Though most public reactions in San Diego in the year since the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting fell within a predictable range from grief to calls for change, a couple voices had more extreme and questionable responses, venturing into conspiracy theory and wild accusations.
Former San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock charged that "politically correct society, it is producing these killers" while discussing the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on his talk show on the local station KFMB AM in December of the year of the shooting. Hedgecock also stated that "all of these school shootings...occur in blue states," an incorrect claim that went viral around the country.
During his nationally-syndicated show, Hedgecock also blamed liberals and gun-free zones: "Liberals, you own this. Your gun-free zone has killed people...Liberals, you have caused these people to die."
Hedgecock and KFMB did not reply to requests for comment.
Pat Henry of Aegis Academy, which conducts firearms training in San Diego and was a voice in the gun control debate after the Sandy Hook incident, said while he agreed that today's education system doesn't prepare people to fail and that can cause problems, "Does that make them crazy and make them go off the deep end and kill people? No."
Hedgecock's reaction is moderate compared to what could be heard recently on San Diego's KOGO AM during the Ground Zero program, which airs weekday evenings. On Dec. 4, 2013 while discussing the release of the 911 calls to police during the shooting, Host Clyde Lewis said that "crisis actors" were used at the Sandy Hook shooting, which was "manipulated to the point that it was faked" as part of an "agenda" to make laws curtailing gun ownership.
Lewis insisted that "there were people there you could single out as crisis actors." The Portland, Oregon-
based host specifically referred to one of the grieving parents, Robbie Parker, the father of six-year-old daughter who was killed, as an actor faking his role. "They hired some people to come in and pretend like they were parents," Lewis said, "and they hired some people to come in and pretend like they were there and witnessing it all."
Reached for comment about their programming and the Lewis's claims that the shooting was "faked," KXL FM's Branding Manager Dan Mitchinson said in a Twitter post, "We respect the tremendous job he does," adding "but views and opinions are his own."