This happened where I grew up, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A man carrying an axe set an adult store on fire and burned it to the ground in a deluded effort to eradicate pornography. Thankfully, no one was there because the bad weather had kept the shop closed that day.
Kalamazoo police say the suspect who set the fire that destroyed an adult store did it in an effort to eliminate pornography from his neighborhood.
The fire broke out at Hollywood Nights on S. Westnedge near Whites Road late Wednesday afternoon. By the time it was out, the building had been leveled. A man who was seen by witnesses leaving the scene of the fire carrying an ax was later arrested after leading police on a brief car chase and then crashing.
Police sources identified the suspect as Mitchell Hapner, 41, of Kalamazoo.
He allegedly admitted to the arson. Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said the suspect told investigators he was trying to eradicate porn.
That makes sense. It’s not like he could burn down the internet, could he? This story kind of resonates with me because I might have become that guy. My first foray into political activism was when I was maybe 15 years old and I went to the Kalamazoo County Commission (or the township board, I don’t remember which now) and testified in front of them to urge them not to grant a license to an adult video store. I was a good little budding theocratic authoritarian.
Also a hypocrite, of course, because I had some dirty magazines in my room. The punchline is that I got them from a church youth group newspaper drive. Someone dropped off several bags of dirty magazines and the boys split them up and took them home. After I went off to college, my stepmother found a couple of them hidden in my room and made my dad burn them.