Who Is Kyle Rittenhouse?
Kyle Rittenhouse is a (now) 18 year old male who became nationally known after he shot and killed two men and wounded a third during riots that were taking place in Kenosha, WI on August 25, 2020.
Rittenhouse lived with his mother in Antioch, IL a small city approximately 20 miles from Kenosha. He was a former police cadet, lifeguard, and high school drop out.
Why Did He Go To Kenosha?
Rittenhouse drove to Kenosha on August 24 and stayed with his girlfriend’s brother, Dominick Black. Rittenhouse said he went to Kenosha to prevent further property damage, clean up after the riots, and prevent further injury to innocent citizens. He had a brief conversation on Aug 25 with Richie McGinniss of the Daily Caller who asked him why he was there. McGinniss recorded his response: “So, people are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business. Part of my job is also to help people. If there is someone badly hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle, because I have protect myself, obviously. I also have my med kit.”
Where Did He Get The Rifle?
The rifle he had was purchased for him by his friend, Dominic Black. Black’s father kept the gun in his Kenosha home in a locked safe but moved it on August 24 due to a fear of a break-in. Wisconsin is an open carry state which means that it is legal there to openly carry a firearm in public.
Rittenhouse originally had a gun possession charge against him but the judge removed the charge as his possession of the gun was legal.
Rittenhouse and others were located in front of a Car Source car lot. The lot was adjacent to another one owned by Car Source that had been burned to the ground the previous day causing a loss of 1.5 million dollars. There are conflicting statements as to whether Rittenhouse and others were at the car lot at the request of the owners.
At trial, McGinniss testified that at some point, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and others began to move toward Rittenhouse who then began to run in an attempt to evade them. Rittenhouse testified that Rosenbaum threatened to kill him. Prosecution witnesses testified that as the group was pursuing Rittenhouse someone fired a shot which caused Rittenhouse to stop, turn, and confront his pursuers. At this point, Rosenbaum grabbed Rittenhouse’s rifle and attempted to take it away from him whereupon Rittenhouse fired four shots into Rosenbaum’s body and then continued to attempt to escape the mob.
After a short pursuit, Anthony Huber, 26, struck Rrittenhouse in the head with a skate board and then attempted to take his weapon. In the struggle for the gun, Rittenhouse fired one shot into Huber’s body, killing him instantly. At trial, Rittenhouse testified that he feared that if Huber gained control of the gun that he would be killed.
Shortly afterward, Rittenhouse was approached by Gaige Grosskreutz, 25, who was filming for the ACLU. Grosskreutz was armed with a Glock pistol which he pointed at Rittenhouse. As he did so, Rittenhouse fired one shot at him, hitting him in the right arm.
The trial lasted 20 days. The state charged Rittenhouse with first degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and attempted first degree intentional homicide in the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz. The defense pleaded self defense to all charges. The jury deliberated for 25 hours over 4 days returning a verdict of not guilty on all charges on November 21, 2021.
Reaction to the trial and its verdict, like everything else in the country today, was highly political. The left wing cried FOUL and lamented that Rittenhouse had gotten away with murder while the right proclaimed that the American System of Justice had gotten it right and justice was done. The verdict was mostly peacefully accepted by the community but for sure that was due to the fact that all the principals were white. Had even ONE of the shooting victims been black I can guarantee you that there would have been massive violence and mayhem at this verdict.
The trial was televised and I watched every minute that was made available. I had not paid a great deal of attention to the events when they happened as they were just one part of a summer of absolute lunacy by left wing thugs in Portland, Seattle, St. Louis, and other cities. At the outset of the trial , I pretty much agreed with the popular consensus that Rittenhouse was likely some sort of teen age vigilante who had charged uninvited into a riot scene to deliver his version of street justice to a bunch of criminals. I admit I was glad that at last somebody, if not the police, had finally had enough of the lawlessness and chaos and was prepared to do something about it but killing seemed a little over the line.
After the trial and after watching a few Kyle Rittenhouse interviews my opinion has completely changed. While I wouldn’t have done what he did, even at 17, I do admire his attitude and willingness to get involved. He was not well advised and certainly had little to no effect on the Kenosha riots, but at the same time he did show a little of the “I’m going to do something about this” attitude that government, especially local Democratic government, lacks entirely.