Allen Johnson: Words will have consequences for first Black lt. gov.

Mark Robinson ignited his unlikely rise in North Carolina politics with a fiery speech to the Greensboro City Council in 2018. Only, it wasn’t really a speech. It was a thundering sermon on gun rights, T.D. Jakes style, delivered with a booming voice and stabs of a finger into the air to underscore his points. Robinson, a former factory worker, was reacting to an ill-considered suggestion that a gun show should be banned at the Greensboro Coliseum in the wake of yet another mass shooting. “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,” Robinson said. “You want to put it at my feet.” Robinson added: “The bottom line is when that Second Amendment was written, whether the framers liked it or not, they wrote it for everybody, and I’m everybody and the law-abiding citizens of this city are everybody and we want our rights and we want to keep our rights. And by God, we’re going to keep them, come hell or high water.” Speaking without a single note, Robinson was so compelling that night that even a gun-control advocate might have been moved to say Amen. (In fact, the News & Record editorially agreed with his main point that banning the gun and knife show was neither useful nor right.) There was silence in the room when he finished. Then applause. A YouTube video of the speech went viral. And […]

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