Report: Leland Yee Threatened over Video Game Legislation

According to a report in the San Francisco Examiner, California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) received several death threats related to his work on video game legislation. The threats came to light as part of an investigation of threats against the senator that might be related to the Arizona congresswoman Gabriel Giffords shooting. Both Yee and his spokesman, Adam Keigwin, apparently received threats related to video games.

The investigations are the result of the Tucson, Arizona shooting rampage, and a heightened sense of fear among law enforcement and politicians who are rightfully concerned about safety.

The relevant part of the story:

"In one of the office’s most notable incidents, calls to Yee’s office said the senator was a "dead man" if he showed up to a 2005 news conference on violent video game legislation.


Keigwin received racist text messages again referencing violent video game legislation in 2009. Officers tracked down the person who made the threats and issued a warning, but no arrest was made, Keigwin said."

Keigwin went on to say that he did not have much information on how threats are handled because the California Highway Patrol manages those kinds of investigations.

Commentary: While I don’t agree with everything that Senator Yee has to say about a multitude of issues, it is disappointing to learn that someone would threaten him and his spokesman with death over his stance on video games. These individuals do not represent the gaming community in any way, who are capable of disagreeing without resorting to threats and hate.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner.

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  1. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    I think, in any group that has strongly held opinions, you’ll always get the immature and the dangerous ones, whether it be healthcare, homosexuality, abortion etc. Basically, I think any situation where people talk about drawing some kind of line there will be those who over-react, and often serve to actually help the very people they are trying to stop with their actions.

    Abortion doctors have been threatened and even murdered by pro-lifers, but it does not follow that all pro-lifers are in favour of that kind of behaviour, same with race or sexuality-based attacks, but the behaviour of the few should not define the attitude toward the many.

    That doesn’t mean it’s not a problem, and it is also our responsibility as people who are against the legislation of Video games, to conduct ourselves in a civil and intelligent manner when debating it, but the sad fact is, no matter what is being debated, there’ll always be nuts in the bowl, there have been those who have made actual threats against gamers, naming no names, but Yee is not one of them, and he deserves to be treated in a similar fashion to the way he treats us, we can disagree, strongly, but threats are entirely out of order.

  2. 0
    Bigt says:

    I’ll admit i was being a bit facetious, but the thing that itterates me about this is site is that its biased as hell, which I should already know, but its pretty much one of the few places on the net that reports on video game related news dealing with plitics which i’m interested in. 

    I really just want this site to report on the news and let it’s community decidede instead of going into every school boy’s argument of "nooooo, he did something bad, you can’t take my video games away from me, you bad bad man!"


    The part about me saying the community sending death threats was more of a stab of that fact its ironic that a congressman bringing legisilation aganst voilent video games is getting death threats from gamers who play violent video games.


  3. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    On the first point, I agree with your concerns, it was a bit worrying to read that Yee was threatened to not attend a meeting over Computer Game legislation, but not mentioned that those threats had nothing whatsoever to do with that legislation and were related to something entirely seperate.

    On the second point, I’ll admit to being a bit confused, I do agree that reporting should not be over-interjected with opinion, but bagging the entire community into ‘people who send death threats’ is no different than claiming that all Republicans were resposible for the shooting of Ms Gifford. Possibly I’ve simply mis-interpreted what you meant with the second half of that post.

  4. 0
    Bigt says:

    Two issues i’m starting to have with GP.

    First off, the writing on this site is getting really bad.

    Second, we get it, this site is on the side of gaming and all that stuff, but seriously, didn’t the writers of this site learn the first rule of journalism of not interjecting into every story you put on the site?

    Don’t worry, you don’t need to waste your time interjecting all your opinions about how violent games should be saved, your community will just send death threats to congressmen for your benefit anyways.

  5. 0
    Andy Hamm says:

    I really wish some gamers would take a step back, reflect, and realize how they are actually helping his case with such conduct. How will we prove that violent video games do not cause violence by threatening people with violence? I really hope this conduct stops, – I for one wish no harm against Leland Yee for presenting his case. I wish him the best of health although I strongly disagree with the proposal he is pushing.

  6. 0
    Thad says:

    Yes, how dare Yee comply with an investigation into threatening phone calls made to politicians?  When those detectives called him up, he should have just refused to answer their questions.

  7. 0
    Thad says:

    "Why wait over five years to say something about these so-called threats?"

    First two sentences of the article: "Detectives investigating the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona last weekend are considering a connection to California Sen. Leland Yee, who received death threats for criticizing former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin last year.  Yee, D-San Francisco, received calls Monday from sheriff’s detectives in Pima County, Ariz., where Giffords was among 19 people shot outside a Safeway store by 22-year-old Jared Loughner."

    You know, clicking on the link to the article takes the same amount of time as clicking the Post a Comment button.

  8. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    First thought is to call BS on this one. Why wait over five years to say something about these so-called threats? Sounds fishy.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(0-3), LSU(3-0)

  9. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    Technically, it’s not even Yee who’s calling it now, let alone five years ago. Gotta give him credit. Can’t stand that guy, but kudos for not bashing us on it. Politicians probably get threats like this for tons of issues, got lost in a "death threats" bin.

    Still, it’s not making us look good. Peace people!

  10. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    He wasn’t threatened over the legislation from what I read/heard, he was threatened over some shredded documents regarding Sarah Palin appearing at a University, it was simply a Video Game oriented meeting that he was threatened not to go to.

    The second case WAS a threat over the Video Game legislation, but that person was tracked down and dealt with at the time. I seem to recall that Gamepolitics covered this when it happened (and I also seem to recall that message was more racist than threatening)

    Edit: Oh, and it wasn’t the first time. This is from April last year:

    So, should we look at banning political rhetoric next?

  11. 0
    beemoh says:

    In fairness, it’s to Yee’s credit that he didn’t use them to further his agenda, like certain people I could mention, Mr. Thompson. And Mr. Vaz. And Mr. Atkinson.


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