A Michigan man was not acting erratically or threatening other people at an Ann Arbor high school music recital, but he was openly — and legally — carrying a firearm.
That was enough for a school choir director to call police and for a music professor to publicly shame him at the event.
The incident happened Thursday evening at Pioneer High School when Steven Lorenz, the director of choirs at the school, spotted the man, later identified as Joshua Wade, openly carrying a gun and called police.
[Update: The Daily Caller contacted the open carrier, Joshua Wade, after this article was published. Wade granted permission to use his name while restricting other personal information given that he has received death threats online.]
As Michigan Live reported, police arrived to investigate and determined that Wade had not broken the law. While it is illegal for citizens with a pistol licenses to carry concealed weapons on school grounds, license holders can open carry, Ann Arbor police Sgt. Shane Dennis told Michigan Live.
But that was not good enough for one event attendee, University of Michigan, Flint music professor Brian DiBlassio.
DiBlassio took unsolicited photos of Wade carrying the holstered gun and uploaded his picture to Facebook along with two breathless posts.
The professor wrote in his first missive:
There’s an idiot with a handgun with two magazines attending the Ann Arbor Pioneer Choral Cavalcade, sitting in the tenth row. Police came in droves, escorted him out to interview him in the hallway and could do nothing based on his permit. He’s now back listening to 8th grade girls singing Hey Jude. My first experience witnessing this ridiculous show of…I don’t know what. Who does this at an event with 100s of children ffs??? Who does this anywhere? ‘Merica!
DiBlassio’s second post included the man’s picture and other identifying information. DiBlassio said that Wade is the grandson of a former superintendent of Ann Arbor public schools.
I decided that the parents of 200+ junior high and high school students might want to know that they had someone with a military weapon, replete with rounds of ammo, watching their kids sing (he was in the front row). After the last song (about global unity and peace, from the olympics. .oy), I got up on my soapbox — literally, it was a theatre box — and announced as much to the entire audience. In the lobby, [redacted], the former Deputy Superintendent for. Business Affairs. for Ann Arbor Public Schools lectured me on how wrong it was for me to disrupt a public event (disrupting people exiting the auditorium?), etc. Soon after I learned who brought the weapon into the concert. [redacted] grandson (phone in the pocket).
TheDC contacted DiBlassio, who was unapologetic over his actions even though Wade had every legal right to carry the gun.
Asked whether he thought Wade behaved in any way that should set off any alarms, DiBlassio said that “judging his behavior is speculative.”
“Ask any “people” you’d like why they were concerned. I can tell you that I am concerned about firearms being brought into schools,” he added.
DiBlassio says he is “otherwise fine with people owning guns,” but objects to them being brought into schools.
“I would like the law to be changed so that people cannot bring firearms into schools,” he said.
He also told TheDC that he was not aware of the legality of openly carrying on school grounds before speaking to police.
But he added that even if he had known that open carry was legal beforehand, “I would not have responded any differently, and I will not respond any differently in the future.”
In an interview with TheDC, Wade, who was attending the recital with his wife, father, brother, and grandparents, said that what happened Thursday was the first dramatic incident he’s had while openly carrying a gun. He even carried to his sister’s choir recital at the school in the fall with no incident.