I must confess that I haven’t paid much attention at all to “Gamergate,” nor do I know or care about the feminist critique of the video game industry, because I don’t care a great deal about that industry at all.
If I did care about the indutry or its critics, I might know the name Anita Sarkeesian and think she is something of a big deal, as some others apparently do.
Sarkeesian is quite controversial in those (largely virtual) world, and regularly receives death threats. Law enforcement seems to think that these anonymous threats have little merit, and some critics seem to think that they may even be hoaxes called in by Sarkeesian supporters in an effort to raise her profile. I don’t think I’d go that far. While I’m not a huge gamer, I’ve spent enough time playing multiplayer games on Xbox to know that juvenile threats from 20-somethings acting like children are as rampant as they are unrealized.
Despite the heated rhetoric, Sarkeesian doesn’t appear to be in any danger, and routinely continues on with her work and lectures despite the barrage of empty threats against her.
That is why it is so odd that she backed out of a lecture at Utah State University for the most absurd of reasons.
Anita Sarkeesian has shown up for speaking engagements amidst terror threats before.
But after learning that Utah State University was legally forbidden from restricting firearms at a Wednesday lecture over which she received a death threat, the nationally-known feminist writer and video game critic canceled her appearance.
“Sarkeesian asked if weapons will be permitted at the speaking venue,” according to a statement released late Tuesday by USU. “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.”
Sarkeesian confirmed, via Tweet: “Forced to cancel my talk at USU after receiving death threats because police wouldn’t take steps to prevent concealed firearms at the event.”
This is simply a laughable excuse.
Sarkesian has spoken at numerous public venues before without her audiences being screened with metal detectors to verify that they were unarmed. She has only been “protected” by nothing more than a sign on a door that said firearms are prohibited, if those signs were even present at all.
Honestly, if someone did plan harm against her, does anyone really believe that an attacker would turn around and take his weapons back to his mother’s basement becuase a sign on a door said “no guns allowed?” For someone that is supposed to be rather intelligent, she seems childishly naive about the power of a sign or decal placed on glass door, and the ninja-like skills of campus security forces, whom are also often unarmed.
Despite the fact that 92-percent of mass shooting have occurred in “gun free zones,” and no concealed carrier has ever carried out an assassination in American history to the best we can determine, she cancelled her lecture because of lawful concealed carry by people vetted by the state and federal governments… individuals who have passed extensive background checks that many of her peers might not.
Sarkeesian’s decision to refuse to give her lecture at Utah State University was not based on logic. It was not based on reason.
It was not based on a credible threat to her life, or the lives of others.
Anita Sarkeesian appears to have cancelled her lecture based on either irrational fears, or political grandstanding against lawful concealed carry.
I’ll leave to her to choose her excuse.