Appearing in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Monday evening, 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse—perhaps displaying wisdom beyond his years—told Carlson, “It wasn’t Kyle Rittenhouse on trial in Wisconsin, it was the right of self-defense on trial”
Many in the Second Amendment community agree. A recent report at Ammoland News made the same argument. Rittenhouse, found “not guilty” on five charges by a jury of seven women and five men in a Kenosha courtroom, quickly added to Carlson, “If I was convicted, no one would be able, no one would ever be privileged to defend their life against (their) attackers.”
Now that self-defense appears to have won, some people are expressing concerns this will result in violence. Speaking to Seattle’s KIRO News—the local CBS affiliate—constitutional law attorney Jeffery Needle offered a dire prediction.
“Vigilantes will be emboldened by this, much to my regret,” Needle told reporter Deedee Sun. “I think we will see a tremendous surge of vigilantism. People will feel emboldened they can use force; they’ll feel justified they can walk around carrying weapons.”
There is no evidence of this in the Evergreen State, where more than 643,000 citizens have active concealed pistol licenses, so they can already “walk around carrying weapons.” The state also has an easily-understood self-defense/use-of-force statute:
“Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:
(1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
(2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.”
Renee Hopkins, CEO at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility—the Seattle-based, billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group—was also quoted in the KIRO story. She said the “not guilty” verdict “really undermines our First Amendment rights as citizens in this country.”
The First Amendment does not protect rioting, property damage or threats to kill. Rittenhouse testified he acted in self-defense, and the jury concurred.
In her remarks to KIRO, Hopkins reportedly also stated, “It’s really important to note that no one, especially no minor, should be allowed to cross state lines with a semi-automatic assault rifle, shoot three people, then be portrayed as a victim — or even worse, a hero.”
Testimony in court refuted claims Rittenhouse crossed the Illinois-Wisconsin state line with a rifle. The AR15-type modern semi-auto rifle he carried that night, described as a Smith & Wesson M&P 15, was already in Wisconsin, where it was stored at a friend’s residence. That claim is simply false, yet is continues to be repeated.
However, CBS issued a correction to a reporter’s claim made on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” that Rittenhouse “drove in from Illinois armed for battle.” According to Fox News, “the show responded to say it added an editor’s note” to the show’s transcript: “Coverage during ‘Face the Nation’ today of the protests following the verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse stated Rittenhouse ‘drove in from Illinois armed for battle.’ Kyle Rittenhouse testified that he did not drive to Kenosha with a weapon. It was not illegal for Rittenhouse to posses (sic) that particular weapon. We apologize for this oversight in language.”
That was not an “oversight in language,” it was an error. Perhaps more in the establishment media will follow CBS’ lead and correct their own early reporting which suggested the teen was a “white supremacist” and “vigilante.” For example, NBC News in Chicago referred to the men shot by Rittenhouse as “victims,” a term Judge Bruce Schroeder did not allow during the trial.