This will be a pretty short post because I really only have a few questions about the recent verdict by a criminal court and jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin the other day.
Admittedly I did not closely follow the story because events like this have sadly become regular occurrences (weekly? monthly?) across the U.S. over the last decade or more. However, when a dear family friend stopped by to visit yesterday she asked Mom and I what we thought about the jury’s decision in the case. Not knowing much about it to even say three words, I looked it up online on several news websites to familiarize myself with details. My very first question was Who exactly were the victims killed by the shooter? and second, Were those killed protestors armed with weapons drawn? I found my answers to these questions on NBC5 Chicago’s website here. I was pleased NBC5 Chicago provided some background on the three victims.
To my slight surprise I read that all three men shot by Rittenhouse were white/caucasian men. Though the original incident that they were protesting was a (white) police officer firing 7-shots into the back of an African-American man, Jacob Blake, which paralyzed Mr. Blake from the waist down. Later the white police officer was not charged for the shooting of Blake though the incident was captured on cellphone video by a neighbor. This trend by law-enforcement on ethnic minority persons has become a national powder-keg, deservedly and understandably so. This is why Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz—the three victims of Rittenhouse—were at the Jacob Blake protest in August 2020.
Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17-yrs old from Antioch, Illinois claimed ‘to be offering armed security’ with his loaded AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle around the protesting crowd then supposedly had to defend himself against Rosenbaum, Huber, and Grosskreutz who, as he asserts, ‘wanted to take his life.’
All sorts of questions began swirling in my head after reading these accounts, including a plethora of unproven presumptions by all parties concerned. I am really struggling to find the understanding and wisdom of these angry people, protestors, armed protestors, law-enforcement, and the priority of non-violent grievances by citizens! What am I missing? Why wasn’t there longer and more forethought BEFORE acting on intense emotions? In fact, I have so many questions like this that I’ve tried these last two days to condense them down to these few questions, yes, some rhetorical:
- Was 17-yr old Kyle Rittenhouse trained and licensed to legally or morally “offer” legitimate security and safety with other trained riot-officers?
- Was Rittenhouse trained and licensed in the field of psychology and necessary Crisis Management techniques to “offer” peaceful security?
- Does an AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle, fully loaded, and ready to fire project an air of calm and peacefulness to a volatile crowd?
- Does a teenager armed with this military-grade weapon, but not dressed in any recognizable law-enforcement uniform or in riot-gear as law-enforcement project an air of calm and peace?
- If an unarmed protestor sees civilian clothed, heavily armed boys or men (or women) coming toward them in a weapons-ready posture, will that unarmed civilian protestor immediately feel safe?
- Did Rittenhouse previously know—or have a friendship with—all three men he felt attacked him and wanted to kill him? Did the three victims know Rittenhouse at all?
- If one wants to deescalate a highly intense, possibly volatile situation and encourage “cooler heads to prevail,” would coming armed with an AR-15-styled semi-automatic rifle, fully loaded, screaming(?) and postured to fire at you immediately… project the best way to “help” someone relax, become civil, and calm?
- Continuing from the previous question, did the Kenosha Police Department and/or Riot Division ask the general public—even people from out-of-state like Rittenhouse—to come out and give armed security to the event/protest, especially unchecked, untrained citizens?
How many of you would want random, untrained citizens being your police-peacekeeping force and calling themselves 2nd Amendment Militia?
I come up with several more questions that arise from answers to these above eight questions and more. However, I’ll refrain because as I mentioned, I did not follow the entire story and court proceedings. I was and probably still am unaware of key proofs and refutes. But I will close with these further ponderances…
When one is surrounded by fellow statesmen and women, fellow Americans or fellow human beings, or if you are part of a peacekeeping force in a volatile situation or event, or better yet, if you are a member of The United Nations (UN) or very supportive of the UN’s role among (unruly) world governments and vicious regimes… would you attend meetings or negotiations fully armed postured to fight, harm, and kill then with body-bags present, proclaim you were offering safety, peace, and security? Should implications by appearances be completely ignored, completely overlooked as impertinent? Doesn’t the opposite behavior bode much better for non-violence, mentally unstable, inciteful antagonizers or intentional criminal negligence?
I don’t know, maybe I’m just way out of touch with what represents common decency these days. 😔
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