The Republican National Convention kicks off on Monday evening, ostensibly from Charlotte, N.C. but with many speakers bringing their message to the convention virtually, and unlike Democrats, who waited until the third night of the DNC to talk about gun control, President Donald Trump and the GOP are putting the Second Amendment front-and-center from the start.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis homeowners facing felony charges for displaying their firearms and pointing them at protesters who had entered their private neighborhood on their way to a demonstration outside the home of mayor Lyda Krewson back in June, will be speaking out on Monday night as the Trump campaign seeks to highlight both the disorder in cities controlled by Democrats, while at the same time reminding voters of the sharp contrast between the Biden/Harris anti-gun agenda and the pro-Second Amendment stance of the Trump administration.
The McCloskeys won’t be the only Second Amendment supporters making an appearance during the first night of the convention. Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was murdered in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, will also address the RNC on Monday evening. Unlike other parents like Fred Gutenberg who’ve embraced gun control in the aftermath of the shootings, Pollack has instead dedicated himself to school safety instead of gun bans. In fact, the Washington Times reported last August that the attack that took his daughter’s life made him a believer in the Second Amendment.
“I was never such a pro-Second Amendment type of guy until this happened to my daughter and I saw how she became such a victim on that third floor and no one came in to help her,” Mr. Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was among the 17 students and staff killed by a gunman on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told Fox News host Martha MacCallum.
Mr. Pollack cited the recent mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed and others attempted to hide or flee, as an example of people needing to be able to carry guns so they can fight back.
Every time that there’s a mass shooting and there’s a victim cowering, like at Walmart recently where those people were killed in Texas and there were victims cowering — it shows you how important the Second Amendment is,” he said. “When seconds count, you need to be able to protect yourself. First responders are usually minutes away.
“That is why I am such a believer in the Second Amendment and I’ll never let one of my friends or loved ones be a victim, like what happened to my daughter on that third floor,” he added.
The McCloskeys have received the lion’s share of media attention for their appearance at the RNC, but I think Pollack’s address could actually have a bigger impact on any undecided voters who might be tuned in. Last week, Democrats made it sound like if you didn’t support their anti-gun agenda, you were a horrible person who puts the profit of gun manufacturers over people. Pollack’s presence absolutely destroys that narrative. Here’s a man who suffered an unimaginable tragedy, but he didn’t embrace the idea of a gun ban or anything like that. Instead, he’s advocating for the right to keep and bear arms and the right of self-defense.
The contrast between the two campaigns as to how they treat the Second Amendment will be in sharp focus this evening. The messaging will be part of the Trump campaign’s broader message of law-and-order, but will highlight the fact that, unlike the Democratic party, Republicans believe that a safer society includes the right of self-defense and the exercise of your Second Amendment rights.