shooting has rekindled the debate over gun regulation in the country. In the United States, more than 30,000 people (including suicides) die each year in a shooting. For having denied the veracity of that of Sandy Hook, Alex Jones was sentenced during his trial in Texas to pay 45.2 million dollars (44.4 million euros) to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, parents of a 6-year-old boy who died in the attack. Earlier in the day on August 5, 2022, their lawyer Wesley Ball challenged the jurors on the impact of Alex Jones’ statements: “You have the ability to send a message to the whole country, even the world (… ). And it is to stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies”. He went on to ask them to “make sure he can’t do it again.”
Judges in Texas and Connecticut had already sentenced Alex Jones to pay damages, while letting jurors choose the amount. This first condemnation is therefore a preamble to the other financial sanctions which could fall in the coming days. Other families of the victims have also initiated a series of proceedings against him to obtain compensation. What prevent him from continuing his allegations on his platform and give a serious setback to lovers of conspiracy theories.