This dude, Mark Robinson, speaks for me. If you have yet to see the now-viral video of Robinson addressing the Greensboro, North Carolina city council meeting, you need to. I don’t care what side of the “gun debate” you are on, this man speaks with a common sense that clarifies so much of what is constantly overlooked and lost every time this topic comes up.
I don’t know if Robinson is in the NRA or a gun enthusiast. He didn’t come across that way in his speech and that’s what immediately speaks to me. I’m neither myself. I’m a law-abiding citizen who appreciates the foresight of my country’s founders to secure my right to own a weapon for the purpose of defending myself and my family.
And I struggle when others suggest the solution to bad people doing bad things is to limit my rights, given that I am not a bad person and have not done bad things. That same confused and incredulous attitude was quite apparent in Mr. Robinson’s spirit as he addressed local Greensboro lawmakers who were considering banning the annual gun show. He didn’t care about the NRA, he didn’t care about the gun show, he cared about the ignorance of believing that restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens was somehow a solution to school shootings:
“I’ve lived in Greensboro all my life. I didn’t have time to write a fancy speech. I didn’t have the resource of an English teacher to sit down and write a speech with at school today and brought over here to practice or anything. What I really came down here for was this: I’ve heard a whole lot of people down here tonight talking about this group and that group, domestic violence, and blacks, these minorities, and that minority.
What I want to know is, when are you all gonna start standing up for the majority. And here’s who the majority is: I’m the majority. I’m a law-abiding citizen who’s never shot anybody. Never committed a serious crime. Never committed a felony. I’ve never done anything like that.
But it seems like every time we have one of these shootings, nobody wants to put the blame where it goes, which is at the shooter’s feet. You wanna put it at my feet. You wanna turn around and restrict my right, constitutional right that’s spelled out in black and white. You want to restrict my right to buy a firearm and protect myself from some of the very people you’re talking about in here tonight.
It’s ridiculous. I don’t think Rod Serling could come up with a better script. It does not make any sense. The law-abiding citizens of this community and many communities around this country, we’re the first ones taxed, and the last ones considered, and the first ones punished when things like this happen. Because our rights are the ones being taken away.
That’s the reason I came down here today. Gun show or no gun show, NRA or no NRA. I’m here to stand up for the law-abiding citizens of this community. Cause I’m gonna tell you what’s gonna happen. You can take the guns away from us all you want to. You all write a law, I follow the law, I’ll bring my guns down here, I’ll turn them in. But here’s what’s gonna happen. The Crips and the Bloods on the other side of town? They’re not gonna turn their guns in. They’re gonna hold onto them. And what’s gonna happen when you have to send the police down there to go take them? The police can barely enforce the law as it is.
That’s what I see. We demonize the police, criminalize them, and vilify the police, and we make the criminals into victims. And we’re talking about restricting guns?!”
You can watch the rest of his speech here. And frankly, I have no idea what kind of impact his speech had on the Greensboro city council, though I could hazard a guess. What I do know is that his words resonate with millions of citizens around this country, myself included.
This is common sense. Pure and simple common sense.
The fact that Robinson’s articulation of it has now gone viral is a clear indication of just how sorely absent it has been, and continues to be, in this entire discussion about guns and safety. Well done, Mark. And thanks.