A Stark Difference in Threat Model Responses

Anybody who has been following the Internet drama festival that is GamerGhazi/GamerGate knows that the Internet has been at operational level full retard for a few weeks now. One side of the debate, if you want to call it that, is trying its damnedest to preserve what it believes to be the gaming culture. The other side of the debate is trying to overturn what it believes to be deep seated misogyny within the gaming culture. There is also a third faction, the Internet trolls, that have been manipulating the other two sides like a masterful puppeteer for shits and giggles.

I find Internet drama entertaining so I’ve been watching this exchange since it first blew up. But nothing about this little debacle has really been worth writing about on this blog. Until now! Anita Sarkeesian, one of the feminists who has attracted the wrath of the GamerGhazi/GamerGate community, was schedule to speak at Utah State University. She cancelled because she found out that the laws in Utah allow individuals to carry concealed firearms on campus:

The university consulted with federal and state law enforcement and had determined it was safe to go ahead with the presentation.

But Sarkeesian pulled out after learning from university officials that concealed weapons would be permitted, as long as attendees have a valid concealed firearm permit in accordance with Utah law.

This shows a stark difference in thinking that I find rather interesting. In her opinion the combination of a death threat and permitted individuals being allowed to carry a concealed firearm to her speaking event constitutes a danger to her person. Were I in her shoes I would feel the opposite.

Permit holders by and large are more law abiding than non-permit holders. Obtaining a carry permit requires passing a background check. Passing a background check requires one not have a history of violent crime. So we know that a permit holder, statistically speaking, is more law abiding and has no history of violent crime. Permit holders are also less likely to commit murder than police officers, which is why I’d prefer being surrounded by permit holders than having police officers providing security.

Another thing to consider is the importance of response time during active shootings. In many cases active shooters end up killing themselves upon running into armed resistance. Armed resistance, in the instances where the active shooter doesn’t commit suicide, forces the shooter to focus on somebody other than innocent bystanders. When individuals are allowed to carry concealed weapons to a venue the response time to an active shooting is potentially instantaneous.

Sarkeesian obviously has a different threat model than my own. She likely sees armed individuals, in any capacity other than police (judging by her desire to have somebody perform pat downs of individuals attending her talk) , as a potential threat. Because of this she doesn’t want permit holders carrying firearms to her event. Our threat models also differ in how we treat Internet death threats. My threat model disregards Internet death threats (which I have received enough of in my life to paper a room in my dwelling if I printed them out) since they’re almost always sent by angry teenagers full of impotent rage. Her threat model obviously treats Internet death threats far more seriously.

In the end each person must create their own threat model and act accordingly. As an individual with an interest in security I find the criteria people use to develop threat models and the responses they create based on those models fascinating. I would love to know the criteria used by Sarkeesian after this GamerGhazi/GamerGate fiasco to develop her threat model and the responses she has created based on that model.

One thought on “A Stark Difference in Threat Model Responses”

  1. The local police determined that threat not to be credible and still offered to have increased security, but Sarkeesian cancelled anyway, knowing that cancelling would generate better press and she could pose as a victim when in reality she is not.

    She rails against the helpless damsel in distress in video games, yet she tries to play one in real life.

    As for her threat model, I wouldn’t be surprised if she is artificially creating those alleged threats herself.

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