Anita Sarkeesian was forced to cancel a talk scheduled at Utah State University after anonymous emails threatened to commit the “deadliest school shooting in American history” at the event.

Email Threatens 'Deadliest School Shooting'

Sarkeesian, a popular feminist writer, whose blog, Feminist Frequency, focuses on sexism in video games, was scheduled to speak at the University on Wednesday. On Monday night, however, the University received an email from a person threatening to carry out a “massacre” if the event moved forward as scheduled.

“This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history, and I’m giving you a chance to stop it,” said the email.

The email continued, threatening the lives of feminists and women in attendance of the event, saying, “She [Sarkeesian] is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU.”

USU Refused To Ban Guns From Sarkeesian Event

Sarkeesian is no stranger to death threats, and authorities reportedly determined that these threats were no more serious than those Sarkeesian receives almost daily, and Utah State University announced plans to increase security at the event. However, Sarkeesian was not satisfied with the school’s plan, and was specifically upset at the school’s refusal to make the event a no-gun zone.

“As a Utah public institution, we follow state law. The Utah law provides that people who legally possess a concealed firearm permit are allowed to carry a firearm on public property like the USU campus,” said USU President Stan L. Albrecht in a statement.

Sarkeesian took to Twitter to explain her concern with Utah’s open carry laws, which allow gun-owners with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms onto public property, including schools. In an interview with Fox13 in Utah, Sarkeesian said that this was the first time she has ever cancelled an event due safety concerns.


Sarkeesian stated that one of the multiple threats sent to the USU administration did claim ties to the “#GamerGate” movement, which claims to defend the traditional “gamer” identity. GamerGate frequently speaks out against Sarkeesian and her online vlog series “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” points out the countless forms of sexism common in popular gaming.

Sarkeesian also expressed disappointment with USU for refusing to screen for guns at the event and failing to inform her of the threats in a timely manner, writing, “USU acted irresponsibly. They did not even inform me of the threat. I learned about it via news stories on Twitter after I landed in Utah.”

In lieu of attending the talk as planned, many USU students held a rally on campus to support Sarkeesian.

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