The white guy with the gun isn’t a terrorist

Kyle Rittenhouse “felt threatened” at the demonstration, so he shot two people with a rifle he was not allowed to possess. The court has just acquitted him, and the young defender of law and order already has a legal weapon – he was given it as a gift.

A few days ago, I listened to conservative American journalists talking about Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis player who went missing after she accused China’s deputy prime minister of a sexual assault. The gentlemen could not believe in the civilizational backwardness of the communists, trying to imagine a similar scandal in the States. Impossible – they concluded, civilization impossible. Likewise, the rest of the world (and roughly half of America) thinks about the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old from Kenosh, Wisconsin, who shot two people with an illegally possessed AR-15 rifle and not only would not suffer any consequences, but became a hero of the right-wing media. Only in America!

In August 2020, Kenosh police shot black Jacob Blake. The response was a wave of Black Lives Matter protests in the US and several days of riots in the city. Then, 17-year-old Rittenhouse, who lived half an hour from there, in Illinois, came to the town. Rittenhouse is fascinated by the police culture, he participated in training for future policemen, and in social media he expressed his admiration for the Blue Lives Matter movement (which emphasizes the heroism of policemen and is a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, which fights against police violence against African Americans).

The course of events on August 25, 2020 is chaotic, and its record even more. We have a video of Rittenhouse telling a reporter that he came here with his shotgun and first aid kit to help keep order. Then we see several people chasing him, someone else firing into the air. A moment later it turns out that two people are dead because they tried to take his gun from him. Both men shot were white, as was the third, shot by Rittenhouse in the arm. Rittenhouse, who had just killed two people, quietly returned home – and only then was he arrested.

United States Firearms

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The most important point in the trial was the issue of self-defense in US law, which ultimately allows the possession and / or carrying (depending on the state) of weapons. The right to self-defense makes sense, but when guns are commonplace on the street, things are different. Any attempt by someone to intercept this weapon or to attack an armed person is generally treated as a situation in which the holder of the weapon feels an immediate threat to life and has a reason to use it.

The prosecution charged Rittenhouse with murder, and these charges were dismissed because among the twelve jurors who decided the accused was guilty or innocent, there must have been someone (probably more than one person) who, no matter what he thought of Rittenhouse’s actions. a – could not conclude that “beyond all reasonable doubt” (beyond reasonable doubt) the teenager was going to kill someone that night. Almost all the jurors were white, but it is also true that this composition reflects the cross-section of the local community.

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Of course, here comes a long line of things the prosecution might have done differently, and what lesser charges it might have brought for Rittenhouse to be punished after all. The judge dismissed the allegation of possession of illegal weapons, and the prosecutor’s office did not use this direction at all. So she did not focus on the most important thing: that Rittenhouse should not be in the town at all and that with his armed presence he put himself and the people around him in a threatening situation.

But that’s not what the discussion is really about. It’s not about winning a single trial. And when Florida Republican MP Matt Gaetz offers Rittenhouse an internship in Washington, he doesn’t mean that particular kid either. Through the Rittenhouse trial, America proved to itself once again that there is such a thing as good American violence and that the role of a white cock is to assist the police in defending order. When the police are gone, the policeman is a white guy with a gun – that’s an old John Wayne tradition. Except that at the Kenosha demonstration, the policemen were not only present but thanked the self-proclaimed policemen: “We appreciate your work,” they said. And the question remains: would the process have ended the same if Rittenhouse were black?

Many Americans believe that civilian access to weapons is the foundation on which American freedom rests – and on the contrary, the lack of weapons in the hands of citizens seems to them to be a guarantee of totalitarianism. Even if they could somehow safely get guns off the streets of the US, which they don’t think is real, the argument always arises that decent people must have guns, or else only bad people will have them.

The price they pay for it is simply the presence of a gun in everyday life – potentially in the background of all social interactions. And this is a super-size-me weapon, because in America everything has to be triple and the biggest. As the professional murderer Harry Waters states in the film, which was given the title in Poland for unknown reasons First shoot, then explore (In Bruges, 2008) when they hand him the Uzi: “I’m not going to shoot twenty black ten-year-olds from a passing van. I need a normal gun to shoot a normal person. “

Rittenhouse was interviewed by right-wing Fox News on the weekend after the sentencing was announced. As of this writing, the interview has yet to be aired, but several media platforms already have some spoilers. Rittenhouse is interviewed by Tucker Carlson, one of the most controversial journalists in the US, who does not shy away from sensationalism. For now, we know that Rittenhouse says in an interview: “I support the Black Lives Matter movement, I’m not a racist, and I support peaceful protest.”

The icing on the cake: Rittenhouse didn’t have his gun before, because he was too young to buy it, so he kept a gun with a friend. Now finally has. Gun Owners of America has just presented him with an AR-15 for fighting for the right to own a gun.

So the Republicans have their martyr, the steadfast defender of the constitution. And for the Democrats, in turn, Rittenhouse is just one step from the repetition of January 6 this year, i.e. the storming of armed civilians on the Capitoline Hill.

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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