I’ve seen enough video now to know that what Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse fired his weapon with what should be considered legal bounds.
Let’s take a look at some footage.
Here’s the initial video of Kyle Rittenhouse’s first shots of the night. As you can see from cell footage that has been spliced together from various angles, Rittenhouse was running away from an attacker who threw an object at him. It’s still unclear what the object was though that hasn’t stopped speculation on Twitter.
Rittenhouse’s attacker catches up to him and in response, Rittenhouse opens fire taking his attacker down. He continues to run around the car to stay mobile, not allowing anyone to come near him. At this point, it looks as if the 17-year-0ld is on his cell phone for a moment before he moves away.
Let’s move on to the second shooting of the night. Rittenhouse is once again attempting to flee from those pursuing him. One of the rioters catches up to him and attempts to hit him in the back of the head. It’s unclear if it connects due to the angle of the video but Rittenhouse continues to run away.
At one point that Rittenhouse trips and falls and one of his pursuers shouts “get his ass.” They close in on him with what is clearly harmful intent. Rittenhouse begins firing his weapon from a sitting position, hitting one who makes a grab for his gun. The footage angle makes it seem as if a second person attempts to move in and Rittenhouse fires again, forcing the rioter to back away quickly.
The footage ends with Rittenhouse moving toward the police with his hands up.
My colleague “Shipwreckedcrew” has a more in-depth look at this provided footage.
It should also be noted that one of the rioters who attacked Rittenhouse and was struck was also armed.
Both of these pieces of footage so Rittenhouse was firing with the intention of self-defense, not assault. He is always moving away, attempting to flee pursuers and never fires until his pursuers are right on top of him.
If that’s the case then no death that occurred as a result of Rittenhouse firing his weapon was not his fault due to Wisconsin’s “Castle Doctrine” law. He was clearly under attack and as such, was within legal bounds when he pulled the trigger from his legal firearm.
I will say this. You can argue that Rittenhouse shouldn’t have been walking into a warzone with a weapon in the first place and fair enough. At this time, there’s a question about whether or not it was legal for the 17-year-old to carry a long gun in the state of Wisconsin at all due to his being from Illinois. Wisconsin law states that you can open carry a long rifle at the age of 18, making Rittenhouse too young.
Whether Rittenhouse and the officers who clearly knew him may know of some kind of workaround or loophole is still unknown. I’ll let the lawyers work that one out.
Outside of that, one thing should be very clear. Unlike the rioters, however, Rittenhouse didn’t go there seeking to do something illegal. He was not attempting to destroy property or steal. Due to the fact that he was running away from danger, the firearm was his last resort.
Now let’s talk about these Darwin Award winners that got shot.
You do not try to physically assault a person with a firearm who is clearly trying to flee from a fight. If the person is trying to move away from confrontation while armed, then they are showing you that they would prefer peace but moreover than that…
…they’re showing you mercy.
But even mercy has its limits. Rittenhouse was right to fire on the people trying to take him down physically. It’s clear that if Rittenhouse took no defensive action they would have severely injured him or even possibly killed him. If they would have gotten his weapon, there’s no telling what they would have done with it. Maybe they would have turned it over to police, or maybe they would have used it to cause trouble.
It’s not a chance you take, especially if you’re surrounded by people who are there to be criminals and have already made it clear that they aren’t above violence.
The obvious fact, however, is that they were attempting to physically assault a person who had a gun. This was pure stupidity on par with trying to feed an alligator by hanging meat out of your mouth.
As I wrote previously, it was never a question of “if” but “when” an incident like this would happen because the rioters and activists have gotten to a point where they haven’t suffered retaliation for their actions. They assault, burn, loot, and intimidate with reckless abandon. I noted that the increase in firearm purchases to 5 million new gun owners in 2020 alone was enough reason for Black Lives Matter and Antifa members to scale it back in terms of their offensive actions.
This was an inevitable result. Rittenhouse was an eventuality and I don’t expect he’ll be the last time this happens.
And just like Rittenhouse, they won’t be the villain in the story.