Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Rittenhouse Verdict - Why Both Sides Are Wrong

Protesting the Rittenhouse Verdict in New York last Friday (NPR)
It’s not a cause for celebration. The acquittal of 18 year old Kyle Rittenhouse on 5 counts of murder was a just verdict. But the killing of Joseph Rosenbaum, and Anthony Huber... and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz in Kenosha during a Black Lives Matter protest should have never happened. 

The verdict was just because videos of those events substantiated Rittenhouse’s claim of self defense. In fact Grosskreutz testified that his gun was drawn and pointed at Rittenhouse when he was shot by him. Once the jury saw those videos and heard Grosskreutz’s testimony, their ‘not guilty’ verdict was inevitable.

I was in fact surprised by those videos and Grosskreutz’s testimony. Like most people that rely on the mainstream media, I too thought Rittenhouse was some sort of white vigilante out ‘shoot him some anti-American leftist criminals’. His claims of self defense seemed ridiculous. Here is this guy carrying an AR-15 - a semi-automatic rifle that can easily be converted to an automatic rapid fire  assault weapon - running around in crowd of people that are protesting the way black people are treated by the police. His claims that he went there to protect property seemed like an excuse to use his AR-15. And that he couldn’t wait to do it.

But that was just the way the media portrayed him. Their message was: ‘He was guilty.’ ‘The trial was just a formality.’ ‘This white supremacist youth would surely be locked up for the rest of life for a killing spree resulting in the murder of 2 innocent people.’

But that is not what happened. Rittenhouse’s claims of self defense were true and he was acquitted. Which once again shows just how biased the mainstream media is. They were ready to lock up an innocent teenager for the rest of his life while ignoring – or refusing to believe his pleas of self defense. They saw this white kid as a racist murderer. 

Thank God that it wasn’t the media sitting in the jury box. When the truth doesn’t fit their narrative, (whether intentionally or not) they ignore it.

But as I said, his acquittal should not be celebrated. There is no way anyone -  let alone a teenager - should have ever been allowed to prance into that mob chaos with an assault weapon. Any law that allows that is a bad law. If there is anyone guilty of murder, it is a government whose laws allow the Kyle Rittenhouses of the world to carry a weapon like that into the middle of a a violent mob. 

Had a law against that been on the books, Rittenhouse might not have gone in knowing it was illegal and that he could be arrested. Or if he would have purposely violated that law he might have been arrested before encountering those gun toting protestors. 

That doesn’t mean I think what that protesting mob was doing was OK. The destruction of property and business by its violent members was clearly evil. It had nothing to do with advancing the cause of changing the injustices so many black people face when encountered by the police. If anything mob violence like that has the opposite effect. 

I am therefore not a fan of either the violent gun toting Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz, or the AR-15 carrying Rittenhouse. What I am a fan of is gun control. On that issue I am a hard core liberal. If AR-15s were banned, no one would have been shot and killed in Kenosha that day. 

Those that are celebrating the victory are celebrating deaths that should have never happened. They are celebrating the right for teenagers to carry AR-15’s into a mob of armed, violent protestors. They should not be celebrating. They should be weeping. 

By the same token those protesting the verdict are just as wrong. If they think Rittenhouse was a white supremacist ‘out to shoot him some blacks or liberals’ they are being willfully blind to the facts. 

It is sad that the left-right polarization in this country has gotten so strident that it has replaced truth based common sense.