On Sunday, protesters in St. Louis, Missouri marched through the city toward Mayor Lyda Krewson's home. They called for her resignation after she publicly shared the names and addresses of residents who wrote letters calling for the city to defund its police department, CBS News reports.
En route to Krewson's house, demonstrators passed through Central West End, an affluent neighborhood home to vast lawns and massive homes.
While passing one towering house in the area, protesters encountered a couple who stood on their lawn holding guns and yelling at the marchers.
The couple, both White, each had a firearm: the woman carried a handgun and the man toted an assault rifle.
Of course, multiple protesters captured the tense moment on video. Over the sounds of the homeowners' shouting, multiple marchers urged demonstrators to keep moving.
here’s what happens when you march on Portland Place in St. Louis, MO they’re scared of their own community https://t.co/Ng8qW1Pa6C— avery (@avery)1593390518.0
A couple has come out of their house and is pointing guns at protesters in their neighborhood #StLouis #lydakrewson https://t.co/ZJ8a553PAU— Daniel Shular (@Daniel Shular)1593390446.0
Many across the internet responded to the video. Even Donald Trump gave it a retweet, providing no caption along with it.
Some comments blasted the couple for a slew of reasons, while others applauded the couple for protecting private property.
Many of those angry about the couple's escalation felt it demonstrated the very racist tendencies the protests have formed to combat.
@JoshuaPotash @xshularx Havent seen a better video of White Privilege .— patty baker (@patty baker)1593394145.0
@JoshuaPotash @xshularx I wonder if this couple would've behaved the same way if the protesters had been white?— Wear A Mask (@Wear A Mask)1593393607.0
@averyrisch Nothing demonstrates white privilege better than this man brandishing a weapon at passersby in his neig… https://t.co/lW4TtQjXpf— dp (@dp)1593395690.0
Some of these detractors advised throwing the book at the couple.
@JoshuaPotash @xshularx Violating Missouri State Law Carrying State law does not prohibit the open carrying of fir… https://t.co/ryZI2LC3cz— BevMarie (@BevMarie)1593394649.0
@averyrisch Looks like a violation of 571.030.1(4) https://t.co/sEOnKsy4DY— devahaz (@devahaz)1593395894.0
But plenty of other folks on Twitter felt the situation was more complex.
They pointed to other footage that appeared to show protesters entering a gated off community. They felt the intrusion justified the couple's gun waving.
@Kpopulism_ The rest of the story. The crowd entered their gate. https://t.co/X4zWAEkt5Z— Blair (@Blair)1593403813.0
@cshaw97216 @averyrisch https://t.co/HXRlmIDgCZ— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge)1593413363.0
CBS affiliate KMOV-TV even caught up with the couple, identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey who felt they were in the right. Mr. McCloskey had the following to say regarding the incident:
"This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. We were told that we would be killed, our home burned and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob."
Some anti-gun advocates, however, did not feel that private property absolves dangerous gun handling. BuzzFeed News caught up with Nico Bocour, a spokesperson for Gabby Giffords' Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Bocour did not accept McCloskey's justification.
"[The incident is] yet another episode in a troubling trend of individuals using intimidation and outright violence against lawful protesters."
"The right to bear arms does not give anyone the right to harass, intimidate, and point guns at Americans they disagree with. This is shameful and the type of irresponsible gun ownership that leads to so many deaths in this country."
With no police action brought to the couple so far, we'll leave you to assess the couple's behavior.