Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin listens to a reporters question during a news conference on Oct. 2, 2015, in Roseburg, Ore.
Rich Pedroncelli—AP
October 3, 2015 4:04 PM EDT

Douglas County sheriff John Hanlin, who has responded to the Umpqua Community College shooting, previously shared a conspiracy theory video suggesting the Sandy Hook massacre was orchestrated by the U.S. government to disarm the public.

The New York Times reports that shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 28 children and adults, Hanlin shared a link on his own Facebook page of a video that “suggested that the shootings at Sandy Hook — and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — might have been staged by the federal government to provide a pretext for ‘disarming the public’ through gun control legislation.” He posted the link with the comment, “This makes me wonder who we can trust anymore.”

The conspiracy video post came three days before Hanlin posted a letter to Vice President Joe Biden on the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page writing, “Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings.” He argued that any changes to the second amendment would be “irresponsible” and an “indisputable insult to the American people.”Hanlin added that should such changes come to pass, neither he nor his deputies would enforce them.

The Times reports that the video was removed on Friday amid criticism.


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