No matter your political leanings, or what you think about him or the trial, one thing is perfectly clear. Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, should never have been on scene in Kenosha, Wisconsin. While the rest of us watched what was unfolding around the country trying to understand what was going on, this kid decided to take matters in to his own hands. What happened after he arrived is a separate issue, that I will address. What we know, is that if this kid, who cried like a baby on the stand, had never gone to Kenosha, those three people, (two deceased and one injured) would never have been shot.
As a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, people have an absolute right to defend themselves if their lives are in danger. I also strongly support the Castle Doctrine. That’s a uniquely American concept and one that gives us the right to protect our homes and families. But that’s not what he was doing. No one has the right to drive to a different state with an AR-15, provoke trouble (by his mere presence with the AR), and then claim self defense when things get out of hand. That’s an emotional if not factual statement.
Having said that, I do believe Rittenhouse is just a dumb kid who believed at the time of the shootings that his life was in danger. It may very well have been. I do not believe he was there as part of the white supremacy movement and I do not believe we will hear from him again, following his 15 minutes of fame. What makes me think that, is that all three men who were shot, were white. Pretty simple. He wasn’t out there indiscriminately shooting people and he believed, (because he’s a stupid child) that his mere presence with that weapon would be enough to discourage any violence against him. Clearly he was wrong!
Looking at the actual facts in the case, once he did show up at the protest, the evidence clearly showed that all three men who were shot, challenged him physically. Roenbaum and Huber (the two deceased men) should never have tried to grab his weapon as clearly that’s a stupid and amateurish move, leading me to believe that they thought they were not in danger. I highly suggest not taking that same course of action if ever faced with that situation. Disarming individuals is something I teach and train for daily but even then, there is great risk. Huber should not have gotten close enough to strike the kid with his skateboard. The third victim, who was injured but survived, Gaige Grosskreutz, admitted pointing his sidearm at Rittenhouse, so that appeared to be a clear case of self defense. Obviously the jury believed that as well.
While a lot of Americans were disturbed at what they were witnessing on TV, it was the role of law enforcement to protect the local community, not some kid from the next state. If a code of morality or common sense, was how we judged citizens, then he would have been made an example of. But ours is not a system of morals or emotions. It’s a system of laws. And in this case, it was determined that he was defending himself as is his right. You might not agree with that but that’s what happened. He will be used as the example as to why the government needs to remove firearms from Americans. When in fact, the vast majority of gun owners are responsible, respectful law abiding citizens.
This was not a case of a societal breakdown. It was a case of one dumb kid, feeling helpless and scared, who instead decided to empower himself by taking matters into his own hands. He should not be used by either side to draw any further conclusions.