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Anita Sarkeesian Cancels Talk at Utah State After Receiving Threat of Another "Montreal Massacre." [UPDATED with more info from Sarkeesian]

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Utah State University has just announced that Anita Sarkeesian has canceled a talk she was scheduled to give at the school tomorrow after receiving a threat of a “Montreal Massacre-style attack” by someone promising ““the deadliest school shooting in American history” if the cultural critic was allowed to speak.

Here’s the official announcement:

Anita Sarkeesian has canceled her scheduled speech for tomorrow following a discussion with Utah State University police regarding an email threat that was sent to Utah State University. During the discussion, Sarkeesian asked if weapons will be permitted at the speaking venue. Sarkeesian was informed that, in accordance with the State of Utah law regarding the carrying of firearms, if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue.

Emphasis added. That’s right: the school received threats from someone promising to shoot people at a public event, but because of Utah’s gun laws, authorities would not be able to prohibit audience members from BRINGING GUNS to the talk.

Before learning that this was the case, Sarkeesian — after consulting with authorities — had planned to go ahead with the talk. As a spokesman for the school told the Standard Examiner, a northern Utah newspaper:

“They determined the threat seems to be consistent with ones (Sarkeesian) has received at other places around the nation. … The threat we received is not out of the norm for (this woman).”

The email threat came from someone who claimed that “feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all the others they’ve wronged.”

The email, sent to several campus officials and posted online by the Standard Examiner, warned:

If you do not cancel [Sarkeesian’s] talk, a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as students and staff at the nearby women’s center. I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs. This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I’m giving you a chance to stop it.

The email writer claimed that even if authorities manage to stop him from an attack at the event,

There are plenty of feminists on campus who won;t be able to defend themselves. One way or another, I’m going to make sure they die. …

Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman, and she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU. I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.

All this because she made some videos discussing sexism in fucking video games.

Here’s a screenshot of the full email, from the Standard Examiner site:

 

Screenshot posted by the Standard Examiner
Screenshot posted by the Standard Examiner

I’m speechless. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

NOTE: This is a NO TROLLS, NO MRAS, NO GAMERGATERS, NO VICTIM BLAMER thread. I will delete comments and ban people who do not respect the rules.

UPDATE: Sarkeesian has provied more details on Twitter; there were multiple threats, including one that specifically referred to GamerGate

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marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

People disagreed with you and a moderator told you this wasn’t the place for the discussion you were pushing. That’s not vilification or insult.

kittehserf - MOD
5 years ago

Nova, precisely what strivingally and marinerachel said. There may be a time and place for this conversation, but this thread is not it.

If you think that’s being modded or vilified, then by all means, go.

Nova
Nova
5 years ago

“Open carry is an act of aggression, no matter what the gun owner’s intentions. It’s an implicit threat to every single person you encounter.”

That is a villification. That is an insult. We dogpile people for using terms like “crazy” inappropriately, because it unjustly maligns people with mental illness, but something like that is allowed to go unchallenged?

I got an email threat last week too. I’m afraid too. I’ve been afraid for a long time, along with millions of other women. I didn’t just have to cancel a public appearance. I had to cancel my life. Being told that I’m an “implicit threat” because of the only way I can even stand a chance of surviving? No, that isn’t ok.

strivingally
5 years ago

Do we need to start another thread for this topic? I feel like Nova and the people disagreeing with her are having a decent discussion (in a very inappropriate thread) but if we have another community split over a dogpile I’mma need a week of brain bleach.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
5 years ago

The presence of gun is pretty high up on the ladder of force to pretend that open carry is not an act of aggression when it clearly is just exactly that. Even when out of uniform it clearly states deadly force will be used if deemed necessary.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
5 years ago

The thing is, Nova, when you carry it does imply a willingness to get aggressive, it’s just that in your case it’s mostly one person you’re considering aggression towards. Random people who see your gun have no way of knowing that, though.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
5 years ago

And yeah, I know that defending yourself isn’t at all the same thing as attacking someone else, but again, how are people who don’t know you and just see the gun supposed to know that? And you personally probably don’t look very intimidating, so people probably won’t be too alarmed if they do see your gun, but that’s not the case for a lot of the other people walking around with guns.

Nova
Nova
5 years ago

Cassandra: Which is more important: my safety or other peoples opinions? Seriously.

What I’m objecting to is a broad steriotype of everybody who does a certain thing, regardless of why. This would not be tolerated if somebody were making a steriotype related to mental illness, gender, etc., but it’s not only being tolerated but defended and modded when a person who is being steriotyped objects to it. If it were somebody stating that schizophrenics or dog owners were a danger or a threat, there’d be hell of epic proportions unleashed and we both know that.

kittehserf - MOD
5 years ago

How many times must I say this is not the thread for this discussion?

Unimaginative
5 years ago

The thing is, schizophrenia is not a weapon. Dogs are not weapons. Guns are a weapon, and in fact are a weapon of aggression. They are terrible at defence. I get that you are in danger, and that you feel having a gun on you makes you safer, and I’m very glad that you feel safer. But the vast majority of people who open carry are, in fact, making the people around them LESS safe.

The very fact that the university could *not* provide adequate security, in large part because of Utah’s gun laws, was why Sarkeesian cancelled her talk.

Unimaginative
5 years ago

Sorry, Kittehs.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
5 years ago

Your safety is important, but your personal decision to carry a gun doesn’t actually have anything to do with what happened with Sarkeesian’s talk at the university, which is why I resent your trying to use the natural sympathy that people here tend to feel towards victims of stalking as a Trojan Horse to advance the idea that concealed or open carry laws in general are OK.

Again, you’re making an irrelevant argument, and you’ve already been asked to stop, so why are you still pushing this derail?

LBT
LBT
5 years ago

*walks in*

*sees current tangent of thread*

*walks right out again* NOPE

pallygirl
pallygirl
5 years ago

Because this isn’t about guns per se but about stereotyping:

This would not be tolerated if somebody were making a steriotype related to mental illness, gender, etc., but it’s not only being tolerated but defended and modded when a person who is being steriotyped objects to it.

Having a mental illness, being female, or being in an ethnic minority, or having a disability are not personal choices.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
5 years ago

Nova, you are way the eff out of line. You are raging at us? For what? Because you aren’t in the loop on the investigations so therefore no investigation is taking place? Because you would be a complete fool to carry a sidearm that you did not intend to use if necessary and we all know that? I have no idea why you are taking your rage out on this group of people but you absolutely need to stop it right now.

pecunium
5 years ago

NovaL My statement is a definite difference from statements that anybody openly carrying a gun is an imminent threat and that carrying a gun is, in and of itself, an aggressive act. Nobody here can know that, now can they?

I’m going to disagree.

Anyone carrying a lethal weapon, is *by definition* a threat. The first thing I do when I see a cop is notice if they are left, or right, handed: so I know what to be looking for if they decide to clear leather. I spend a lot of time watching their body language (and if in pair/groups, the way that unit moves), because I can’t know what is going to get their attention and cause them to pull their weapons out.

If they do, I want to be out of the line of fire.

This is true of anyone.

That’s without going into the political/terroristic aspects of the “open carry” movement. I get a lot of those idiots talking to me about it (they seem to think my being a vet is going to make me specifically sympathetic… I’m not. I have a qualified agreement, which tends to go right out the door the moment they go off on a racists/eliminationist tangent. So far the ratio for that is 1:1).

Carrying a weapon for which there is no obvious need, in a manner which makes it clear to everyone that you are doing it… is an offensive act.

Nobody can broad brush the entire population who chooses to carry a firearm yet… there it is.

I am more than willing to grant all sorts of benefit of the doubt to people who have a permit to carry concealed. They are not making me aware (directly) of their desire to carry lethal hardware. I can (and generally will) accept the argument they feel some legitimate need to carry, but that’s not the case for people who carry openly.

And it’s certainly not the case in the present political climate.

A vast majority of those carrying a gun have no intention of hurting anybody, unless they’re in imminent danger.

Interesting thing: a couple of studies show that carrying a weapon (specifically a firearm) raises the estimation that other people are doing the same and lowers the threshold at which one considers pre-emptive recourse to violence (i.e. people were more willing to engage because they could be “defensive” by drawing their weapon, “just in case”.

I (as a person of experience) automatically assume some one with a visible firearm (esp. a handgun) is a threat. I consider what defensive tools I have ready to hand. I “paint” them in my head. I prepare for the possibilty they will decide to engage in random acts of violence.

Because the cost of not making such an assumption is too great.

hellkell
hellkell
5 years ago

All the while, death threats will continue to silence people, because you’re more concerned about what’s in my back pocket than doing something that will actually solve the problem.

And that’s why this place has become so ridiculous. It’s become what it professes to hate.

Bullfuckingshit. You knew from the start you’d get this reaction, it was your first sentence when you initially brought this up. I’m very sympathetic to what you’re going through, but you’ve been repeatedly told to drop it. No needed to know what was in your back pocket.

Nice flounce, BTW.

kittehserf - MOD
5 years ago

CAN IT, NOVA.

You’re being bloody keen on pushing boundaries, aren’t you, persisting with this?

Yes, I just unapproved your latest comment.

Nick Kavanagh
5 years ago

I work in a customer service industry, I have to be nice to everyone, but I will not, will not, wait on a customer carrying a gun. I feel it puts me in a dangerous position that I do not have to be in in the performance of my job.

Nick Kavanagh
5 years ago

And after posting I realized that I’m furthering a conversation no one wants to have atm. I apologize.

strivingally
5 years ago

I’m annoyed at Nova continuing the argument but I’m also annoyed at everyone trying to get the last shots in (no pun intended) as the door slams on the conversation topic. Can we get back to discussing misogyny?

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

I think that’s a great idea. You first, strivingally.

Michael Lindsay
5 years ago

My only point is that banning guns, from one single event or the entire world, will not stop this kind of thing from happening. Tracking down and prosecuting people who make death threats will.

Nah, but they could conceivably make things a lot worse. As I said, all it takes is a panicked gun owner to start firing wildly at the mass shooter and you could double the body count with “friendly fire”!

strivingally
5 years ago

Sure thing!

Looks like the Totes Not Misogynist Gamers are overlapping with the Totes Not Misogynist Atheists today:

https://twitter.com/femfreq/status/522933269818404864

pallygirl
pallygirl
5 years ago

Wow, it’s like being an atheist is a hallpass to being an arsehole. In the minds of some atheists.

I’m not sure that atheism is the cause of arseholeness though.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
5 years ago

Ah, but you see, you’re being the right kind of asshole, so that’s OK.

strivingally
5 years ago

That’s pretty much Dawkins’ unofficial motto, isn’t it?

pallygirl
pallygirl
5 years ago

I’m not sure why the atheist dudebros think they are superior to religious people. To me, it looks like most of them simply replaced one source of faith with another. But it’s still all faith-based and not science-based.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
5 years ago

He’s the cleverest asshole of all, yes he is! It must be nice to be that impressed with yourself.

pallygirl
pallygirl
5 years ago

Comment above not meant to denigrate religious people – just realised it could be read that way.

What I meant is, if one argues that one is smart because one has rejected a faith-based belief system, then having a different faith-based belief system* means that one is not smart, by definition.

*worshipping at the feet of Dawkins, Dunderf00t, etc.

Dennis Jernberg (@dennis_jernberg)

I’m not sure why the atheist dudebros think they are superior to religious people. To me, it looks like most of them simply replaced one source of faith with another. But it’s still all faith-based and not science-based.

Yeah, the whole “bright” thing, with everybody else being of course the “dims”. IIRC there may still be some people who call themselves “brights”. But I bring up this failed attempt at rebranding because the sense of superiority behind it remains. And of course if we’re against, say, Dawkins, we must therefore be “dims” even if we’re metaphorically “bright”. There is no god, therefore let us deify our heroes and make sacrifice unto them…

That other source of faith they ditched their old faith for? Hero worship. Not coincidentally, Ayn Rand extolled it so much I suspect she was a breathless fan of Thomas Carlyle at some time in her life, perhaps in Russian translation when she was young. His On Heroes, Heroism, and the Heroic in History is practically the bible of hero cultism.

Belladonna993
Belladonna993
5 years ago

@Pallygirl

Here! Here! There is the knowable and the unknowable. Claiming to know the unknowable because reasons and your reasons are so much smarter than the reasons of the people who claim to know the other unknowable doesn’t actually make you smarter.

Belladonna993
Belladonna993
5 years ago

Sorry, a few commas might have made my last comment just slightly more parsable.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
5 years ago

@ Belladonna

It does make you a smug asshole, though, and nobody likes them. Well, except for the Dawkins fanboys.

Belladonna993
Belladonna993
5 years ago

@cassandrakitty

It does make you a smug asshole, though

That it definitely does! As for the rest, I guess it should be no surprise that the smug assholes admire the even more smug assholes. If there’s one powerful thing about faith, it’s that it gives people a way to decide what they aspire to be and then work toward it. That can be comforting or scary, depending on what the person takes from the “story” chosen.

gilshalos
5 years ago

I do find it encouraging that mainstream news are calling GGer’s out on their behavious.

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