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Letter: Waving a gun in a ‘threatening manner’ is not a right

Letter: Waving a gun in a ‘threatening manner’ is not a right

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Couple draws guns on protesters heading to St. Louis mayor's home

Armed homeowners, Mark T. and Patricia N. McCloskey, standing in front their house along Portland Place as they confront protesters marching to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's house Sunday, June 28, 2020, in the Central West End of St. Louis. The protesters called for Krewson's resignation for releasing the names and addresses of residents who suggested defunding the police department. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Regarding “Parson says the McCloskeys ‘had every right’ to wave guns and shout at protesters” (July 15): Gov. Mike Parson recently commented that the McCloskeys were within their right to be waving their guns around as protesters marched past their house. This is incorrect.

The Missouri statute states that a person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons if he or she “exhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner.”

This is an example of just such an angry or threatening manner the law was written for. Then to threaten Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner with removal over the proper enactment of her duties is wrong. Parson’s comment comes across as a misinterpretation of Missouri law and is indefensible.

Had protesters been trespassing on the McCloskys’ property, this would be different. The couple’s aggressive, threatening behavior sets a dangerous precedent. Had they fired on the crowd, they would have been murderers, and threatening murder is increasing the risk that someone could get killed.

We don’t need a governor telling citizens to threaten anyone walking past their home is an okay behavior, as eventually it could lead to bloodshed.

Matthew Lindquist • Kirkwood

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