California man arrested after multiple threats against dictionary
A California man was recently arrested for threatening to kill and bomb Merriam-Webster dictionary employees because of the reference book’s definition of “girl” and “woman.”
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Jeremy David Hanson, 34, of Rossmoor, Calif., sent a series of threats to the dictionary company from October 2-8, 2021.
The messages, sent via the company’s website and in the comments section of its web pages, repeated disturbing violent threats, such as saying that employees should be “hunted down and shot”, that the office should be “bombed”. and used derogatory slurs against LGBTQ people.
Law enforcement authorities later identified the user who made the threats as Hanson. Following the threats, Merriam-Webster closed its offices in Springfield, Massachusetts and New York for about five business days.
While the specific reasons why Hanson became so enraged aren’t entirely clear, he generally took issue with the more “transgender-friendly” dictionary definitions of “woman” and “woman.” On October 2, 2021, Hanson, using the handle @anonYmous, reportedly wrote, “It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster is now telling blatant lies and promoting anti-science propaganda. “Gender identity” does not exist. The fool who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot.
Hanson also allegedly sent a threatening message via the website’s “Contact Us” page: “You [sic] the headquarters should be shot down and bombarded. It’s sickening that you gave in to cultural Marxism, anti-science tranny [sic] the agenda and changed the definition of “woman” as part of left-wing efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality. You evil Marxists should all be killed. It would be poetic justice for someone to storm your offices and shoot down the place, leaving none of you alive.
“Jeremy Hanson is charged with uttering hate-motivated threats of violence,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said in a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. April 22. a right to speak their mind, but repeatedly threatening to kill people, as has been alleged, takes it to a new level. We will always pursue individuals who attempt to intimidate and isolate members of our community by inciting violent and hateful acts.
Currently, Hanson is facing a charge of “interstate transmission of communications to injure the person of another,” which could result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a fine of $250,000.
But he could soon face additional charges, as “the investigation has identified numerous related threats, including against the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Land O’ Lakes, Hasbro, Inc., IGN Entertainment, President from the University of North Texas, two professors at Loyola Marymount University and a rabbi from New York,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
These threats from Hanson, while shocking and disturbing, are not the isolated outbursts of a hateful individual. With the recent series of anti-LGBTQ and anti-transgender laws advancing in many state governments across the country, the political climate has created an atmosphere where anti-trans animosity is not only more common, but even tolerated in some circles.
However, the law enforcement officials who assisted in Hanson’s arrest seem determined to quell such heinous violence.
“Hateful threats and intimidation have no place in our society,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in the April 22 statement. “My office and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate threats against members of our communities, no matter what corner of the internet they come from.”