Couple Say Scaring Protesters Was the Whole Point | 22 Words

Last year, a couple from St. Louis went viral after coming out of their $1.8 million mansion and brandishing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters during a peaceful march to the mayor's house.

And since then, while Mark and Patricia McCloskey have pleaded guilty, they have said that scaring the protestors "was the whole point" and they are showing absolutely no regret or remorse.

Mark McCloskey and his wife Patricia from St. Louis, Missouri gained notoriety for brandishing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters last summer.

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In a Monday interview with Fox Business, the couple shrugged off the severity of the fourth-degree assault charges because "that's exactly what I did."

He said he couldn't argue with the charge - purposefully placing people in the apprehension of immediate physical injury - when it was presented by the prosecutor because that was the "whole purpose of the guns."

The confrontation, which happened last June, saw a crowd of protesters pass through a private neighborhood on their way to a peaceful demonstration outside the mayor's house.

McCloskey said he needed to put them in "that immediate fear of physical injury" to stop them from "killing me and burning down the house."

They avoided jail time for the incident but were ordered to pay a collective fine of $2,750 and forfeit their guns to be destroyed. The majority of that sum came from Patricia McCloskey's Class A misdemeanor of second-degree harassment.​

Shockingly so, the couple has received an outpouring of support since pleading guilty last Thursday.

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McCloskey added that "a lot of people" have been willing to help out with replacing their guns that were destroyed as part of the plea deal.

"Everyone has been very supportive. There are a lot of AR-15s out there in the world [and] a lot of people are willing to help us out."

McCloskey has repeatedly justified his actions as "self-defense" and is using his newfound popularity among conservatives to run for a Missouri Senate seat.

On Saturday, McCloskey posted a photo of himself on Twitter holding an AR-15-style gun with the caption "Checking out my new AR!"​

​He told Fox Business that he is still waiting for his background check to be completed, but will be able to pick up the gun in three days if he hasn't heard back, as the rules of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives currently permit.

​In an interview with Mark McCloskey, he said the protesters "smashed down" the gate.

"As soon as I said the words 'private property,' it seemed to enrage them," he told Fox News, "I ran in, got my rifle. I started standing on the wing of the patio saying, 'Private property! Get out! Get out of here!' They kept pouring in. That seemed to make them want to come forward.

Moments later, Mark McCloskey appeared on his patio holding a rifle. He was separated from the protesters by a large hedge. "Get the hell out of my neighborhood," he yelled. "Private property - get out. Get out." Some protesters yelled "calm down," while others swore at him.

The McCloskey's would later tell police that the protesters were armed. Marchers say no one on their side drew a weapon. The state of Missouri does allow the open carrying of firearms, as long as it is not done in a threatening manner. The couple also said they drew their weapons because of the threats on their lives. However, Mark McCloskey also told an interviewer at KMOV that "the threats happened probably after we got the guns".