Like many of you, I watched the Kyle Rittenhouse trial with interest and read many stories from various publications about the case. I wasn’t surprised when the jury found him not guilty of the deaths of two men during civil unrest in August 2020.
But my first reaction when the news came down was to wonder where the next Rittenhouse is right now. Is he (or she) somewhere in Florida? Is his acquittal validation that a person needs to carry and confront protesters the next time they take to the streets?
Will the heated rhetoric about Black Lives Matter trigger their need to “assist” the police if there’s another demonstration? Or will they decide the police won’t get the job done in those situations, so a Rambo wannabe takes over?
The Florida Department of Agriculture reports the state received 121,272 new applications for concealed weapon or firearm licenses since June of this year. That’s in addition to the more than 2.4 million licenses already issued.
I’m sure Rittenhouse feared for his life when confronted by Joseph Rosenbaum and Joseph Huber in the middle of the chaos. His defense attorney made a powerful argument that Rittenhouse had a right to self-defense.
None of this would have happened, though, if an immature 17-year-old boy didn’t interject himself into that situation. He had no business being there, especially with a borrowed AR-15 style rifle designed for combat. We don’t need armed kids patrolling the streets anywhere.
He didn’t have the training to handle such a weapon, nor did he possess the maturity to handle that situation.
Rittenhouse also lied, early and often. He testified he was there to protect businesses and provide first aid.
Yet, he had no medical training, despite claiming he was an EMT. The business owner Rittenhouse was there to “protect” said he never asked for that or gave permission to do so.
Rittenhouse is not a hero for what he did, despite efforts from clowns like Matt Gaetz and Anthony Sabatini to paint him that way. Rittenhouse made a terrible situation worse, and the worst may be yet to come.
There is a fringe element that believes it’s OK to take matters into their own hands during riots or confrontations. Rittenhouse came to Wisconsin from Illinois with that in mind.
In his mind, along with millions of others, the Second Amendment gave all the cover he needed.
Wisconsin law says anyone under 18 who possesses or goes armed with a dangerous weapon is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, but Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed that charge before jurors could have their say.
Schroeder said he believed lawmakers wrote the statute poorly, leaving it open to challenge in court.
“I have big problems with this statute, I’ve made no bones about that from the beginning,” he said.
Activist judge, anyone?
Yeah, this whole thing was a mess from the get-go, and it left each of us to wonder what happens now.
Florida currently prohibits open carry except in specific circumstances, but Republican lawmakers routinely try to pass that in the Legislature. I imagine they’ll be back, too, maybe as soon as next year.
The only thing I know is that two men are dead, and that wouldn’t have happened if Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t travel to Wisconsin. That fact is not in dispute.