NRA's gun rights message lingers despite legal, money woes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberals have cheered the highly public legal and financial jeopardy ensnaring the National Rifle Association, seeing the gun lobby's potential demise as the path to stricter firearms laws. But, it turns out, the NRA's message has become so solidified in the Republican Party that even if the organization implodes from bankruptcy and allegations of lavish spending and misuse of funds, its unapologetic pro-gun point of view will live on, as the heated debate increasingly shifts from Washington to the states.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis couple who gained notoriety for pointing guns at social justice demonstrators last year pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges and agreed to give up the weapons they used during the confrontation. © Provided by Associated Press Patricia McCloskey, left, and her husband Mark McCloskey leave a court in St. Louis, Thursday, June 17, 2021. The St. Louis couple who gained notoriety for pointing guns at social justice demonstrators last year has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Her husband, Mark McCloskey, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth degree assault and was fined $750. The couple also agreed to forfeit both weapons they used when they confronted protesters in front of their home in June of last year. (AP Photo/Jim Salter)
Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Her husband, Mark McCloskey, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750.
The story behind Hong Kong's Jardine Noonday Gun
Every day at noon, a large antique gun is fired in Hong Kong. No, this has nothing to do with war, protests or conflict. The Jardine Noonday Gun is about history with a side of charitable goodness. It gets its name from its owner, the Jardine Matheson Company, which was founded in the early 1830s. The powerful Hong Kong-based conglomerate, which has interests in everything from retail and real estate to automobiles, is known for its dramatic window-dotted skyscraper on Victoria Harbour -- just a few kilometers away from where the gun is perched on the calmer waters of the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter.
When several hundred demonstrators marched past their home in June of 2020, the couple waved weapons at them. They claimed the protesters were trespassing and that they feared for their safety.
The McCloskeys, both of them lawyers in their 60s, wore blue blazers and spoke calmly in answering questions from Judge David Mason during Thursday’s hearing. Mason asked Mark McCloskey if he acknowledged that his actions put people at risk of personal injury. He replied, “I sure did your honor.”
Mark McCloskey, who announced in May that he was running for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri, was unapologetic after the hearing.
“I’d do it again," he said from the courthouse steps in downtown St. Louis. "Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”
Someone is killed or injured in a road rage shooting every 18 hours, data shows
So far this year, a person has been shot and killed or injured in a suspected road rage incident on average every 18 hours in the United States, data shows. Then in April, it was a man driving with his wife near the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. In May, a 6-year-old boy in California on his way to kindergarten.
The McCloskeys' defense lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said after the hearing the couple had hoped to raise money by donating Mark’s rifle to charity, but acknowledged that it was an unusual request.
Because the charges are misdemeanors, the McCloskeys do not face the possibility of losing their law licenses and can continue to own firearms.
On the courthouse steps after the hearing, special prosecutor Richard Callahan said the misdemeanor plea was reasonable noting the McCloskeys called the police, no shots were fired and no one was hurt.
“But I think that their conduct was a little unreasonable in the end,” he said. "I don’t think people should view this case as some type of betrayal or assault on the Second Amendment. We still have the Second Amendment rights. It’s just that the Second Amendment does not permit unreasonable conduct.”
The June 28, 2020, protests came weeks after George Floyd's death under a Minneapolis police officer's knee. Mark McCloskey emerged with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semiautomatic pistol, according to the indictment. Cellphone video captured the confrontation. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.
San Jose mayor: Gun owners should cover the cost of gun violence (Opinion)
My gun control proposals include two measures that no other city nor state in the United States has ever tried: mandatory gun insurance to support victims, and mandatory gun fees to compensate taxpayers, writes Sam Liccardo. As with many other Silicon Valley innovations, we intend to implement and test these ideas, learn from our mistakes, improve, iterate and provide a platform for others to scale them to benefit their own communities. First, we will require every gun owner in my city to have liability insurance, regardless of where they purchased their gun.
The McCloskeys were indicted by a grand jury in October on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. Callahan later amended the charges to give jurors the alternative of convictions of misdemeanor harassment instead of the weapons charge. Under that alternative, the evidence tampering count would be dropped. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this June 28, 2020 file photo, armed homeowners Mark and Patricia McCloskey, standing in front their house along Portland Place confront protesters marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's house in the Central West End of St. Louis. Mark McCloskey, a St. Louis personal injury lawyer who gained national attention after he and his wife waved guns at racial injustice protesters who marched near their home last summer, is on the verge of a 2022 Senate run.(Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)
An investigation by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office led to the initial indictments — and harsh backlash from several Republican leaders. Then-President Donald Trump spoke out in defense of the couple, whose newfound celebrity earned them an appearance via video at the Republican National Convention.
Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has said that if the McCloskeys are convicted, he’d pardon them. A spokeswoman for Parson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment after the hearing.
Callahan, a longtime judge and former U.S. attorney, was appointed special prosecutor after a judge in December ruled that Gardner created an appearance of impropriety by mentioning the McCloskey case in fundraising emails before the August Democratic primary. Gardner went on to win reelection.
Gun sales rise among Black people as they look for firearm training and education .
Deborah Roberts grew up in a family of gun owners. But it wasn't until March this year that the 68-year-old finally pulled the trigger and purchased her own firearm. © Douglas Jefferson/NAAGA Members of the National African American Gun Association work on their aim at a shooting range in this undated photo. "I think the rhetoric and how things are stirred up in the country just made me feel like, if not now, then when," Roberts told CNN Sunday morning at the South River Gun Club in Convington, Georgia, with gun shots ringing nearby.