Missouri candidate who aimed gun at BLM protestors loses bid
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)
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Mark McCloskey, the MAGA-supporting candidate for Missouri senate who aimed a firearm at peaceful Black Lives Matters supporters in 2020 has handily lost his bid for Senate. McCloskey received only 3% of the vote last night. 

While the field for Missouri Senator was crowded, McCloskey was not popular with voters, many of whom recognized him as a gun-toting extremist. He placed just 5th in the polls. 

The winner of the primary was Eric Schmitt, who beat out scandal-ridden former Missouri governor Eric Greitens among others. Both Schmitt and Greitens received a boost from disgraced, twice-impeached former President Donald Trump, who used his only available social media platform to endorse “Eric,” without sharing which one. 

McCloskey, meanwhile, became infamous along with his wife for pointing a gun at Black Lives Matters protestors who were walking in front of his home. McCloskey alleged he felt his life was in danger by the peaceful march.

McCloskey and his wife then became darlings of the conservative GOP movement, even speaking at the 2020 Republican National Convention. Both spoke in favor of gun rights legislation.

However, a recent study found that over 93% of Black Lives Matters protests have been peaceful. While over 7,700 protests took place across the country in the weeks and months following George Floyd’s murder, only 220 reported violence.

Most of those rallies labeled as “violent” involved protestors removing historical memorials to Confederate leaders. A report by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) which studied the protests found that, “Since Floyd’s killing, there have been at least 38 incidents in which demonstrators have significantly damaged or torn down memorials around the country,” with protestors taking down “colonial figures, slave owners and Confederate leaders” statues. 

After terrorizing the peaceful protestors, the McCloskeys were charged with a misdemeanor, and initially gave up their firearms willingly. However, just months later they filed to have their guns returned to them.

Despite public outcry, the then-Missouri Governor Mike Parson granted the McCloskeys pardons weeks later. Mr. McCloskey then decided to run for Missouri Senate, on a pro-gun and pro-Trump agenda. 

Prior to the primary, the candidate said, “my name is Mark McCloskey, and I can tell you one thing, there’s one genuine MAGA, America first, strong border, law and order, real American patriot in this race, and that’s me.”

Voters across the country took to the polls on Tuesday, with some surprising election results. In Kansas, an initiative to codify an abortion ban in the state’s constitution was easily defeated, sending shock waves through the GOP. 

McCloskey, meanwhile, still faces the fallout from threatening Black Lives Matters protesters. His law license is on probation for a year, and he must provide 100 hours of free legal services. 

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...