Inside Gun-Surrendering Criminal Mark McCloskey's Very Sad St. Louis Rally

click to enlarge They were at least kind enough to wear their signature outfits, which is good because no one would recognize or care about them otherwise. - REUBEN HEMMER
They were at least kind enough to wear their signature outfits, which is good because no one would recognize or care about them otherwise.

Noted local criminal Mark McCloskey played host to a barbecue/political rally on Sunday afternoon, drawing tens of admirers to the sweltering parking lot of a closed outlet mall in St. Louis County to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the time he pulled a gun on a crowd of people who otherwise would never have noticed or cared he existed.

Despite the fact that none of the big names who had been billed to speak at the June 27 event showed up, and despite the fact that ticket sales were so dismal attendance was opened to the public for free at the last minute, St. Louis' most gun-surrendering lawyer plowed right ahead with the First Annual Pink Shirt Guy BBQ and RINO Roast in the St. Louis Mills parking lot.

Grievance and untethered delusion topped the menu at the event, with McCloskey and a roster of speakers largely unknown outside the fever swamps of the far right taking turns condemning everything from critical race theory (their newest and most nonsensical bogeyman) to "cultural Marxism" (George Soros' fault of course, but how dare you level accusations of antisemitism) to the "radical left" agenda of (hahahahaha) Joe Biden. The whole gun-and-pony show was in service of McCloskey's deeply stupid run for U.S. Senate, because if there's one thing that qualifies a man for public office in the Republican party in 2021 it's a willingness to point a firearm at those with whom you disagree politically.

SEE ALSO: See Photos From Mark McCloskey’s Pathetic St. Louis Rally

Initially, fellow criminal and proponent of armed coups Michael Flynn was scheduled to speak, but he was subbed out for North Carolina Congressman and notably dumb guy Madison Cawthorn, who also did not show up. But the show must go on, as they say, and so we were instead primarily treated to the emcee abilities of former radio host Jamie Allman, who lost his longtime job back in 2018 after taking to Twitter to pontificate about ramming a hot poker up a teenager's ass.

The event kicked off around 2 p.m. with a pig roast and photo op with the McCloskeys, Mark clad in his pink-shirt finery and Patricia sporting the Hamburglar costume for which she is best-known. At least one man brought his rifle for the pair to sign, which of course they did, after which the man could be heard excitedly discussing how much money it was now worth.

click to enlarge Wow, very valuable. - REUBEN HEMMER
Wow, very valuable.

After a sound check with local Deep Purple cover band Perfect Strangers, whose singer Terry Luttrell was the original vocalist for REO Speedwagon before parting ways with the band over its earlier, more politically motivated lyrics, the show kicked off with the singing of the national anthem, followed by a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a moment of prayer. With all the hits out of the way, Allman brought up a parade of speakers of varying infamy, one of whom (who can remember who) walked us all through the Declaration of Independence as an encore for good measure.

There was federally charged St. Louis chiropractor Eric Nepute, best-known for recommending Schweppes tonic water as a COVID-19 cure early on in the pandemic; JeffCo gun store owner Ian McFarland, who recently sold McCloskey a new gun when the latter handed his over to the state after pleading guilty to the crimes he'd committed; and State Rep. Nick Schroer (R-O'Fallon), one of the legislators leading an effort that failed in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood in the state. Pillow magnate and unhinged lunatic Mike Lindell piped in a prerecorded message of support, as did war criminal Oliver North, probably as a consolation prize since Flynn was presumably too busy plotting out his own future crimes to make an appearance. There were others as well, but this event suffered from the rookie mistake of having too many openers, which led to some noticeable fatigue in the small crowd who had gathered to gawk at the spectacle.

All of the above took turns rattling off the exhausting culture war talking points that dominate right-wing media nowadays, with fevered rants against critical race theory, cancel culture, cultural Marxism and good old-fashioned communism as practiced by noted leftist Joe Biden (hahahahahahaha) being the order of the day. Allman also tossed out bracelets in support of rioter Ashli Babbitt, who was killed in the U.S. Capital on January 6 after refusing to comply with the commands of officers, and who Allman claimed was "assassinated by her government." That would seem to fly in the face of the usual "if he/she just complied he/she would still be alive" script of the allegedly pro-police crowd, but Babbitt was on their team, so naturally the very concept of ideological consistency is thrown right out the window.

At long last, after a gushing introduction in which Allman described Mark and Patricia as "everyone's favorite neighbors" (a characterization with which their actual neighbors whole-heartedly disagree), McCloskey took to the stage to bask in the adulation of the not even half-full seating area of his adoring fans. He insisted gravely that the crowd of people who were walking past his house that fateful day a year ago would have murdered him and his wife and their dog and then burned their house down had he not waddled his ass outside barefoot to threaten them with a rifle, which is pretty confusing seeing as how literally none of McCloskey's neighbors did the same and yet they all somehow came out unscathed. It also doesn't fit with the findings of special prosecutor Richard Callahan, who noted in a statement upon the McCloskeys' guilty plea that: "The protesters on the other hand were a racially mixed and peaceful group, including women and children, who simply made a wrong turn on their way to protest in front of the mayor’s house,” noting further that absolutely no evidence was ever found to show that any of the protesters were armed or intent on harming the couple.

click to enlarge McCloskey's throngs of supporters watch as his speaks. - REUBEN HEMMER
McCloskey's throngs of supporters watch as his speaks.

But that didn't matter to McCloskey, nor did it matter to the sparse crowd who had come to watch him hump a gun on a Sunday afternoon. Naturally, McCloskey used his speech to heap praise on the likes of Donald Trump, Josh Hawley, Mark Meadows and others, while directing scorn at the likes of Kim Gardner, Cori Bush and Rasheen Aldridge. That the former group is a bunch of white guys and the latter are Black probably didn't have anything to do with McCloskey's opinions of them, and how dare you even think such a thing.

McCloskey ended his speech by bringing his wife up on stage, and the two of them posed with a gun to the cheers of the crowd. One gets the distinct impression that those cheers were more for the gun itself than its owner though, and that more likely than not the crowd would probably prefer to vote for an actual firearm to be senator instead, if only there was some way to get one on the ballot. Honestly Mark is just a mascot, not unlike Ronald McDonald.

As the main event wrapped up, Allman directed everyone to the merch tent, where McCloskey was selling bottles of barbecue sauce for $20 a pop. With the crowd thoroughly cleared out and a storm rolling in, Perfect Strangers took to the stage and started serving up Deep Purple cuts for the enjoyment of about ten people. Lightning cracked in the sky during the classic track "Stormbringer," adding a fun bit of synchronicity, if also a sense of foreboding.

Equally synchronized and foreboding was one of the lines from the 1974 track, delivered as it was at the McCloskey-led event:

"He's got nothing you need."

Here's hoping Missouri's voters are smart enough to see it that way too.

Follow the author, Daniel Hill, on Twitter at @rftmusic.
  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About The Author

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill is editor at large for the Riverfront Times and he demands to be taken seriously, despite all evidence to the contrary. Follow him on Twitter at @rftmusic.
Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles (1)


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.