St. Louis Couple Who Aimed AR-15 at Black Protestors Stir Fear at RNC With Bleak Picture of America
Mark and Patricia McCloskey — the couple seen in a viral video brandishing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside of their home earlier this summer — are now taking aim at Democrats.
On Monday, the pair spoke from their hometown of St. Louis during the 2020 Republican National Convention, addressing viewers in a four-minute clip about "defending" one's home and decrying anyone who attempts to infiltrate their suburban lives.
“What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country. And that’s what we want to speak to you about tonight,” said Patricia.
The McCloskeys were charged in July with unlawful use of a weapon by exhibiting. Video from the June 28 incident showed the two personal injury lawyers, who are white, holding guns in front of a large crowd of protesters outside their home. Mark was filmed holding a large assault weapon, while Patricia was holding a pistol. (Joel Schwartz, the couple's attorney, has said he believes "no crime was committed.")
During their remarks, the couple took turns commending President Donald Trump and reinforcing their belief that Democrats are out to stop the American life to which they've become accustomed.
"The radicals are not content just marching in the streets. They want to walk the halls of Congress. They want to take over. They want power," Mark claimed. "This is Joe Biden’s party. These are the people who will be in charge of your future and the future of your children."
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Echoing Trump's recent controversial appeals to the "suburban housewife" about stopping "low income housing [that] would invade their neighborhood," Patricia spoke of what she implied was an ominous future for her idea of a suburban lifestyle.
"They're not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities. They want to abolish the suburbs all-together by ending single-family home zoning," she claimed. "This forced rezoning would bring crime, lawlessness and low-quality apartments into now thriving suburban neighborhoods."
“Make no mistake," she added. "No matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America."
Also in the speech, Mark stated that "Democrats have brought nothing but destruction" and assured those tuning in to the political event that "you know that we're not the kind of people who back down."
Regarding their charges, the pair's attorney told PEOPLE last week that while "the case is currently proceeding through preliminary phases," he will "vigorously defend my clients in that not only are they innocent of any criminal offense under the laws of Missouri, they are victims of a brazen political prosecution."
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Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner previously told the Associated Press that charges were filed because "it is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner — that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis."
According to the AP, Gardner was recommending that, if the couple is found guilty, they should enter a diversion program such as community service and not be jailed. (A spokesperson for the Circuit Attorney's office declined to comment on the pending investigation on Tuesday.)
In a previous statement, Schwartz said in July: "I, along with my clients, support the First Amendment right of every citizen to have their voice and opinion heard. This right, however, must be balanced with the Second Amendment and Missouri law, which entitle each of us to protect our home and family from potential threats.”
Mark, during a June interview with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, was asked how it felt that the couple had become "the face of political resistance to the Black Lives Matter movement," to which he responded: “I’m not the face of anything opposing the Black Lives Matter movement. I was a person scared for my life who was protecting my wife, my home, my hearth, my livelihood.”
The RNC, like the Democratic National Convention last week, had to eschew the traditional convention format during the pandemic in favor of remote and video appearances. The president will accept this party's nomination with a speech Thursday from the White House.