With tears still fresh from the horrors of mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is sticking to his guns.
In fact, he’s bragging about them.
“I am here today, much to the chagrin of many of the leftists back home in my state who thought I should cower and stay home, and not come here and continue to defend that right for those law-abiding citizens back home in North Carolina and for the law-abiding citizens of this nation,” Robinson said Friday at an NRA legislative forum in Houston.
Then, using characteristically twisted logic, Robinson scoffed at calls for tighter restrictions on the AR-15-style semi-automatic weapons used by 18-year-olds in both shootings.
“You are bound and determined to leave our children defenseless,” he said — as if not keeping such weapons, which make killing easy, out of the hands of dangerous individuals would prevent the type of carnage that claimed 10 lives in Buffalo and 21 in Uvalde, including 19 fourth graders at Robb Elementary School.
But those remarks weren’t even Robinson’s worst (at least concerning gun violence).
In a tasteless and insensitive speech less than 24 hours after the Buffalo massacre — and in a Nash County church, no less — Robinson made an impassioned plea … for the survival of the AR-15.
“I’m not ashamed to say it. I’m probably not supposed to say it. But I’m gonna say it anyway,” said Robinson, a Greensboro Republican whose rise to fame and power is rooted in his advocacy for guns. “I got them AR-15s in case the government gets too big for its britches. Because I’m going to fill the backside of those britches with some lead. I’m going to say it to you plain: Your boy ain’t going down without swinging.”
Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, condemned the church speech in a tweet on Tuesday. So did another Democrat, Attorney General Josh Stein.
“This is dangerous and not who we are as patriotic North Carolinians,” Cooper, a Democrat, tweeted.
Stein added: “To say that you have an AR-15 to shoot government officials is simply unacceptable.”
Frankly, you would expect those words from Democrats. But Robinson’s fellow Republicans should be speaking out as well.
Both the gunmen in Buffalo and Uvalde not only used military-style rifles, each was able to buy them legally, which appears to be just fine with Robinson.
Robinson spoke at the NRA’s annual meeting in Texas, even though a number of other previously scheduled speakers, including Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, had withdrawn from making in-person appearances.
Beyond the cold-heartedness of Robinson’s remarks was his tacit endorsement of the armed overthrow of the government in the shadow of the Jan. 6, 2021, siege of the U.S. Capitol.
Then again, it figures.
Robinson’s path to political success began with comments he made at a 2018 Greensboro City Council meeting in defense of gun rights. The NRA Political Victory Fund helped, spending more than $82,000 on pro-Robinson mailers and other tactics in 2020, WRAL reported, as well as a $5,400 donation directly to his campaign.
He has since made any number of offensive remarks about LGBTQ people, Muslims and Jews, among others, both orally and in online posts.
Every time you can’t imagine him going any lower, somehow he manages to outdo himself.
And even as at least some Republicans appear finally open to doing something about easy access to military-style weapons, perhaps with red-flag laws and reasonable background checks, this loud and unreasonable man keeps being morally irresponsible for all to hear and see.
Yet he is expected to run for governor in 2024.
Which raises another troubling concern: How low are North Carolina voters willing to go?
Today’s editorial is from The Greensboro News & Record. The views expressed are not necessarily those of this newspaper.