A prominent feminist, Anita Sarkeesian, was scheduled to speak at Utah State University on Wednesday, but decided to cancel her appearance after her requests to the University to prohibit concealed carry were denied. The school had received email threats promising “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if she was allowed to speak. School officials notified the local police, as well as the FBI, and found that the threat was similar to other threats that Sarkeesian has received in the past.
After Sarkeesian learned of the threat, she immediately reached out to officials at the school with some questions and requests.
Sarkeesian asked school officials whether firearms would be allowed in the auditorium where she was scheduled to speak. USU officials replied that, in accordance with Utah law, anyone with a valid concealed carry permit would be able to enter with a gun, according to a statement released by the university.
She then made the decision to cancel her appearance via Twitter, citing the University’s unwillingness to change their policy on concealed carry.
Forced to cancel my talk at USU after receiving death threats because police wouldn’t take steps to prevent concealed firearms at the event.
— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) October 15, 2014
Shortly after this announcement, another tweet appeared that goes further into her requests that were also denied.
Requested pat downs or metal detectors after mass shooting threat but because of Utah’s open carry laws police wouldn’t do firearm searches. — Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) October 15, 2014
If the law allows a certain thing to occur, such as legally carrying a firearm into a certain location, it would be negated by forcing event goers to walk through a metal detector or pat them down to see if they have a firearm on them.
Even if the University banned firearms for her event as a one-time thing, would that really stop a person who was looking to do harm? We have seen time and time again that gun free zones simply do not work. Criminals, by definition, do not follow the law. A sign or announcement banning firearms hasn’t stopped them in the past.
If I were the speaker, I’d feel relieved to know that there could possibly be legally armed people at my event, especially if I had been threatened. If a shooter happened to begin to fire, he would have been met with resistance in an instant.
In the end, the ultimate decision to cancel the event was in her power, and that is the decision she chose. If she genuinely felt threatened, it may have been the right call. If the cancellation was an attempt to influence current Utah laws, that’s another story entirely.
We, as gun owners, should take a moment to applaud Utah State University and their unwillingness to infringe on the rights of students and faculty by continuing to allow them to protect themselves and others while on campus.