Anita Sarkeesian pulled out of and event at Utah State after a mass shooting threat
A feminist speaker well known for her videos criticizing the role of female characters in video games canceled a Wednesday speech at a Utah college after learning the school would allow concealed firearms at the event despite an anonymous threat against her life.
Utah State University staff members were notified of a threat to carry out a mass shooting at the school if Anita Sarkeesian, author of video blog “Feminist Frequency,” was allowed to deliver a speech on women’s role in video games, the Associated Press reports. The threat was delivered by someone claiming to be a student in an email claiming they would commit “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if Sarkeesian’s speech continued as planned.
“I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs,” said the email, the Standard Examiner reports.
The university decided Tuesday it was safe to commence with the presentation after consulting with law enforcement. However, the school also said it would allow attendees with a valid concealed firearm permit to attend the presentation, in accordance with state and local law.
Sarkeesian then decided late Tuesday to cancel her speech. A university spokesman said the FBI told officials the threat is akin to similar intimidating messages received ahead of public appearances by Sarkeesian, who has often been the target of Internet harassment from those who disagree with her beliefs.