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An emotional Kyle Rittenhouse burst out in tears, falling to the table after the jury declared him not guilty on all charges.
The declaration comes after an extremely tense two-and-a-half weeks of dramatic court sessions, including the aggressive prosecutor Thomas Binger, who Judge Bruce Schroeder blasted for conniving methods, and a sobering testimony by the young Rittenhouse.
At just 18 years old, his entire life hung in the balance. Had the verdict gone the other way, he could have spent his life in prison. And what for? For caring about his community, exercising his Second Amendment rights, and ultimately acting in self-defense.
But thankfully justice prevailed — for now. While we rightly rejoice that Rittenhouse has been acquitted, the very fact that he was on trial at all is chilling. Kenosha County took Rittenhouse as a political hostage, a totem in the woke left’s war on our inalienable rights, subjecting him to one of the most obviously ideologically motivated trials in recent American history.
Make no mistake about it: Kyle Rittenhouse was not the only one on trial these past few weeks. The entire country, our founding principles, our judicial system, and our way of life were all on trial.
This wasn’t really about the riots.
It certainly wasn’t about whether Rittenhouse should have had his AR-15 on him, since the weapons-related charges were dropped.
This was about Kyle Rittenhouse, yes, but it was about more than just him.
It was about more than the Second Amendment, too.
This was about the fundamental right to self-defense.
This was about a raging ideological battle in our nation between the Marxist mobs who think their violence is speech but your speech is violence. This case was about righteous judgment towards a young man who feared for his life and took the only steps he could in his situation to protect himself.
“But he shot and killed two people who were unarmed!”
Sure, those two didn’t have a gun but they were not without weapons. And they were accompanied by a crowd of angry hostiles who, not knowing anything about Rittenhouse, appeared to want him dead. When a crowd that size who, for the past several days, has proven to hold a complete disregard for law, safety, and life run after you and attack you … you have the right to defend yourself. It should also be noted that if an unarmed hostile is trying to attack someone who they know has a gun, deadly force can still be justified.
A question that has received little-to-no reasonable response is this: What should Rittenhouse have done? “Not shown up with an AR-15” is not an acceptable answer because that suggests that the crowd was justified to attack him simply for having a firearm. What should he have done once he realized the crowd was after him? Surrender himself and his firearm to an angry mob? They caused enough destruction already and showed no concern for any lives other than their own, so why give them a boost with an AR-15? One of the prosecutors suggested to the jury during closing arguments that Rittenhouse should have simply “taken a beating.” Is that really how Americans should have to live in today’s “tolerant” society, by submitting our health to the will and mercy of a violent mob? No doubt, victims of domestic violence and lynchings and Reginald Denny, the truck driver dragged from his cab and beaten so badly by a mob during the Los Angeles riots of 1992 that he suffered irreparable brain damage, might not see that as a very tenable idea.
There was simply no reason to support any charge of murder for Kyle Rittenhouse.
Two key components to the trial were when Gaige Grosskreutz, the only survivor of the three people shot by Rittenhouse, declared that, in fact, he did have his handgun pointed at Rittenhouse’s head immediately before Rittenhouse shot him in the arm and then when Judge Bruce Schroeder dropped the misdemeanor charges of possession of a firearm because Wisconsin law allows 17-year-olds to carry long-barreled rifles. This moved the jury to deliberate only on the remaining and very serious felony charges of intentional and reckless homicide.
The right to life includes the right to self-defense.
All evidence indicates that Rittenhouse did not instigate the situation which led to him acting in self-defense and discharging his rifle.
Wisconsin has strong self-defense laws, with the key provisions stating that “a person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with his or her person by such other person,” but the person must not have provoked the attack and “must reasonably believe that the danger is imminent and that force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm” to himself.
Rittenhouse didn’t instigate. Remember, being upset about something or someone does not mean they instigated anything. The mob didn’t like Rittenhouse’s presence with an AR-15, but he did not instigate.
When we herald our inalienable rights to life, rights given by God and not by man, that right to life must, by extension, include a right to self-defense. Therefore, the right to self-defense is an intrinsic human right. The government does not “grant” us that right and it certainly cannot take it away. Sadly, that is what the shameful prosecutors attempted to do in this trial.
Ultimately, justice prevailed — both for Rittenhouse and for our rights to self-defense.
Remember, without the Second Amendment, none of the other amendments matter. The Second Amendment secures for us all the privileges and blessings of the First — whether that is against the government or against the mob.
The righteous should rejoice.
In the Bible we are repeatedly instructed to long for justice and rejoice when justice prevails.
Proverbs 21:5 says, “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous.” And Proverbs 11:10 instructs us that, “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices.”
Kenosha and its citizens should rejoice today. Sadly, the city will most likely suffer further riots and mob-driven destruction. Against such injustice who will stand? Rittenhouse took a stand for what was right against a mob 14 months ago and nearly paid for it with this life. Who will follow in his footsteps and stand for justice tonight in Kenosha if another mob threatens its citizens and attempts to burn the city down? May there be a generation of Rittenhouses who are inspired by his bravery, and who in turn are willing to risk everything for life, liberty, and freedom.
Finally, remember to pray for Kyle Rittenhouse and his family. The woke mob will no doubt persecute them as much as they can. Pray that they find peace and hope in the Gospel of Christ and take comfort in the justice they were delivered today.
A 10-year veteran of the conservative political movement, William Wolfe served as a senior official in the Trump Administration, both at the Pentagon and the Department of State. Prior to his service in the administration, he worked for Heritage Action for America and as a congressional staffer for three members of Congress, including the former Rep. Dave Brat. He has a B.A. in History from Covenant College and is currently finishing his Master of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.