Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Not long ago, I wrote a post asking where the good guys with guns have gone. In it I argued that good guys with guns are more likely to confuse situations and put themselves at risk. In the news yesterday (as of the writing of this post) details from not one but two Kyle Rittenhouse trials.
If, like me, you forgot this one (thanks to the myriad of shootings across the nation), let me remind you of the story. Rittenhouse, seventeen at the time, illegally obtained an assault rifle and crossed state lines to go to from Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin during peaceful protests of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. He would later tell the media that he had traveled this two-hundred-and-fifty-mile span as a desire to help people protect their property. Interestingly, there is no evidence of any police force, state, local or national reaching out to Rittenhouse specifically to ask for his help and saying that he, alone, is the only person in the nation who could possibly do so.
In Kenosha, he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum (36) and Gaige Grosskreutz (26), and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz (26) who was kind of an idiot as well. After killing two people he was videotaped casually walking past police who didn’t even question him.
Buckle in. This is going to be a wild ride.
First, let’s be honest about this. An underaged kid with an assault rifle travels across state boarders to participate in protests is not the action of somebody who has good intentions on their mind. I personally believe he went there wanting to shoot people. He claimed that he only fired in self-defense as the crowd charged him. Of course, if he was standing where the crowd wanted to go (whether or not to damage private property), then, yes, they would have been moving towards him. But brandishing his assault rifle, there’s also a good chance that they were afraid he was a mass shooter (which he was) and wanted to disarm him.
This is the confusion that “good guys” bring to the table. Did the protesters think he was about to fire, and if so, weren’t they acting in self-defense? Now, let’s get to Gaige, the only person Rittenhouse shot that was not killed.
Gaige had a gun as well, a handgun. Apparently, this good guy with a gun chased good guy with a gun Kyle into a car lot. In the car lot, good guy with a gun Gaige pulled his handgun on good guy with a gun Kyle to try to subdue him. This is when good guy with a gun Kyle shot good guy with a gun Gaige in the arm doing severe physical damage.
Even this gets confusing. Gaige testified that he had no intention of shooting anybody, and even went so far as to say that he would not be able to shoot anybody. If this sounds wrong, you are correct. I’ve written in the past that if you carry a handgun, you must be willing to draw it, and if you draw it, you do so to fire it immediately, not to threaten, or it’s likely to get you killed. Gaige is frankly lucky to be alive, and if he was not willing to use the handgun, then he shouldn’t have had it (maybe mace or a stun gun instead).
As near as I can figure it, there were two encounters between these good men with guns. At first, Kyle pointed his assault rifle at Gaige before he drew his handgun, and Gaige put his hands up. Kyle did not fire at Gaige and ran off. Gaige ran in pursuit. In the car lot, Gaige pulled his handgun and pointed it at Kyle, apparently unaware that Kyle was a fellow good guy with a gun, and apparently (according to his testimony) not to fire. Kyle leveled his good guy assault rifle at Gaige, and Gaige put his hands up (but I’m guessing not dropping the handgun) when Kyle opened fire.
Are you starting to get an idea of the chaos that ensued? As I write this, Kyle is weeping on the stand and giving his own testimony. There seems to be a lot of videos of the incident which does show people rushing Kyle that his attorneys argue means he acted in self-defense, but what were his intentions? If he showed up hoping to be able to shoot people, then they were acting in self-defense. If he had no desire to kill people, why was he so casual and calm as he walked past police right after having done so? Make no mistake about this; it’s not just Kyle on trial here, but gun rights and self-defense laws as well. It’s idiots like these that threaten the gun rights of law-abiding gun owners like me.