Because you never know when shit might go down at the Pioneer High Choral Cavalcade

Stolen from the pages of Facebook to demonstrate to those outside of Michigan what a thoroughly backward and fucked-up state we find ourselves living in.

pioneer

And, yes, because schools are so fucking terrifying, we have the right here in Michigan to carry loaded weapons around inside of them.

[For a more well-thought-out post on the subject of guns in schools, I’d encourage you to read “The Problem, According to the NRA: Not Enough ‘Good’ Guns in Schools,” which was written back when I still had the energy to engage on topics like this, instead of just throwing up my hands and saying “Michigan’s fucked.”]

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67 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted March 5, 2015 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    In this guy’s defense, it was reported earlier today that terrorists were afoot in Ann Arbor public schools.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/03/1_ann_arbor_student_2_staffers.html

  2. Posted March 5, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    What the actual fuck?

  3. Posted March 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    He’s apparently terrified of cameras. I was just sent the following photo, which I’m told is of the man with the gun.

    Screen shot 2015-03-05 at 10.11.11 PM

  4. Anonymous
    Posted March 5, 2015 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Maybe when he saw “choral” he thought of the shootout at the OK Corral.

  5. Posted March 6, 2015 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    The legality is irrelevant. It was just a stupid move.

    Plenty of things are legal that are simply stupid in practice.

    He should be publicly named and shamed, repeatedly if possible.

  6. John Galt
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Had ISIS tried to take over Pioneer High during this recital you would all be singing this brave man’s praises right now.

  7. deleuzean
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I’m guessing he’s just a scared guy who genuinely thought himself to be doing something positive – potentially providing protection for others.

    Obviously it’s problematic, but I think it’s more our responsibility to change this culture of fear than it is to make pariahs of our fellow citizens.

    At any rate, I’d be interested to hear his side.

  8. deleuzean
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Also, I just had an “active shooter” response training this week at work. So FYI this sort of thing is 100% illegal on the UM campus. It’s one time that UM having it’s own separate governing laws is a good thing.

  9. Demetrius
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    This is just the beginning.

    The gun-fondlers are becoming ever-more brazen and extreme — acting out as individuals (like this guy) or in groups that now periodically show up at restaurants and coffee shops, etc., to exercise their “right” to terrorize the general public.

    I predict we will have self-appointed militias roaming the streets enforcing home-grown “justice” before too long.

  10. EOS
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Well, now Ann Arbor schools are exponentially less likely to be a target of the next SSRI patient wanting his 15 minutes of fame. Maybe it would be a good idea to invite this man and the press to an upcoming YSD event.

  11. Taco Farts
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    He plans on waving his piece around at Art Fair this year (and subsequent years) too.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/OpenCarryAnnArborArtFair/

    Josh Wade updated the description.
    July 18, 2014

    The group name pretty much sums up the purpose of the group. Every year (starting 2015) we’ll all head on down to the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair on the Saturday of the event. We’ll park in the underground parking structure between Fifth and Division and meet on the bottom floor at noon. From there, we’ll all disperse around the art fair and enjoy a nice safe day.
    Like

    Josh Wade created the group.
    July 18, 2014
    Like

  12. John Galt
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    You have no idea how many terrorist plots this man has foiled just by strutting around with his gun on his hip. This man is an American hero. I hope someday there is a statute built in his honor. If it were up to me I would rename the school after him.

  13. Taco Farts
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    JG: “I hope someday there is a statute built in his honor. ”

    I see what you did there.

  14. Jules
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    What Peter said, times a million. Ass.hole.

  15. Linh
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Bravo to the teacher for calling the police and keeping the students calm. I’d love the focus of the conversation to be on their reactions and how teachers and administrators have to keep it together for the sake of the students and community. I can’t imagine a child performing for loved ones and peers only to see this in the audience. How terrifying!

  16. Mariah
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    As someone who had a shooting at her high school *by* an adult, and witnessed the fallout with the other adults (teachers, principal, etc) and how it impacted the whole school, (students’ mental health included) over the ensuing years, 1) this is especially frightening, and 2) I do give special props to the teachers and staff for acting quickly yet quietly. They are definitely heroes in this scenario. But it’s so crappy they’d even be put in this situation, I’m sure we can all agree.

  17. Meta
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    MLive now has the story.

    Ann Arbor police officers were called to Pioneer High School Thursday evening after an attendee at the Choral Cavalcade choir concert was spotted openly carrying a firearm.

    Sgt. Shane Dennis said officers responded to the school at approximately 7:30 p.m. to investigate the incident.

    “The individual has a concealed pistol license and you cannot carry a concealed weapon at a school, but you can open carry in a school [with that license],” Dennis said.

    “It might sound like that doesn’t make any sense, but that’s the law.”

    According to a Facebook post from Ann Arbor musician Brian DiBlassio, Pioneer director of choirs Steven Lorenz spotted the man with the gun in the audience and made the initial call to the police.

    Other parents and students who attended the event expressed concern via Facebook and other media.

    Read more:
    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/03/man_openly_carrying_pistol_sit.html

  18. Mr. X
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Linh, not everyone shares your opinion that the teacher should be praised for calling the police. Here’s a comment posted to the Ann Arbor News story noted above.

    It sounds like Pioneer director of choirs Steven Lorenz owes everyone an apology for “screaming fire in a crowded theater.” He should understand the law before wasting everyone’s time including the police.

  19. Ruth Kraut by proxy
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    http://imgur.com/VEgZUNn

  20. Lisa Dengiz
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The gunslinger is the grandson a former AAPS Superintendent who was also at the concert. Thanks to Michigan’s backward elected officials, it is sadly and horrifically lawful to open carry in in schools.

  21. Anne
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Not that it matters as I think this is a totally insane part of the open carry law in Michigan (well the whole law is insane), but I can’t help but wonder the level of hysteria if the man was black and legally and openly carrying a gun. According to some folks who commented on Ann Arbor News this event wasn’t that disruptive and folks should stop whining. I wonder if it would have been a different story and outcome for the evening if the man wasn’t so white and clean cut looking.

  22. Lisa Dengiz
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    He didn’t need to have an intent to do harm. Just slinging the gun and extra clips to a choir concert full of middle and high school teens and families is in itself a needlessly provocative, narcissistic action. According to parents who were present, the students on stage were very scared.

  23. Mr. X
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Agreed. We should arm a few young Middle Eastern men and see how they fare in a similar environment.

  24. Lynne
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    It absolutely would have been different if the man was black and wearing clothing such as a hoodie and saggy pants. My impression of guys who pull these kinds of stunts is that they are the worst cowards. They aren’t so much afraid of something happening at the event as they are of losing privilege and all of this open carry is essentially really about throwing their privilege into everyone’s faces. It is essentially dick waving.

    What scares me about this is that although most gun owners aren’t like this, the ones who are clearly don’t have good judgement and those are the last people who should be at a school with a gun. It is nuts!

    It is also our own fault as a community. We voted in the folks who passed the laws which make this behavior legal after all.

  25. Dan Meisler
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Some concerned citizens are planning to speak at the next Board of Education meeting (Wednesday 3/11) to express our displeasure and desire for a new policy to prevent this type of thing from happening in the future. The schools are hamstrung by the nonsensical state laws on gun rights, but I believe they could enact some kind of policy that would discourage people from “open carrying” in schools and/or enable schools to enforce some common sense safety measures if an open-carry advocate does something similar again.

  26. idea man
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Would it be legal for me to bring a shotgun to the next public event at Pioneer and hold the barrel to the head of the man with the handgun in order to ensure that we’ll all safe? And, of course, there would have to be someone with a gun held to my head, to make sure that I didn’t do anything dangerous. And so on. And so on.

  27. Ytown
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a CPL, however I don’t understand the hysteria and criticism of this guy doing something legal. Granted it might not be the best choice, but there is nothing illegal about it. As far as the criticism of him carrying in Pioneer during a choral concert, I don’t think we have grasp on when and where an insane person might commit an act of terrorism. Nobody thought a person would shoot up a movie theater, an elementary school, a mall or anywhere else. Nothing wrong with being prepared.

  28. EOS
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Wish there was a like button Ytown.

  29. Lynne
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think having a gun in a public place like that is likely to actually make anyone safer. If open carry is allowed, then how are folks going to distinguish between bad guys with a gun and good guys with a gun? If you have to wait until the shooter starts shooting, that is too late. However, making open carry legal means that simply walking into a school with a gun is no longer enough to consider it a threat so the open carry in schools law probably actually makes people less safe since it requires that no action be taken until the shooting actually starts.

  30. Rick Cronn
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    As a Democrat voting, bleeding heart Liberal, I find Liberal fear, overreaction, prejudice and hypocrisy just as amusing and more disturbing than what I see from the Conservatives who are fearful, reactionary, prejudicial and hypocritical.

  31. Wyatt Earp
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Well, even I, in the good old days, made law abiding cowboys check their guns at the sheriff’s office.

    When one who is not a lawman (or woman) brings a gun to a school, or a pharoah table, an artsy fair, or anyplace where those around the gun bearer do not know him or her, and do not know their intent – indeed, cannot know their intent as they are not in uniform or wearing a star – they should expect worry, concern, outrage, and verbiage concerning the gun bearer’s common sense from those around them. If they do not, then they are being willfully loco.

    If one is so a-feared on the wild streets on Ann arbor or of Ypsilanti that they must carry guns, then I suggest they stay home, corral their family and keep them within gunshot range for protection, and send the field hands into town for supplies while they stay safe and avoid others thinking them without good judgment.

  32. John Galt
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, we’ll never know how many lives this brave white freedom fighter saved last night.

  33. a question
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    This is going to sound as though it’s not a serious question, but it is. Could this young man with the gun have legally shot the person approaching him with the camera, arguing that he feared for his life.

  34. Wyatt Earp
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Rick, Eos, Galt, X, Ytown – I suppose one could wear nothin’ but one of them new fangled Frenchified speedos to a singin’ event with school children, but I figger it would be dam’ silly, upsetting to all and sundry, and more than a little creepy for everyone in sight and those knowin’ of it after the fact. Might not be illegal tho’, but still, not a prime trail to follow for a fellow who professes to respect his neighbors and their families.

  35. kjc
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    “Granted it might not be the best choice, but there is nothing illegal about it. As far as the criticism of him carrying in Pioneer during a choral concert, I don’t think we have grasp on when and where an insane person might commit an act of terrorism.”

    nor do we know who the insane people are, genius. what we do know is that someone with poor judgment (as even you admit) has a gun. we haven’t seen his prescription list (eos). for a couple of paranoid fucks, you two sure expect everyone else to trust strangers with guns.

  36. kjc
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    “As a Democrat voting, bleeding heart Liberal, I find Liberal fear, overreaction, prejudice and hypocrisy just as amusing and more disturbing than what I see from the Conservatives who are fearful, reactionary, prejudicial and hypocritical.”

    i know what you mean. i fear people who make false equivalences.

  37. Gah!!
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The kid (because he’s barely an adult) has a fascinating wedding registry, complete with the request for money for his new wife’s CCP and weapon.

    http://www.thewades.org/wedding/ourStory.aspx

  38. Paranoid Fuck
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    “paranoid fucks” thanks kjc!

  39. Paranoid Fuck
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Gah!!, you are pathetic. You can snoop through this mans private life, but you can’t post under your real name.

  40. Robert Davis
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Just seems to a be a scripted on cue made up event, Hoax. Nothing new, just BS to keep citizens bouncing of each other and guarenteed media content. The constant flow of content for advertising dollars. Oh how nice.

  41. Robert Davis
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Nice BS scripted test and content in a very blue town. Oh joy,,, in my opinion of course.

  42. mariah
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh Gah, I’m presuming you yourself realize the irony of posting anon yourself. It’s not “snooping in someone’s private life” if it’s an easily findable public websites someone put up *for themselves* ::sigh::

  43. mariah
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    ^that was directed at Mr “Paranoid” up there

  44. Paranoid Fuck
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    If snooping on the internet is not a big deal mariah, post your real name and we’ll look you up on “easily findable public websites”. I’ll wait for your reply.

  45. Snoop
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    There’s nothing here to worry about. According to his photos on Facebook he “chooses life”.

  46. Alex
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Speaking at the school board meeting will not work, they have no power to change the state law. If multiple people call the cops every time one of these jackasses shows up, the police should come just in case and the sheer waste of resources should get them to change the law.

  47. Rick Cronn
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Where’s the false equivalency between making the same comparison between reactionary Liberals and Conservative ones? Do you mean to say that conservative over-reaction is worse than a liberal one? I claim no difference in the order of magnitude except that I’m dismayed by those whom claim the Liberal mantle when rationalizing their biases believing that they’re on the higher ground. I’d wager that the fellow who had the gun is a liberal and could very well vote Democratic.

  48. Mr. Y
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    The Ann Arbor News interviewed Wade.

    Here’s my favorite quote:

    “‘Where better to be armed? Where is there a place you need to be armed more than a place that could be perceived as a target-rich environment?’ he said.”

    Wade also said his father was attacked at the event.

    “Wade said he was able to leave the auditorium without any major incidents, but his father was attacked in the lobby. He said the family has video of the incident and is considering pressing charges for assault and battery.”

    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/03/ann_arbor_school_choir_show_tu.html

  49. Paranoid Fuck
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    James Holmes apparently did pick the Century Movie theater in Aurora because of its gun-free zone policy. So it is not out of the realm that Pioneer’s auditorium would be considered a target-rich environment.

  50. Demetrius
    Posted March 6, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    This is not about gun rights, or safety, or any of that.

    This is about some scared, weak people trying to make themselves feel powerful by threatening and intimidating others — in this most recent case, a group of mostly (likely) women and children attending a school recital.

    Since, as someone pointed out above, “calling the police” in these circumstances is only a waste of time and resources (as they have the “law” on their side), I think we need a campaign that encourages people — whenever they are confronted by one of these loons, be it at a school, a coffee shop, a grocery store, or the Ann Arbor Art Fairs — to simply leave the situation as quickly and quietly as possible.

    If you’re in a grocery store, leave your cart filled with groceries in the middle of the aisle …

    If you’re in a coffee shop, simply walk away …

    If you’re at the Art Fairs, leave — and on your way out be sure to tell every vendor why, and why you won’t be coming back.

    And, if you’re at a school recital, certainly grab your child and head for the exits as soon as possible.

    I agree with others above that the only recourse we have (at this point) is to identify – and shame – these individuals for their pathological, anti-social behavior. If that means acting in ways that make us (and perhaps others) uncomfortable … by choosing to leave, and perhaps disrupting businesses and social gatherings, too bad.

  51. Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got some thoughts about the whole situation on my blog here:
    http://a2schoolsmuse.blogspot.com/2015/03/bringing-guns-to-school-legal-yes-ok-no.html#.VPsuxbN4q5M

  52. Jim
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Please read Ruth’s post, which explains how absurd the current rules are.

  53. Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    People expecting that every stay silent simply because of the law are truly missing the point. They also fail to understand that simple legality does not free one from criticism and ridicule.

  54. Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Alcohol is legal, but Wade would probably have been escorted out if he’d been swigging from a bottle of gin.

  55. Meta
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    For reference:

    How to Tell the Difference Between an Open-Carry Patriot and a Deranged Killer

    http://boingboing.net/2014/06/11/tom-the-dancing-bug-how-to-te.html

  56. Maria Huffman
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I was down at the county administration building the other day, and the man next to me was applying for CPL, and said his son already had one. And the question I have in all of this, is why do so many people want to have a gun? Probably, because we are at war, and the MO of this war is terrorist attacks.

  57. Maria Huffman
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    There is a subtext to the phrase, as a Christian, right? In my mind there is, anyway. That person wants to pack some heat against the people we are at war with, viewing the war as a war between religions,and not as between countries, or whatever it is ISIS is defined as theses days.

  58. Maria Huffman
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    And then Jeanice Swift talks to mlive and says well you know we have to think about a shooter coming to the schools, in her case, defining the shooter problem as an ASD kid who the educational system failed, and I think, way to work for ISIS, babe.

  59. Robert
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I just want to know what my rights are with regard to setting off firecrackers at public events like this concert Wade attended.

  60. Maria Huffman
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I personally believe the only people who should carry firearms in these kinds of settings, is law enforcement. If CPL’s keep getting issued, or for that matter, are not rescinded, this problem continues.

  61. ELO
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I would caution anyone inclined to rally behind Mr. Wade that he is not well mentally. It does not surprise me at all to hear him refer to this event as “target rich”. He needs help and hopefully this incident will make that obvious to his family before someone is hurt.

  62. Maria Huffman
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Well, ELO maybe you in particular have access to Mr. Wade’s medical records, and you are just trying to be nice in a roundabout way, or maybe you thought firing and outsourcing the janitors,was a good idea, and slandering the guy on Mark Maynard anonymously is fair game.

  63. Maria Huffman
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Either way, I would not assume or think that people who are carrying a concealed pistol do so because they are unwell, in any particular manner..I think they lack trust in their law enforcement, and probably not just law enforcement..other social institutions, as well.

  64. Maria Huffman
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    What happened to those let-go janitors was cruel. And being rehired at poverty wages…well…not much better..in fact I thought that was quite cruel to them as well. If someone had a medical condition to boot, in the face of that kind of life experiences, that’d be tough.

  65. Dirtgrain
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I feel safer when law abiding citizens carry guns:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/bizarre/dea-agent-foot-shoot-suit

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/08/05/oklahoma-police-kill-5-year-old-boy-while-shooting-at-snake/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/02/girl-who-accidentally-shot-her-instructor-with-an-uzi-said-the-gun-was-too-much-for-her/

    http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2015/02/woman_who_fatally_shot_herself.html

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/utah-teacher-shoots-herself-the-leg-while-school

    Yikes. Some of those people are/were supposedly gun professionals.

  66. Dirtgrain
    Posted March 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    EOS wrote: “Well, now Ann Arbor schools are exponentially less likely to be a target of the next SSRI patient wanting his 15 minutes of fame. Maybe it would be a good idea to invite this man and the press to an upcoming YSD event.”

    Ya, because people are safer when more bullets are flying around in crowded places. Great idea.

  67. Meta
    Posted March 17, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The Ann Arbor School Board is considering their response to guns in schools.

    Current school policy has the administrators lock down the school, call the police an ask the individual to leave.

    A new policy could state clearly Ann Arbor schools are weapons- or disruption-free zones, or the district could use state and national guidelines that state a weapon on campus constitutes an emergency, said Superintendent Jeanice Swift.

    She has discussed the situation with Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto, and the police department is supportive of the district.

    School districts are generally prohibited from enacting firearm regulations, Swift said, but it does not mean they are without authority from preventing visitors from carrying a gun.

    Simone Lightfoot, a board trustee, said she wants to inconvenience gun carriers as much as possible.

    “I want us to challenge this law in front of the legislature. I’m also interested in us suing or challenging through the courts,” she said to applause from the audience of about 20 people.

    Read more:
    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/03/ann_arbor_school_board_conside_4.html

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] later in the show, when I ask Irwin what, if anything, he can do to ensure that we don’t lose the right to carry loaded guns in schools, he responds by saying that, of the 42 bills passed this year by the legislature, 11 were laws […]

  2. […] later in the show, when I ask Irwin what, if anything, he can do to ensure that we don’t lose the right to carry loaded guns in schools, he responds by saying that, of the 42 bills passed this year by the legislature, 11 were laws […]

  3. […] later in the show, when I ask Irwin what, if anything, he can do to ensure that we don’t lose the right to carry loaded guns in schools, he responds by saying that, of the 42 bills passed this year by the legislature, 11 were laws […]

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