The Rittenhouse amendment
The Press presumes a recent gun violence acquittal is about gun rights.
Above: Kyle Rittenhouse, August 25, 2021. Photo courtesy of NY Daily News
The recent acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse demands clarification, not explanation. The jury decisions of ‘not guilty’ have little to do with Second Amendment “rights” and a lot to do with first and fourteenth amendment protections.
The Rittenhouse murders took place at a ‘peaceful’ protest, not at a gun trade fair. Not at a gun range. Not at a turkey shoot or deer blind. The source of this misapprehension is due in no small part to the fact that in America gun violence is taken for granted- part of the “turf” of being a citizen living in the US.
And a ‘if it bleeds, it reads’ press is along for the ride.
America likes her guns and her gun rights, which is why on deliberating gun violence policy, American politicians tip toe around the rights of gun carriers.
Except Beto O’Rorke, who no doubt has more to pay publicly for his enthusiastic affirmation of an assault weapon buyback program. (1)
With today’s verdict white concertgoers in Las Vegas have more victim rights than their white and black counterparts at the August 25, 2021 BLM/Jacob Blake demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin. When there is gun violence to acknowledge, America prefers the distant work of a madman to the trappings of a vigilante in body armor at an anti-policing demonstration. How will a civil suit prepare the future for the families of the three Kenosha demonstration victims, who were shot by Rittenhouse “in self-defense,” attempting to stop Rittenhouse?
Rittenhouse is publicly coddled by his tearful display of remorse while Rep. Maxine Waters. last summer, was publicly vilified for exhorting BLM protestors to ‘stay the course,’ peacefully protesting oppression in the streets. (2)
It’s ironic that Rittenhouse, courtesy of cable news and social media travelled from his home in Antioch, Illinois to the BLM protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin and assaulted three protest attendees all the while professing protecting private property — a right that we have laws protecting and pay police protection for — and interstate internet gun parts traffic elude ‘equal protection’ from gun violence. (3-cite NYTimes 11.17)
Rittenhouse’s acts, the jury decided, were part of the problem of guns, not the shootings. How many guns, how long the barrel, how ‘self-defense-y’ the gun owner — the laws and their interpretations are not so sure about.
Rittenhouse’s trigger fingers were just ‘on the wrong body, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.’
The jury was convinced: ‘innocent fingers’ on all counts.
Consider from a sociological point of view, justice here is not about guns, nor fingers, nor video cam stills but about an evolving culture of violence. So perhaps ‘Rittenhouse’ is not on trial here, but our gun violence rapture is and laws supportive of gun violence:
Are we innocent on all counts?
Which brings one to examine the second amendment:
A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
-US Constitution, adopted 1791
It’s a ‘sham amendment,’ a historical artifact, a legal loophole for gun manufacturers and distributors. Its assertion and protection lurking behind every judge and jury decision leeches uncertainty into the protections of the first and fourteenth amendments. O’Rorke, Waters and company are threatened with public shaming for invoking rights of public expression and celebration. And their words are robbed of the passions these rights reveal.
Yes, ‘celebration,’ an agenda of peaceful protests.
Waters, a black Congresswoman from California, interprets the street protest celebratory yearning for solidarity and common cause. Why then is she vilified?
Why is it that a culture of peaceful protest is labeled for presumably accomplishing ‘little or nothing’ and for potentially causing mayhem and destruction?
How can this be?
The short answer is as a nation we are in a rapture of violence with guns and their missionaries. So peaceful protest, not it’s adversary in the public square — repression — is suspect. And according to some observers, white juries are daily schooled in violence, not repression. (4-cite 11.28 email)
This ‘public space,’ Steve Bannon and company infester.
Consider renaming the ‘Second Amendment’ the “Rittenhouse Amendment” in serious deference to the vigilanteism we harbor and support by the quaint reasoning trickling down from pitchfork-armed white farmers.
It’s the ‘American way.’