There is a video making the rounds on Youtube titled, “Sandy Hook Father Owns Congress,” and it has been viewed more than 2.4 million times since it was uploaded to the site on Sunday. It features a man named Bill Stevens making an impassioned defense of gun rights, citing his constitutional right to bear arms with him reprimanding Connecticut lawmakers saying, “I will tell you here today, you will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold, dead hands.”
The video has been praised by conservative media and Second Amendment supporters, labeling Stevens as a “Sandy Hook Father”. Bolstering the video, publications such as The Examiner, Breitbart.com and The Daily Caller all told similar stories about how Stevens’ daughter attended Sandy Hook Elementary School and had “survived” the crime scene.
It has now come to light that Stevens is not actually the father of a Sandy Hook student. His daughter Victoria is a fifth-grader at Reed Intermediate School, which is located about a mile from Sandy Hook.
In fairness to Stevens, when he learned how he was being portrayed by certain media sources, he emailed the following letter to the Examiner:
“Thank you for the nice article about my testimony in Hartford. Unlike the Liberal media who don’t let facts get in the way, I just wanted to let you know that my daughter does not attend Sandy Hook Elementary, but was in “lock down” nonetheless on December 14, 2012 at Reed Intermediate School (5th & 6th grade) about a mile away with her classmates, one of whom lost his little sister that day.”
Even after this revelation, the misinformation persists. Most of the articles mentioned above still went live after Stevens’ correction.
The video is another example of how interest groups can manipulate images to fit their agenda. Weeks before, a video went viral that purported to show the parent of a slain Sandy Hook child being “heckled” by pro-gun advocates in the middle of his testimony. In reality, the father was interrupted after he seemingly asked a rhetorical question to the room, but not necessarily heckled as a misleading video on MSNBC tried to suggest.
Watch the video below.