What’s Kenosha All About?
Last night when I watched the news report on the Rittenhouse trial, for a moment I thought I was back in 2013 watching a report on the trial of George Zimmerman, who was accused in Florida of killing a Black teenager, Trayvon Martin, the previous year. Except in the Florida case, the shooter was White, and the victim was Black. In the current trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the shooter and all three victims are or were White.
On the other hand, what makes these two episodes eerily similar is that in both situations, a civilian armed with a gun took it upon himself to confront an unarmed man who may or may not have represented any kind of real threat.
In the Florida case, there was no question that the victim, Trayvon Martin, was unarmed. In the Kenosha incident, one victim had a gun but the other two victims between them were ‘armed’ with a plastic bag.
The good news is that at least in this case, we don’t have to listen to the mindless racism that immediately swirled around the killing of Trayvon Martin, particularly after Obama got involved. And let me make one point very clear — the racism was all directed at the Black kid, not the other way around. But at least this time the racists can crawl back under their rocks and shut the f**k up.
What is similar, however, is that the Kyle Rittenhouse defense fund is alive and well, with more than $500,000 donated on his behalf, including money from some law-enforcement guys who should know better than to ever put up money to defend someone accused of showing up at a public rally with an AR-15.
So, even though the lines are a little fuzzy in the Kenosha case as opposed to what happened to Trayvon Martin, the bottom line is that this incident proves one thing and one thing only, namely, that two people are dead and another may be spending the rest of his life behind bars because two guys couldn’t show up in a public space without taking along their guns.
Why did Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum go to the Kenosha march for George Floyd in the first place? They both claimed they were present to ‘help out.’ So why bring their guns? If they believed that the situation was so dangerous that they needed to be armed, why didn’t they just stay home?
The first thing the cops should have done in Kenosha, and as far as I’m concerned it should be SOP in every situation where a crowd gathers for some kind of ‘peaceful’ protest, is to declare the location to be gun-rein. No guns. That’s it. And there’s absolutely nothing in the entire history of 2nd-Amendment jurisprudence which says that public authorities have to relinquish their responsibility to enforce community safety in order to allow members of the public to maintain their gun ‘rights.’
I don’t care what the yahoo element in Gun-nut Nation wants you to believe, there aren’t any unlimited ‘rights’ in the Bill of Rights. The government has what is known as a ‘compelling interest’ to keep the peace and maintain community safety, so don’t tell me that either Rosenbaum or Rittenhouse deserve to be seen as ‘good guys’ because they showed up with their guns.
So, Kyle Rittenhouse is going to say that he was only ‘defending’ himself because Rosenbaum had a gun. But Rosenbaum didn’t point his gun at just some other passer-by. He pointed it at Rittenhouse because Rittenhouse was carrying a gun.
And by the way, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the altercation between Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum happened just because they were both involved in a mass demonstration about George Floyd. What happened between them is exactly what happens on streets all over the United States which results in 250 people getting killed or injured by gunfire every, single day.
We have gun violence because two or more people, almost always men between the ages of 16 and 30, get into an argument, neither one can (God forbid) back down, and then one or both of them pull out a gun.
Do either of the combatants pull out Grandpa’s old shotgun or a bolt-action hunting rifle like my Remington 700 which is sitting somewhere around my house? No.
They pull out an AR-15 or an AK-47 or a Glock or some other handgun and bang away.
And whichever one is arrested after killing the other, of course he’ll say that he was just ‘protecting’ himself or ‘protecting’ the neighborhood from the other guy.