On Wednesday our old friends Mark and Patricia McCloskey, two vindictive lawyers whose improper use of their firearms made them improbable spokespeople for the right to bear arms and/or shoot protestors, graced Missouri’s capitol to string together some words that were ostensibly about a voting bill. The bill in question, one of a number of state laws introduced recently to piggyback on the 2020 election’s election fraud myth, would eliminate mail-in ballots and electronic voting machines and require Missouri voters to show their photo IDs in order to vote.
Opponents of the bill say they are “concerned that Missouri will follow suit with other GOP-led legislatures to enact the most harmful and egregious voter suppression bills since Jim Crow.”
Mark McCloskey said that “what the government has told us for a long time now about safety, is that safety is more important than freedom. Well, ladies and gentlemen, solitary confinement in federal prison is pretty safe, but it’s not very free.” Even the local news reporter covering the event, which was organized through the Second Amendment group Concerned Citizens of Missouri and attended by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, seemed to struggle with how to summarize McCloskey’s bizarre speech—which bounced between lauding the First and Second Amendments and railing against the feds—before describing it as addressing “the topic of personal liberties.” Later, caught outside the building, McCloskey noted that “all Americans if they want to drive a car, book a hotel or go on an airplane have to show a photo ID. If that’s discriminatory, then it’s discriminatory in the sense that everybody is created equal.”
Though few of the McCloskeys’ appearances could top their video message to the RNC last summer, the couple has managed to turn a series of weapons charges for brandishing guns at St. Louis Black Lives Matter protesters into a pseudo-career as activist symbols of suburban white grievance. In late February, the couple attended another rally at the state capitol along with a number of Republican lawmakers to share, once again, the story of how they feared for their lives when a group of chanting activists marched by their gaudy Midwestern palazzo.
“If people aren’t willing to stand up for their rights, then they just become the slaves of the tyrants,” McCloskey said, according to a local ABC affiliate:
“The time has come for us to stand together and let the world know that we won’t be bullied and we won’t be shaped and that we are going to stand up for our rights.”
McCloskey reflected back on the events that happened on the front lawn of their home last summer and said after those events took place, he and his wife made a decision to let the public know what is going on and how dangerous the world is right now.
“The world is at a tipping point right now, our civilization, the future of our way of life of what made America great is right in the balance right now and everybody needs to stand up and let their voices be heard,” McCloskey said.
Following form, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has recently capitalized on the McCloskeys’ disingenuous turn from terrified personal injury lawyers with a thin understanding of gun safety to righteous defenders of “our civilization.” Spurred by an elevated national profile after he vocally opposed charging the couple for brandishing firearms at innocent people—a crime in the state—Schmitt announced his campaign for state Senate in late March. (Other claims to furthering “conservative values,” per his official website, include suing the entire country of China over the “immense negative impact that covid-19 has had on Missourians” as well as, naturally, “fighting cancel culture.”)
In February, a special prosecutor was appointed to take on the McCloskeys’ felony charges after the previous St. Louis attorney, a Black woman, was accused of using her role in the case for political gain. In October, a grand jury indicted the couple for weapons tampering and exhibiting a gun at a protest, charges Governor Mike Parson has said repeatedly he would “certainly” pardon.