Throughout the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, conservatives knew the verdict would have implications far beyond one particular case. Even though he is just 18 years old, Rittenhouse is mature enough to understand this fact.
“It wasn’t Kyle Rittenhouse on trial in Wisconsin,” he said in a clip from his interview with Tucker Carlson, which is set to air Monday night. “It was the right to self-defense on trial.”
“It wasn’t Kyle Rittenhouse on trial in Wisconsin. It was the right to self-defense on trial.”
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) November 22, 2021
This is a line of reasoning many prominent conservatives used throughout the trial. Many saw this case as textbook self-defense, meaning the basic right to defend yourself could be threatened if Rittenhouse was found guilty.
American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, well-known immigration lawyer Matthew Kolken and Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren were among the people who made similar arguments as Rittenhouse awaited his fate.
The radical left wants to criminalize your right to self defense. If they had it their way, BLM and Antifa would get away with plunging your community into chaos while those who choose to act in self-defense get put on trial in front of the world.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) November 16, 2021
Self-defense is on trial, and the Left want you defenseless.#KyleRittenhouseIsInnocent
— Matthew Kolken (@mkolken) November 17, 2021
Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t just on trial, self defense is. Kyle dared to save his own life from an angry mob of thugs who weren’t used to being stopped but rather emboldened by Democrats and the media.
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) November 15, 2021
Given the rhetoric by the prosecution during the trial, there is a strong argument to be made that they wanted to criminalize self-defense. At one point, lead prosecutor Thomas Binger suggested exercising your constitutional right of carrying a gun somehow rescinded your right to defend yourself.
“You lose the right to self-defense when you’re the one who brought the gun,” he said before adding, “when you’re the one creating the danger, when you’re the one provoking other people.”
Saying the quiet part out loud: The sleazy Kenosha prosecutor shows that this trial is about criminalizing self-defense. “You lose the right to self-defense when you’re the one who brought the gun,” he falsely told the jury. pic.twitter.com/p0yTShW5KK
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) November 15, 2021
In this quote, you can see Binger’s inherent bias against the Second Amendment. The suggestion that owning a gun and bringing it to a dangerous situation automatically means you are provoking violence is in direct contrast to the Constitution.
The vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens who follow the regulations put in place for them. People who use guns to commit crimes do so because they are criminals, not because the mere possession of a gun makes them provocateurs.
Furthermore, Binger argued during the trial that Rittenhouse was not acting in self-defense when he killed Joseph Rosenbaum because Rosenbaum was “not even within arm’s reach when the first shot occurs.”
Binger says, “if you’re the one who is threatening others, you lose the right to self-defense.”
He says the zoomed in drone video shows, “Rosenbaum is not even within arms reach when the first shot occurs…”
— Stephanie Haines (@TMJ4Stephanie) November 15, 2021
In the drone video the prosecution relied on for their case, it is clear that Rosenbaum is no more than a few feet away from Rittenhouse when the shots are fired. Rittenhouse did not shoot him until he felt he had no other choice to protect his safety.
By Binger’s logic, Rittenhouse would have to wait until Rosenbaum was practically on top of him before defending himself. This shows a basic misunderstanding of the right to self-defense.
In Wisconsin, the standard to use deadly force is that a person must “reasonably believes that force is necessary to protect a 3rd-person or one’s self from imminent death or great bodily harm,” according to the Wisconsin Statutes.
This does not mean a person must wait until they are physically attacked to defend themselves. They simply have to feel the great bodily harm is “imminent,” which certainly seems to be the case when Rosenbaum advanced on Rittenhouse and backed him into a corner between parked cars.
Thankfully, the jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges and therefore preserved the right to self-defense. If they had ruled the opposite way, Rittenhouse understood what the consequences would have been.
“If I was convicted, no one would ever be privileged to defend their lives against attackers,” he told Carlson.
As the media firestorm comes down against the Rittenhouse verdict, we can only hope the basic right of self-defense continues to stand strong against those who wish to destroy it.
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