The Rittenhouse Riots: I Can Hear the Headlines Already

The Rittenhouse Riots: I Can Hear the Headlines Already

Day number two of deliberations have concluded and still we have no verdict. So I'm just gonna rant a little bit about the problems here. First, a big question was, "why was Rittenhouse there to begin with?" He claims his intent was to keep the peace and protect property. This would also explain why he was still out after the "rational" people had gone in for the evening. The true damage was being done after the curfew, so that's when the extra protection would be needed in theory. Granted, yes, he should have allowed the cops and adults trained in weaponry and gun safety to do the job. The prosecution holds that because Rittenhouse only brought a semi-automatic rifle, his final ends were meant to be violent; they claim that his initial intent of going was to cause destruction and bloodshed.

This is a 17 year-old boy we're talking about. If anyone has ever been or known a 17 year-old boy, they know that thinking things through isn't really their strong suit. Young men have a higher tendency of making impulsive, dangerous decisions due to the onset of increased testosterone. Perhaps, this young man really just wanted to be a hero and knew someone needed to manage the chaos, and, hell, younger men have gone to war. Perhaps, he had hoped that his rifle would be enough to deter and would not need to be utilized. Perhaps, assaults rifles are good for both near and far range combat. Perhaps, he knew nothing of guns, but only to expect and prepare for the worst. I have trouble believing this 17 year-old boy had thought deeply about his method of protection and alternatives. He just knew he needed protection and figured out where to get it. After all, you wouldn't want to bring a knife to a gun fight.

The prosecution tells a narrative of a criminal on a rampage running through the streets, but in reality, this boy was running for safety and to find help for those he had injured. Of course he would say he hasn't shot anyone to people who are about to take him down if he had; he is terrified of retaliation. His aim is to make it to the safety of the police line close by. They claim he is an active shooter, but they portray him as if he is still firing off rounds at anyone who approaches him which he is not. He has only fired when provoked. He is not running through the streets on a blood high; he is a boy who has just been in a life shattering experience searching for the safety of law enforcement. 

Could it be called a shooting spree now that he has shot two more? Did they aggress him first? Were they just trying to protect people? The second incidence of shooting falls a lot harder on Rittenhouse's defense. Yes, they did aggress him first, but this was only after they were sure that he had just shot and killed a man and were trying to apprehend him. Every person should have the right to try to disarm a shooter, but the circumstances were that that he had already ceased firing his weapon and it was lowered to the ground. He was seen by many and would clearly be able to be taken in by police for his crimes. A good negotiator would know that if the violence has subsided, you do not provoke further violence unless you see the necessity for it. Following at a distance and calling 911 would have been an effective way to save their lives. Should they have aggressed? No; should a gun be used to fend off a skateboard or someone coming a you with hands? Also, No.

Shooting these later two men seems senseless at a quick glance. It would appear that it should have been able to be settled with fists; you know school yard style, but this viewpoint neglects the heightened emotional status. Someone of Rittenhouse's age in this situation would likely not have sought other methods of safety while holding a surefire method in his hands. He likely wouldn't even consider beating them with the rifle. He is frightened and cracked out on adrenaline, and some guy is trying to beat him with a wooden skate board, by the way beating someone in the head with a skateboard can kill them too. Punishment is necessary when one person takes the life of another, except in obvious self-defense situations where all other options were completely exhausted, but the punishment should match the intent of the crime. 

  The defense wants to emphasize the lives and criminal histories of the victims, but why should they turn focus to this? Yes, Rittenhouse likely did the world a favor with Rosenbaum, but he did not know any of these men's histories when shooting at them. The defense isn't "who he was shooting", but "why he was shooting". Was it his desire to spill blood? Did he seek fulfillment in the form of heroics? Had he lost all sense of his surroundings and saw only a need to fight to live? Rosenbaum was an act of self-defense. He had a weapon and was clearly willing to use it on Rittenhouse. The other two shootings take more of a path open for interpretation, but overall, they were actions of hysterical self-defense. He was in an emotional, testosterone, adrenaline driven state. He admits to being an impulsive teenage boy who bought the gun because it looked cool. He continues to show his ignorance to the magnitude of what he had. His intent was not to take out multiple targets with one bullet; he just thought it sounded cool. He is quoted as saying, "a gun is a gun". He was uneducated but well intentioned; he was filmed earlier in the day assisting people which is what he was there to do. He did not want to be on a killing spree, but he knew that violence was a true reality of what could happen during the riots. 

Let the punishment fit the crime. A conviction of a lesser crime seems fitting with the acceptance of a lenient punishment. This young man should learn that every action has consequences and because of his their are now families missing their fathers, brothers, uncles, etc. He took away two men's lives and changed another's forever, but his life should not be taken away for self-defense and actions taken in a moment of utter peril. A judgement will be passed, and there will be no way to satisfy all the parties involved, but I believe there is a way to be fair. The decision must be based solely on law. There should be no incorporation of opinion or politics. No matter the outcome there will be widespread anger. If he is determined not guilty, we are promised further bloodshed and riots in the streets. (Terroristic threats but we'll just let that slide right?) If he is convicted, what does that say about our second amendment rights? With the nation's TV's/ Phones tuned to the trial, we all fearfully await the decision. Hold steady folks; the future is frightening.

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