Campus Speech in the Crosshairs

This is an educational post as usual from “carteblanchfield,” but it also as usual raises some questions, specifically about the author’s conflation of the threat of “the deadliest school shooting in American history” targeting Anita Sarkeesian and other “feminists,” and the possibility that legal concealed weapon permit holders could be present and carrying at her talk at Utah State University.

School shootings are against the law. Someone intending to do that will carry weapons onto the campus whether or not they have a concealed weapon permit.

We also know (albeit on somewhat limited data) that concealed weapon permit holders commit crimes at a lower rate than the general public and possibly even at lower rates than sworn law enforcement officers.

I do not know what I would do if my life were threatened over my ideas. I don’t know that I would have the courage to speak publicly in any venue under those circumstances. But the author notes that Sarkeesian had been threatened in the past, so this was nothing new.

Which means what was new was campus carry in Utah. Which, to me at least, means that Sarkeesian hasn’t rationally assessed the threat against her life. If she thinks she is any safer from a violent attack against her or a random school shooting on campuses that prohibit concealed carry, I believe she is quite mistaken.

Carte Blanchfield

Last night, Anita Sarkeesian cancelled a speaking event, scheduled for today, at Utah State University.

Sarkeesian, a feminist media critic who addresses the representation of women in video games (and does so, I think, quite brilliantly) has been a consistent target of violent threats for some time. Such threats against Sarkeesian and other women in the video games industry have only escalated with the development of the so-called #Gamergate “movement” (for a primer on Gamergate, check out this article). There’s a lot to be said about Gamergate, about the culture-war identity politics at play in it, and about how its most strident, misogynistic voices exemplify the paradoxes of fictimhood at its most distilled – they are at once shrilly pseudo-aggrieved while simultaneously they threaten people who are genuinely marginalized – but that’s not the purpose of this post. Instead, I want to focus on the background and circumstances…

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