Creepy Bigot Threatened, Menaced, Browbeat, Cowed, Bullied, Frightened, Scared Merriam-Webster
The US Justice Department announced Wednesday that Jeremy David Hanson, 34, of Rossmoor, California, pleaded guilty last week to federal charges of "interstate communication of threatening communications to commit violence" for a series of threatening messages he sent to the Merriam-Webster company. Also, while we thought for a moment that "interstate communication of threatening communications" sounded redundant, it isn't, since in the first case it's the act of communicating, but in the second it's the threatening message (a communication) itself. You're welcome, nerds.
Hanson, you see, didn't like Merriam-Webster's dictionary definitions of such terms as "woman," "girl," "boy," "female," and "trans woman," among others, so he threatened to bomb the company and murder its employees. He also pleaded guilty to a second count of the same crime for threats he sent to the president of the University of North Texas. The DOJ noted that in a "written statement of facts" included as part of his plea deal, Hanson also admitted to sending similar messages to a whole bunch of other people, businesses, and universities around the country who needed to know they should die violently for their crimes against the gender binary, including
[T]he Walt Disney Co., the Governor of California and the Mayor of New York City, a New York rabbi and professors at Loyola Marymount University. Hanson also admitted that he frequently selected the object of his threatening communications because of the gender, gender identity and/or sexual orientation of various persons.
He seems nice — not just a bigot but almost literally a Grammar Nazi, or at least thoroughly anti-semantic.
Hanson's been scheduled for sentencing on January 5, 2023.
Hanson sent numerous threatening, hate-filled messages to Merriam-Webster in October 2021 using its "Contact Us" page as well as the comments sections for various definitions — a feature I see the website has since removed, no doubt thanks to the efforts of others with grave concerns about protecting the gender integrity of the English language. He was arrested in April.
Hanson was driven to murderous rants at the communists and sickos running Merriam-Webster because, for instance, its definition of "female" includes "having a gender identity that is the opposite of male." And of course there's the inclusion of "gender identity" itself, which set him off because he's a bigoted asshole, as the DOJ news release notes:
Specifically, on Oct. 2, 2021, Hanson used the handle “@anonYmous” to post the following comment on the dictionary’s website definition of “female:” “It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster now tells blatant lies and promotes anti-science propaganda. There is no such thing as ‘gender identity.’ The imbecile who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot.”
Hanson also sent the following threatening message via the website’s “Contact Us” page: “You [sic] headquarters should be shot up and bombed. It is sickening that you have caved to the cultural Marxist, anti-science tranny [sic] agenda and altered the definition of ‘female’ as part of the Left’s efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality. You evil Marxists should all be killed. It would be poetic justice to have someone storm your offices and shoot up the place, leaving none of you commies alive.
But wait, there's more! In an October 8, 2021 message, Hanson shifted from saying it would sure be swell if someone would murder all the word nerds, to directly saying he'd handle that himself:
I am going to shoot up and bomb your offices for lying and creating fake definitions in order to pander to the tranny mafia. Boys aren’t girls, and girls aren’t boys. The only good Marxist is a dead Marxist. I will assassinate your top editor. You sickening, vile tranny freaks.
The DOJ notes that the messages caused Merriam-Webster to shut down its main office in Springfield, Massachusetts and its office in New York City for about five business days last October.
The company reported the threats to the FBI, which was able to trace the messages to Hanson's home computer, because thank Crom plenty of bigots don't bother trying to hide their IP addresses. Your young racist and homophobic bigots on 4chan know how to do that, but let's hope that's not something about which the general asshole community gets educated.
According to federal sentencing guidelines, Hanson could face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000, although we probably won't know about the terms of his plea deal until his formal sentencing in January.
Also too, the OC Register reports that maybe the poor guy simply has a mental illness that makes him a racist asshole, which is not an actual thing that mental illness does:
According to the statement of facts, Hanson “suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, Aspergers, anxiety and depression and he struggles with impulse control.” During an FBI interview in 2015, Hanson expressed remorse and promised not to send any more threats, according to court filings, but apparently continued to do so in the subsequent years.
At one point, Hanson’s mother told agents that Hanson knows the threats he makes online are illegal but is “unable to control himself or his emotions.” His mother also told the agents that Hanson is “usually able to vent his anger” to her but that after she goes to bed he “makes comments online without the added benefit of his mother as a filter or sounding board.”
This is where we point out that having a mental illness doesn't cause hatred — that's there already, along with dehumanizing the people someone hates. Here's a good explainer, although it's about even more horrific hate crimes like actually carrying out a violent attack.
[Hatred] (much less hatred of any particular group) is not a symptom of any mental disorder. Some disorders include symptoms that may be associated with diminished impulse control which could plausibly be related to reactive violent outbursts (e.g., “snapping” when someone makes a disparaging comment), but this does not plausibly relate to highly planned actions such as hate crimes.
Along those lines, it's certainly possible that poor impulse control could explain an outburst in public, but — and here, I'll emphasize that I am only a Doktor of Rhetoric and not a real doctor — it seems pretty unlikely that "poor impulse control" can explain sending multiple death threats all over the country over an extended period of time. No, not even if Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash imagined a future where violent criminals are required to have "POOR IMPULSE CONTROL" tattooed on their foreheads.
In conclusion, keep remembering to use your non-fighting words, and thank goodness we have Teen Vogue and the dictionary to help us make sense of all this madness.
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