The senseless shooting massacre that took the lives of dozens of innocent victims - most of them children - at Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, Connecticut was a horrific and unprecedented tragedy. Age of Autism mourns the deaths of all innocent victims of this awful crime and offers its deepest condolences to their families. Additionally, we are deeply disturbed by the association of the perpetrator of this awful crime by various media outlets to a vulnerable community - the autism community - with rumors that he was on the autism spectrum. Regardless of whether or not the shooter truly is on the autism spectrum, we wish to make it clear that autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are in no way associated with criminal violence. More often than not, people with ASDs are the victims of such violence, not the people committing them.
As the Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic, we fight every day to combat persistent misinformation about autism, particularly about its causes and natural history, as well as the denial of its causes. Today, we are fighting some of the most vile stigmas that can befall people with autism and disability in general, and we ask other newspapers - both online and print - as well as other media outlets in general to take a strong and public stand against such bigotry. The best way to honor the victims of this atrocity is for us as a society to work towards building a safer, healthier environment for all people - both those with and without ASDs - that is free of stigma and free of fear.