The white St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their mansion spoke on the opening night of the Republican National Convention Monday. Their message: The Democratic Party is being driven by an out-of-control “mob” — and in Joe Biden’s America, they’re coming for you too.
“Democrats no longer view the government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens,” Mark McCloskey, seated next to his wife, Patty, said while addressing the convention via a pretaped video from St. Louis. “Not a single person in the out-of-control mob you saw at our house was charged with a crime. But you know who was? We were. They’ve actually charged us with a felony for daring to defend our home.”
On June 28, the McCloskeys were seen in front of their residence waving their weapons — Mark brandishing a long gun, Patty a pistol — as demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd marched toward the St. Louis mayor's residence.
The McCloskeys said that they feared for their lives and that the protesters were trespassing and threatening their property, which is in a private community.
They each were later charged with unlawful use of a weapon — a class E felony.
“It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest,” Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said in a statement. “While we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis.”
“We must protect the right to peacefully protest,” Gardner added. “And any attempt to chill it through intimidation will not be tolerated."
The confrontation became a lightning rod for both anti-racism demonstrators, who say the incident illustrates their concerns, and gun rights activists, who say the two were simply exercising their Second Amendment rights.
“America is such a great country that you not only have the right to own a gun and use it to defend yourself, but thousands of Americans will offer you free advice on how to use it,” Patty McCloskey told the convention.
“The radicals are not content just marching in the streets,” Mark McCloskey said. “They want power. This is Joe Biden’s party. These are the people who will be in charge.”
The McCloskeys highlighted at least three narratives that President Trump and his campaign are trying to convey to voters, none of them accurate: the Black Lives Matter movement is largely violent (it is not); Biden wants to “defund” the police (he does not); and Democrats want to “abolish” the suburbs (they do not).
“These are the policies that are coming to a neighborhood near you. So make no mistake,” Patty McCloskey said. “No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.
“They are not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities,” she continued. “They want to abolish the suburbs altogether by ending single-family home zoning. This forced rezoning would bring crime, lawlessness and low-quality apartments into thriving suburban neighborhoods.”
“When we don’t have basic safety and security in our communities, we will never be free to build a brighter future for ourselves, for our children and for our country,” she added. “That’s what’s at stake in this election. And that’s why we must reelect Donald Trump.”
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