A North Carolina man who became an internet sensation by speaking at a city council meeting in support of gun rights says he was standing up for freedoms that the nation’s Founders died to give all Americans.
“Now, if those people could give their lives for those causes to give us the freedoms we have today, then we need to have the courage to give back,” Mark Robinson, a resident of Greensboro, North Carolina, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.
“None of us are under threat of death right now,” Robinson said. “Sure, we might be under threat of some harsh words. But if those people could give their lives to give us our freedoms, we can take a few harsh words and a few hits. And that matters, to do what we have to do to keep our freedoms.”
Robinson, 49, not only lives in Greensboro, he was born and raised there. Because a video of his remarks went viral online, though, he is now known far and wide.
He spoke April 3 at a Greensboro City Council meeting called after Mayor Nancy Vaughan, a Democrat, suggested the city cancel a gun show set for August at city-owned Greensboro Coliseum in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Greensboro News & Record reported.
A 19-year-old former student with a rifle killed 17 and wounded 17 others in the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“You can’t withhold my right to own a firearm because somebody else committed a felony with a firearm,” Robinson told The Daily Signal. “It’s not right. And like I said, it’s a lazy and unconstitutional way to enforce the law. So when I said [to the council and the audience] that we are the majority, that’s what I meant. We are the majority. The majority of people are law-abiding citizens, work hard every day, and their rights should be preserved.”
After City Attorney Tom Carruthers said North Carolina’s law wouldn’t allow the state to cancel the gun show, the nine-member council voted to donate profits to Gun Stoppers, a program to put illegal guns off the street, the News & Record reported.
Robinson, who said he does not own a firearm, said even the suggestion of canceling a gun show that law-abiding citizens would want to attend troubled him.