• 72°

Cal Thomas: Government really is coming for our guns

By Cal Thomas

For years, conservative groups and especially the National Rifle Association have been warning that the government would find a way to confiscate the guns of law-abiding Americans. Many dismissed what they regarded as a scare tactic designed to raise money.

What is happening in St. Louis should awaken us to the fact that those fears are well founded.

The top prosecutor in St. Louis has charged a married couple with “felony unlawful use of a weapon for displaying guns during a racial injustice protest outside their mansion.”

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who the media identify as being “white,” are in their 60s. Both are personal injury attorneys. Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says their actions risked creating a violent situation during an otherwise “peaceful protest” last month.

Doesn’t Gardner have it backwards?

The gun owners, who say protesters had trespassed on their property, claim they were protecting their home from what could have turned into a violent mob as they no doubt had seen happen on TV in other cities. A case could be made that their display of weapons prevented violence, which is one of the purposes of the Second Amendment. Having a gun for personal protection can be a deterrent without it ever being fired. The McCloskeys did not fire their guns, but only waved them at the protesters while yelling at them.

The McCloskeys have some powerful defenders, including President Donald Trump and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, who has said he will pardon the couple if they are convicted. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO, is another supporter. Hawley has asked Attorney General William Barr to begin an investigation to determine whether the McCloskey’s civil rights have been violated.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is also on the side of the McCloskeys. Schmitt has filed a brief with the court that says in part, “The right to keep and bear arms is given the highest level of protection in our Constitution and our laws, including the Castle Doctrine.” The Castle law was passed in 2017 and provides for “stand your ground” protection for citizens who feel threatened by others.

Police seized Mark McCloskey’s semi-automatic weapon and Patricia McCloskey later voluntarily surrendered her pistol.

This case is not only important on its own but demonstrates what could happen if Joe Biden wins the presidency. In March, while the COVID-19 virus was beginning to overtake us, Biden said this about Beto O’Rourke after O’Rourke dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed Biden: “You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me. You’re going to be the one who leads this effort. I’m counting on you. I’m counting on you.” He then added, “We need you badly, the state needs you, the country needs you. You’re the best.”

Last year while still a candidate, O’Rourke said during a debate carried by ABC News: “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15.” And after that, what? Having established a precedent that the government has a right to confiscate a weapon owned by a law-abiding citizen, what other guns would O’Rourke (and Biden) come for and on what grounds? What would stop them if more liberal judges are named to the courts and they ignore or re-interpret the Second Amendment?

Do any of the shooters in our major cities pay attention to anti-gun laws or laws against murder? By definition, they are lawbreakers and no one has been able to tell me how passing more laws will suddenly turn them into law-abiders.

By brandishing their weapons, the McCloskeys possibly deterred the marchers outside their home from engaging in actions far worse than their alleged trespassing. If they are convicted, they should be immediately pardoned. This should be a lesson about one of the many dangers of a Joe Biden presidency.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com

Comments

Business

Pandemic inspired creation of Salisbury Dance Academy

Business

Staffing agencies say more jobs available than job seekers

Elections

Political notebook: Heggins calls on U.S. Senate to pass ‘HEROES’ Act

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools to sell old devices for $4.6 million

Education

North Rowan Elementary adds outdoor classroom space as schools cope with COVID-19

Crime

Car chase from Mooresville mobile home, through cornfield produce charges for two

Crime

Blotter: Law enforcement responds to more than 20 vehicles break-ins

Local

Meals on Wheels kicks off August is for AniMEALS campaign

Coronavirus

Salisbury Sheetz temporarily closed after three employees test positive

Ask Us

Ask Us: What was fate of Terrace Theatre’s time capsule?

Local

Strongest quake in a century felt by Salisbury, Rowan residents

Crime

Blotter: Pair charged with prostitution, solicitation

Local

Kannapolis woman killed, others hospitalized after early Sunday crash

News

5.1-magnitude quake hits North Carolina

Health

A symbol of hope: Wallace Cancer Institute opens this week for patients

Lifestyle

Historic Salisbury Foundation’s 2020 OctoberTour to give participants new views into old landmarks

Coronavirus

Pandemic has impacted campaigning efforts for both county Republicans, Democrats

Local

County commissioners will discuss restructuring environmental health department

Business

Kannapolis data shows proof of economic growth

Local

Marriages for April 2020

Education

Bids for Rowan-Salisbury Schools devices tops $4.5 million

Local

April 2020 corporations

Business

Wallace and Graham receive Trial Lawyer of the Year award

Business

Biz roundup: New job retention grants open to North Carolina businesses