Shooting Straight with Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson

by
posted on September 27, 2022
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson
Chris Seward/AP

“He’s a force to be reckoned with,” said one. “What gun controller would reckon with Mark Robinson?” asked another, and several people in the boisterous audience smiled and shook their heads in wonder. “I’m just glad he is pro-freedom,” said a woman in the front row. “He is too honest not to be,” replied someone else behind me. 

These were all strangers to each other. They were a handful among an audience filling an amphitheater of a room for the 2022 NRA-ILA’s Leadership Forum in Houston, Texas. They were all excited to hear Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R-N.C.) speak. Former President Donald J. Trump would come right after Robinson, but they weren’t talking about Trump just yet. They wanted to see the man who roared like a tornado onto the public stage just a few years ago when a video of Robinson went so viral it has now been viewed over 200 million times. Robinson had spontaneously walked up to a podium to tell the Greensboro City Council not to infringe upon our Second Amendment rights. He didn’t know the unprepared speech would propel him into public life.

Lt. Gov. Mark  RobinsonNow, just a few years later at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, Robinson strode onto the stage, grabbed the audience with his booming tone—a roar that could fall soft whenever he chose—and let the NRA audience ride the rolling words of his unapologetic tone. He talked of freedom and peace and the good people of America. With this fingers pointing, he demanded our government go after the actual perpetrators of crimes, not the good people of America. After he left, Trump came out to his own roar from the crowd, but Trump knew and acknowledged what he’d seen. “How about Mark Robinson!” said Trump. 

Robinson is also an NRA Board Member. And he has been busy since winning his first race for political office in 2020. As we approach this midterm election (Nov. 8), we asked Robinson for this thoughts.  

A1F: The last time we spoke, you had just burst onto the scene when a video of you standing up to defend our right to keep and bear arms went viral. You then won your election. Are you accomplishing what you hoped you would as lieutenant governor of North Carolina?

Robinson: We have been able to accomplish many things that we spoke about tackling while on the campaign trail; one of the issues we talked most about during the campaign was indoctrination in public schools. Almost immediately after taking office, we created the F.A.C.T.S. Taskforce (Fairness and Accountability in the Classroom for Teachers and Students) in response to complaints we received from parents, who were being ignored or stonewalled by school officials. We kept hearing about these instances of leftist indoctrination in public schools, but the other side kept demanding “proof” and dismissing parent complaints as “anecdotes.” So, we decided to start collecting the proof they demanded. We created a portal where citizens could submit their concerns, and delivered a report to our legislature on the submissions from parents, teachers and students which showed there in fact were serious issues with indoctrination in the classroom across our state. Now, other states are following our lead. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) in Virginia rolled out a similar program as one of his first acts in office.

My office was also able to help secure additional funding for apprenticeship programs here in North Carolina, which empower students to build solid careers without the requirement of a four-year college degree and the debt that so often comes with it. North Carolina is well-known for its incredible universities and world-class institutions of higher learning, but a four-year liberal arts education is not the best route for all of our citizens, and we should be developing opportunities for young people to contribute to, and benefit from, careers across all sectors of our economy; not just push them into jobs that “require” a bachelor’s degree.

While there is still much more to do, I believe we have only just begun and we have no intention of taking our foot off the gas.

A1F: Clearly, our Second Amendment rights are on the ballot in this midterm election on Nov. 8, but how do you recommend we articulate this to the millions of citizens who’ve recently chosen to buy their first gun because of the rise in violent crime that is clearly linked to policies from George Soros-backed district attorneys, prisoner releases during the pandemic, no-cash-bail policies in some locales, the defund-the-police lunacy and more?

Robinson: Over the last few years, millions of Americans were forced to confront the reality of lawlessness and violence in their hometown streets for the first time in their lives. Many of them responded to these unprecedented events by buying a gun for the first time. Americans watched as their friends and neighbors were assaulted, had their small businesses burned to the ground and were dragged from their cars and beaten, while police were told to stand down. People watched as leftists in Portland and Seattle attacked federal courthouses and lobbed explosives at police, set up their own “autonomous zone” where police weren’t “allowed,” patrolled it with guns and even burned down the local police precinct. The old saying, “when seconds count, the police are just minutes away,” has now become that the police just might not show up at all, and ordinary citizens are left to defend their lives and property on their own. If the police aren’t going to bring their guns to stand in between law-abiding citizens and violent mobs, Americans will have to do it themselves. The Second Amendment means more, so much more, than the ability to defend one’s life, family and livelihood from the criminal element. But the Second Amendment is what secures the ability for all Americans, and not just those elites who can pay for armed personal security, to live freely.

The message is getting out to voters that local races matter, and who their district attorney, school board member or local judge is might matter more than who they send to Congress. Americans saw the impact of their local elected officials during the lockdowns and months of violence, but need to be reminded to research their local candidates and show up to vote if they want to protect their rights.

Lt. Gov. Mark  RobinsonA1F: The U.S. Senate is currently 50-50 and the U.S. House of Representatives is divided by just a few seats. Not long ago, this would not have told us where the votes are on the Second Amendment, as a constitutional right should be a nonpartisan issue. That being noted, how do you like freedom’s chances this fall? And are you hopeful that one day soon, the Second Amendment will once again not be treated as a partisan issue?

Robinson: Freedom and those who believe in it will prevail in November. Many Americans have seen how this current administration in the White House and the current Congress have failed our nation. While inflation and soaring prices are leaving many of our citizens trying to figure out if they need gasoline or food on a given day, they are watching millions pour across our lawless and imaginary border while being handed taxpayer dollars in exchange for breaking our laws. Now is the time to speak up, volunteer and, ultimately, to vote. Your vote, our votes, will be the difference between freedom and socialism in November.

Unfortunately, I’m not hopeful that the issue of the Second Amendment and the individual right to bear arms will become a non-partisan issue anytime soon. There will always be disagreement on what regulations and rules should apply to gun ownership and possession, and that is part of a healthy debate and the way our system works.

Those disagreements will typically occur along partisan lines, and that is also okay. What needs to be non-partisan is the basic understanding that, whether you like it or not, our Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms. 

A1F: Are there certain bellwether races you are watching? For example, just south of your state, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) detests our right to keep and bear arms, yet, as this is being written, he was in a close race with Herschel Walker; meanwhile, in your state of North Carolina, RealClear Politics says the U.S. Senate race between Ted Budd (R) and Cheri Beasley (D) is a toss-up.

Robinson: I stay aware of many of the close races that are currently happening across our nation and have no doubts that Congressman Ted Budd will be successful in his U.S. Senate race. We have an opportunity to put constitutional conservatives back in the halls of congress and get our nation on the right track.

Lt. Gov. Mark  RobinsonHowever, while these races receive the bulk of mainstream-media attention and fill the airwaves with ads, every voter should be aware of, and pay close attention to, the races that we don’t always hear about: from the school board and city council, to district attorneys and judges, to state legislature races, citizens have a duty to become informed and vote their principles. Those who serve the closest to your doorstep will have the biggest impact on your life, and it is important we know where each candidate stands on the issues that you and I hold dear. Otherwise, we will get the government we deserve. If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that elections have very real consequences.

A1F: Are pro-Second Amendment advocates too conservative, as in careful, about advocating for their rights in the public square? You enter the stage with a strong, unapologetic presence, but a lot of gun owners don’t do that or don’t know how to do that. What advice can you give them?

Robinson: I will admit that I used to be one of the people that would talk about the issues from the comfort of my computer screen, and I realized that to truly make a difference and to make a meaningful impact, I had to speak up. That is why I showed up to that city council meeting in Greensboro. I needed to allow my voice to be heard. I had no idea how that moment would change my life, but I knew that it was the right thing to do. To everyone who feels afraid to speak up, I tell you this: your voice is important in the public square, you deserve to be heard and you are not alone. Who knows, you might be the voice that changes history. At the very least, your courage may inspire others to find their own and follow you. Together, we can’t all be silenced. We are the majority. We are right. We should not be afraid to stand up for our freedom.

A1F: As lieutenant governor of North Carolina, you are busy, but, after watching you speak again, I have no doubt that all of America needs to see and hear from you; can you please make the time to appear on cable news channels and to speak at more events?

Robinson: It is my belief that we have a responsibility to the voters to allow for a multitude of ideals to be presented in the public square, and anytime I have the opportunity to take part in that, I most certainly will. With these opportunities, people across our great nation know they are not alone and that someone like them is in office fighting for their values, even if it isn’t in their state. It is my hope by doing this we can inspire others to be the leaders we so sorely need in our homes, churches and communities. 

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