A man was arrested this week in California for sending death threats to the offices of Merriam-Webster Inc because he disagreed with the company’s dictionary definitions relating to gender identity.

Trigger Warning: This story discusses transphobic comments made by political leaders, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Jeremy David Hanson, 34, was arrested on the charge of “interstate communication of threats to commit violence,” after he threatened to “shoot up and bomb” as well as kill every employee of the Massachusetts-based reference book publisher.

Made Threats Via ‘Contact Us’ Section of Company Website

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According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Hanson sent various threatening messages via the “Contact Us” and comments sections of the company’s website between October 2 and October 8 last year. 

In the comment section of the word “female”, he is alleged to have written, “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.”

On the website’s “Contact Us” page he allegedly wrote, “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.”

US Attorney: We ‘Will Not Tolerate Threats Against Members Of Our Communities’

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In a statement, United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Rachael S. Rollins, said, “Hanson sent a multitude of anonymous threatening and despicable messages related to the LGBTQ community that were intended to evoke fear and division.

“My office and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate threats against members of our communities, no matter what corner of the internet they’re sent from. Perpetrators will be identified, arrested, and held accountable in federal court.”

Hanson is facing up to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 USD.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, he is also alleged to have made threats to the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, and IGN Entertainment.

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

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