An Orange County man was arrested and charged for allegedly making violent threats against the etymologists over at dictionary company Merriam-Webster Inc. for its inclusive language around gender, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts.
Jeremy David Hanson, 34, of Rossmoor was charged with one count of interstate communication of threats to commit violence, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement Friday. He has been released ahead of an April 29 court date.
On October 2, Hanson allegedly used the social media handle “@anonYmous” to comment on Merriam-Webster’s dictionary entry for the term “female.”
“It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster now tells blatant lies and promotes anti-science propaganda,” Hanson allegedly wrote on social media, according to the statement. “There is no such thing as ‘gender identity.’ The imbecile who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot.”
He is also accused of sending a message via the “Contact Us” page on the Springfield-based company’s website, saying: “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.”
Authorities claim Hanson sent another alarming message on October 8 to Merriam-Webster, threatening to bomb their offices for lying, according to the statement.
Due to the threats, the company closed its Springfield and New York City offices for about five business days, authorities said.
Officials also discovered that Hanson has issued similar threats to several other companies and individuals, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, IGN Entertainment, the President of the University of North Texas, two professors at Loyola Marymount University, a New York City rabbi, as well as “G.I. Joe” toy-maker Hasbro and dairy company, Land O’ Lakes, according to the statement.
Individuals or entities who believe they may be victims of this crime should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (888) 221-6023.
Hanson could face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
Joseph R. Bonavolonta, who is a Special Agent in Charge for the FBI Boston Division, said people have a right to express their opinion, but threats of violence “takes it to a new level.”
“We are always going to pursue individuals who try to intimidate and isolate members of our community by inciting violent, hateful acts,” he said. “Threats to life are most certainly not protected speech and they cause real fear in victims. Rest assured, the FBI will do everything we can to bring to justice anyone who commits these criminal acts.”
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