The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse begins November first, and it will be most informative to anyone who keeps or carries a firearm.  He was 17 when he shot three men, killing two, in the riot that took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin after police shot a knife-wielding man attempting to kidnap little kids in a car.  Unfortunately, the press accepted the BS story that the cop had shot an unarmed man, hence the conflagration.

Let me be clear: I am in no way involved in this case.  Nor do I usually comment on cases that have not yet been adjudicated. I am making an exception here because there has been SO much BS touted about this incident and the upcoming trial.

I hear people blaming Rittenhouse because they think he went looking for trouble.  I expect the defense team will be able to show the jury that this was a kid who wanted to be in law enforcement in the future, had already worked as a lifeguard and as a volunteer cleaning up graffiti and such, and was also trained in first aid.  In addition to the AR15 rifle (which we’ll get to momentarily), he carried life-saving rescue gear and I’m told actually applied it to injured people while in Kenosha at that fateful time.

People down him for taking a rifle illegally across state lines; my understanding is that he didn’t, and that the gun never left Wisconsin once it was shipped to a Federal Firearms License(d) gun dealer.

It is said that he was a “straw purchaser” of the gun.  My understanding is that he gave his legal-age friend in Wisconsin money to buy it for him and hold it until he turned 18 (because he feared AR15s would be banned by then) and would be legal to accept its transfer through an FFL.  If that is true, the buying of the gun by Rittenhouse’s friend with Rittenhouse’s money in hopes of a legal transfer in the future could be a solid defense to that accusation.

But before legal age he was carrying that gun illegally on streets in Wisconsin, his accusers cry. If I was on the kid’s defense team, the argument I’d use would be Doctrine of Necessity. This doctrine is also known as the Doctrine of Competing Harms or, in some other states, the Doctrine of Two Evils.  As the latter implies, it reflects a basic ethos we all learned as kids: when faced with a choice of ONLY two evils, the moral and ethical person must choose the lesser of those evils. 

Kyle Rittenhouse, who had allegedly gone to Kenosha from his home in Illinois only some fifteen miles away, had done so to help the injured people he’d heard of in the news reports, to clean up graffiti, etc. during the riots.  Once he got there, things escalated through no fault of his, and he was asked to stand guard at a riot-vulnerable place of business. There was random gunfire, and literally armored vehicles patrolling the streets, like something out of an apocalypse movie. The Doctrine of Necessity holds that one should be held harmless for breaking the law in a situation where following the law could cause more harm than breaking it.  This is triggered by an exigent circumstance, an extreme emergency in the immediate here and now.  The situation Rittenhouse faced fits that description and should be a solid defense against his possession of the AR15 rifle, given to him by his friend when things escalated and gunfire started before Rittenhouse ever pulled the trigger.

And, let’s not forget, even the anti-gun New York Times published a piece admitting that the three shootings themselves were justified in the unique circumstances of each.

So, yeah, Kyle Rittenhouse in my view is defensible in every element being thrown at him, and I hope his legal counsel is wise enough to use that Doctrine of Competing Harms argument along with the other facts they have going in this case.

The comments page is open, folks: go for it.


  1. Grown men chasing and attacking a teenager deserve no sympathy for their behavior and poor victim selection.

    • Thinker1 I respectfully remind you that same line of thought was applied by the left with regard to George Zimmerman. Don’t get me wrong that case was entirely justified and George did not chase (trying to follow to keep eyes on him is not chasing, nor is it pursuing which implies some intent to confront when closer) or attack Trayvon (receiveing a sucker punch in the face so hard it breaks your nose does not transform you into the aggressor), but I urge we not use arguments easily regurgitated into our face by our opposition. Even when they’re factually wrong. For them that’s most of the time anyway. So effective was the lying propoganda media that unfortunately most of the American public was deceived into believing all the BS and the intentional lies of omission and think he got away with murder.

      Like George though, those creatures that pursued Kyle, and again I’m not defending them, really had no reasonable way in the moment to ascertain that this very much adult height individual in the hours of darkness wearing a mask was a teenager.
      In addition, their contention is that they were trying to perform some kind of citizens arrest after the first shooting in which case, if that was actually their honest intent, I don’t believe it was, his age was a moot point anyway.

    • Especially when the one Being chased clearly IS armed. Those shot took their actions in their own hands to their peril. They who died basically committed suicide by Armed Person.

      • Carole J Shay and Russ,

        Trying to take a loaded gun away from anyone by force may qualify one for a Darwin Award. As Michael Savage teaches, “Liberalism is a mental disorder.” Hating America when you are well clothed and fed, burning down businesses owned by innocent people, and trying to take a loaded gun away from a young man during a nighttime riot, seem to suggest the possibility of a disordered mind.

  2. Sorry. While I agree that some of the specific circumstances may be defensible, the fact is he walked toward a dangerous situation, not away from it. He was under no obligation to defend property, which as we all know does not justify lethal force. He put himself needlessly in a risky situation, illegally armed, and while his heart may have been in the right place, the rest of him is going to have to accept the lawful results of the actions he took in a situation he did not need to be in.
    If you’re not wearing a badge, and you or your loved ones lives are not in imminent danger, then you have a duty to retreat unless unable to do so. What he did was beyond stupid, and he’s going to have to face the consequences.

    • “defend property, which as we all know does not justify lethal force.”
      “you have a duty to retreat”

      Both of those depend on state law. I don’t know about Wisconsin, but neither is true in Texas.

      • So ALL the men who showed up in Bunkerville Nevada armed were in the category into which yuo dump Kyle? Sorry I ain’t bitin’ on that one.

        He had volunteered, hearing the plea for helpl to assist a man whose business had been attacked aand vandalised the iight before, and had ever reason to anticipate a rerun that night. Kyle WAS armed, and legally so (more below) No reason he should not be, he was on PRIVATE property. As his actions clearly prove, he did NOT fire in ange,r or to defend property. His VERY restrained conduct as he was being chased by adult felons who were, judging by their actions and expressed intent, trying to steal his firearm, chasing him, all three armed with lethal force (yes, those industrial grade “skateboards” are weapons in disguise) he ONLY fired, one shot at each one in three distinct incidents (the first two did not get the idea they’d be next if they physically attacked him?) so lets have done wiht the “defending property only” nonsense.

        As to possession of the weapon itself, I’ve read the FULL Wisconsin statute that declares “under 18 years of age can’t possess firearms in public… EXCEPT…..”. He is exempted by TWO sections lower down in that law, I’d suggest you go and read the entire thing. His lawyers have, and have prepared their defense for possession based on the WRITTEN sections of that code, all a part of it.

        If rioting broke out on YOUR street, and you were the only one home and armed, would yuo not call some friends to come help “hold the fort”? In nearly every state in the union, the use of lethal force is justified whenever an “occupied dwelling, or vehicle, or fixed place of business” is breached and entered by unauthrised persons. Yes, Kyle was outside… but i fhtings had gone differently those there to “guard the fort” could and likley would have gone inside the “fixed place of business: which would then have become occupied, thus lethal force would have been justified inside that structure, if breached by unauthorised persons, and necessary for the survival of the intended victims of those who had breached the structure.

        think YOUR HOME being attacked by strangers, some armed, with things like bricks, flamethrowers, molotov cocktails, heaby bats, industrial grade skateboards (go to your local skate shop and heft one of those babies… worse than a baseball bat) and other such lethal tools.

        Nah if Kyle does not get ALL charges dropped the jury will have perpatrated a travesty of justice.

      • I live in Texas and even though it is unique among all other states about using deadly force for defense of property, you still need to be careful about the circumstances. It’s something I would not do, the risk to me is too great. Also, it’s just stuff.

    • As a trained aid provider I have often walked directly into sketchy circumstances to render aid.
      I arm myself always just in case SHTF.
      I have no badge, maybe I am stupid for trying to help people in need of immediate care.
      Should I go to prison because the world isn’t perfect and I may have to God forbid justifiably defend myself against some antifa freak show?
      Your comment sounds a bit holier than thou Rusty. my apologies if that wasn’t your intent. Peace.

      • I also think he was an idiot for going. It was not his car lot, it belonged to a stranger in a different state, who wasn’t even looking for help because it was razed the night before. Would you like to be him in that courtroom now, with a greater than zero chance of going to prison for the rest of your life? I sure as heck wouldn’t. He simply did not have to be there.

        I will defend my life, I will defend my house, my loved ones. I will defend a stranger’s life if we are ever caught up in a deadly, bad situation. Sorry, I’m not driving across the Red River to go protect someone’s 2004 Chevy Impala against a BLM mob. This wasn’t a McCloskeys situation.

        That’s beside the point now. He was there and he defended his life I think legally. I hope he is found not guilty because he should be.

    • Strange the video I saw was of the young man extinguishing a dumpster fire that was being rolled towards a gas station. In Arizona arson of an occupied structure (gas station)is a class 1 Felony and the use of lethal force to prevent it Is very much legal and moral.

      • Even in that very speculative circumstance (the attempted arson and the viability and lethality of the implied fiery disaster to follow), you still have a choice between gunning down the cartwheeling protesters and any other way to intercept that very specious firebombing operation. Calling authorities, running ahead to check for and warn occupants, or grabbing a fire extinguisher spring to mind. As does leaving a mere dumpster fire the heck alone and letting it and the angry mob’s so far impotent tantrum burn out, as it were.

    • Nope. There’s no affirmative duty to retreat in WI law. That being said, he DID retreat, indeed continuously ran away, and was continually pursued. When attacked further, with deadly force and with the apparent intent to harm him, did he defend himself appropriately, and with impressive restraint, accuracy, and professionalism. Go watch the video.

    • Defending what you believe is right is not stupid. You sound like one of stupid moderate gun owners that believe that the only situation that justifies deadly force is if your home is invaded. People like you are worst than far left zealots. Your probably a coward too.

  3. His case is totally legit self-defense. Unfortunately, we live in a time when we have prosecutors and media who do not care, screaming all over the place how evil gun owners are. I don’t know how much this will cost Rittenhouse to pay his lawyers. He has had a lot of donations from crowdfunding places, no clue if that will cover his expenses.

    Everyone who carries really should join a group that will help fund your legal defense if, God forbid, you ever have to shoot someone in self-defense. Virtually no one gets a crowdfunding pile of money like Rittenhouse. If you’re facing manslaughter or murder charges, you could be financially destroyed before your case even gets to the trial. Expenses go up dramatically for a trial itself.

    • I’m not sure how much money he has for his legal defense. Most of the crowdfunding sites shut down any attempt to fund his defense.

      There’s no doubt in my mind that if George Floyd hadn’t OD’d, GoFundMe would have allowed multiple funding streams for his legal defense, some of which wouldn’t actually go to him or his defense team (i.e. fraud).

      But since Kyle Rittenhouse is a white kid, he’s not entitled to even try. Because “Racism”, or something.

    • When, iif he is acquitted, the two million bucks cash bail that’s been posted to spring him out of the hoosgow could be appiled toward legal expenses. I understand the attorneys who have taken up his defense are pro bono.. But if any funding comes available I’m pretty sure they will get something. Not sure, but he may also be able to sue for false charges being laid and wrongful prosecution in which case his legal fees may well be extracted from the hapless taxpayers of Kenosha and surrounds. That DA is a real grandstanding dirtbag, and should be taken down enough pegs he can no longer practice law. THAT would be justice served.

      • In answer to your questions on my earlier post about whether I would call all my friends to come with rifles to defend my home during a riot? No. I would LEAVE. I’m not putting my life or the life of my loved ones at risk to defend PROPERTY. The intelligent person see danger and goes away from it, not toward it. If you want to spend the rest of your life in prison (or end up dead) to defend some self righteous moral obligation, be my guest. I plan on keeping my family safe and living free by using good judgement. Kyle didn’t, and regardless of the outcome will be paying for it, one way or the other, for the rest of his life.

      • Rusty,

        Running away from danger is an option. But what if the danger pursues you? I guess you could keep on running till you are backed into a corner. Then you will have to stand and fight (fix bayonets and charge), or be taken hostage or killed by your pursuers.

        While we are still living during a time when the police will show up, and the courts are working, your choice to avoid danger is probably the best choice. It will certainly keep us out of trouble both with the perpetrators and the authorities. If Rule of Law breaks down, smart people will form Mutual Assistance Groups and protect each other, I think. Just speculating.

  4. The role of arson in the Kenosha riots might be pertinent in deciding whether or not Kyle was acting appropriately. I don’t know the Wisconsin statutes, but my impression of the violence in Kenosha is that arson played a significant role. If some belligerent, self-righteous thugs threaten to burn dwellings or cars where I am, or try to ignite them, there will also likely be significant and appropriate consequences for the perpetrators from yours truly, and without delay. The rioters in Kenosha were by far the rampant, misguided “vigilantes” on the scene. People who initiate or threaten violence, whether as individuals or a mob, need to expect potential victims to defend themselves by the most effective means available.

    • the auntie fae goons had attempted to burn down the structure the night before, and seemed to have been back for Round Two on the night in question. They had lit a dumpster loaded wiht flamables, and were pushing it toward the wooden building hosing the biusiness there. Had they been successful in igniting the building, it would have been arson of an occupied structure. Felony. Lives WERE in danger. As Kyle tried to prevent the firestarter from working as intended, they noticed his rifle and attempted to overpower him to take it, and/or beat him up. Tha’ts when he wisely turned tail and ran.. to preserve his own skin and to prevent the rifle from falling into their hands. Until then he was and had been on private property with the owner’s permission (deep gratitude for the help?) His possession to that point was fully legal no question. His being driven down the street in fear for his own life and control of the rifle also becomes legal, as his only opetoin was to toss the rifle onto the tarmac as he fled.. assuring it would be taken up by the felons with records persuing him. Lesser of several evils? Certainly the case. Yes, atempted arson WAS in progress.

  5. Kyle Rittenhouse is a hero. Bernhard Goetz is a hero. I am tired of people insisting on perfect actions and perfect outcomes in our imperfect world. In my mind, if people are well-motivated, then take actions that are mostly good, but imperfect, they are heroes and should be left alone. There should not even be a trial, but I know I live in Fantasyland.

    Our evil government will try to prosecute Kyle for the heroic actions he took. He eliminated two goblins from society. That helped us. Our evil government releases goblins into society. That hurts us. Our evil government refuses to stop the rioting, looting and burning of taxpaying business owners’ businesses in American cities.

    Why do taxpayers pay for a government which refuses to protect them from criminals? Why do taxpayers pay for schools which teach their children to be communists? Watch as the citizens of American cities continue to vote for democrats who will continue to advance policies which harm their own cities. We are a nation of smart machines, and a lot of stupid people.

    • Roger, we are paying taxes to support a government and people in charge which likes criminals and are more than happy to allow another 70,000+ of them to illegally invade our country soon from south of the border to join the many millions already here and enjoying the benefits and free stuff so generously doled out by our leader in D.C. As the old bumper sticker advises, “Work Harder. Millions on Welfare Depend on You.”

      • @ Tom606 – “we are paying taxes to support a government and people in charge which likes criminals…”

        I would phrase it another way. I would say: “we are paying taxes to support a government, and people in charge, who are (themselves) criminals and who continuously support all other criminals in our society.”

        Almost everyone, in a position of power in the Federal Government, qualifies as a criminal. Their crimes are too numerous to detail but include corruption, taking and offering bribes, embezzlement of government funds, treason, blackmail, perjury, election fraud, conspiring with foreign powers, murder, negligent manslaughter, breaking their oath of office, plus many, many others.

        The entire Federal Government has been turned into one huge Ponzi scheme designed to defraud the American Taxpayer.

        To quote an old saying: “Power corrupts: Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

        For a century now, the American Left’s main goal has been to concentrate “absolute power” in Washington, D.C. The result is that our Government has been “corrupted absolutely”. The watchdogs that would normally act to prevent such a level of corruption: A Free Press, The Justice System, The Separation of Powers established by our Constitution, etc. have all been penetrated by the criminals and corrupted absolutely too.

        The result is a Government that no longer has any redeeming value to the American People. Worse yet, it is a Government that has become tyrannical within its corruption and is now works entirely AGAINST the interests of the American People.

        President Lincoln, in his famous Gettysburg Address, described our system as “government of the people, by the people, for the people…”

        It has been corrupted into being a “government of the criminals, by the criminals, and against the interest of the people” and it will remain so until the American People have had enough and act to run the criminals out of power.

  6. I haven’t been able to follow this well enough to comment either way, but regardless of the outcome it will likely end up as a ‘classic’ which then will become a standard to be cited in future weapons related cases. I hope for an ‘honest and truthful’ outcome.

  7. Defending yourself against a mob is certainly justifiable. Although he shot individuals who presented the threat at the moment, which was showing restraint, the fact is, he was being pursued by an entire mob, and the need to have a gun to prevent being killed due to the disparity of force surely plays a part in this somewhere.
    As for the defense using the right defense for Kyle, one can only hope that the judge doesn’t allow the trial to become a circus, which is what I half expect to see, with the huge media and liberal attention that this case is going to draw.
    So far, it seems as if the judge has been pretty tough on both sides, with an especially short fuse when the prosecution tries to play fast and loose with the rules.

  8. Kyle Rittenhouse did nothing wrong…every single gun law, background check, ban and permit is unconstitutional and illegal and the police, prosecutors and judges that enforce these laws are the very domestic enemies and standing army our founding fathers warned us about. This is yet another case where the ass backwards “gun community” refuses to educate its members and public about another of our natural inalienable rights…the right to jury nullification.

  9. What will matter most is the first shooting I think. The rioters story is not very convincing. Though armed with a deadly weapon to wit a bludgeon (The skateboard became a club), a shod foot that later attempted stomping on a downed individual, and one pistol (which I’m not sure if the other pursuers realized that one had a gun), chasing down a person with a shoulder fired projectile weapon that is much easier to use than a pistol at all times especially beyond typical pistol ranges and with a red dot even more so which you allegedly saw him use to unjustifiably shoot someone don’t sound very convincing or reasonable. This person with long gun whom a reasonable man would recognize has a serious advantage in distance was now running in the direction of police instead of shooting his pursuers who were rapidly closing while still at significant distance from them where that advantage would overwhelmingly increase his ability to, uh, end their pursuit and make his escape in safety.

    Finally, he is forced down. He is out of breath from trying to outrun them, not a single person but a group of people, who have been chasing him without relent. He cannot possibly even get back on his feet before the imminent attack from multiple attackers is Inflicted on him. Now, all of the factors combine. Because of his position of disadvantage he cannot possibly continue his flight before the attack is wreaked upon him, because of multiple attackers, because of their own improvised weapons (not to mention the per se weapon, the pistol), because of their attempts to actually use them on him when they downed him, because of his physical exhaustion, disparity of force has been created. All of these things aggregate, and now a reasonable person would believe the peril to his life is real and that peril is unjustifiable under law.

    Kyle has run out of time and options. There is no immediately available reasonable alternative method of repelling this attack with any acceptable probability of success. He can either accept the imminent injuries that he knows may kill him, or stop himself from being murdered by immediately attempting to physically compromise the anatomy of the attackers to such a degree it is not possible for them to continue the attack by using the only option he has to effect that: Deadly force.

  10. No matter the outcome, this demonstrates THE reason to be trained, competent, and knowledgeable no only about firearms, but also the LAW. If you find yourself in a position to require lethal force, your decision needs to be informed and defensible. Although I didn’t intend to plug Mas’ MAG-40 course when I started reading this thread, it sure leaped to mind a moment ago. “The Ultimate Extreme” and “Deadly Force” are a good start, but practical in-person training ties them both together and then some. Andrew Branca’s book “The Law of Self Defense” is another ‘must read’. It is a hollow victory to win the gun battle only to lose the inevitable legal war.

  11. Mas, you’ve been my mentor since before I started carrying concealed as I sought out all your online content, your books, articles and MAG40, taking the classroom portion twice. It’s good to hear you see a clear path to a Rittenhouse success in court. I truly hope the laws and lawyers can bring that about. Some of your key teaching objectives is to help us walk where the ice is thickest and all fights avoided are fights we’ll never lose. Rittenhouse may be shown to have had adequate legal standings for his actions but he apparently ventured out onto clearly avoidable thin ice. I hope his representation in court is better than adequate but I’d never want to be in his shoes.
    Thanks for all your guidance Mas.

  12. Shades of Zimmerman. Wholly driven by liberal dislike of anyone not part of their religion. If he just burned down an occupied business he wouldn’t be prosecuted…

  13. One big problem here. He injected himself into a potentially violent situation where his presence was not required. He had no duty to protect property or people in Wisconsin. When you are armed, increasing your distance from similar situations is often the best answer. These facts will be his downfall. Horrible judgement.

    • Doesn’t your assertion boil down to ‘Responsible citizens have an obligation to allow rioters and arsonists to riot and commit arson’?

      • No, it boils down to “Responsible citizens have an obligation to AVOID trouble at every opportunity.” He didn’t do this, and he’s going to pay for it.

    • His biggest downfall will be he will always carry “the mark of Cain” the rest of his life and he and his family will always be looking over their shoulders as the family members and friends of Kyle’s attackers will be looking for some form of retribution…..even in those self defense situations such as a home invasion that results in the deaths of the attackers by the home owner trying to defend against an armed assault against his family….no one rides off into the sunset with their favorite significant other after a deadly encounter using lethal force….you may get to live another day, but your life will never be the same.

  14. We don’t hear anything about the man who aimed a Glock at him, or the one swinging a hardwood skateboard with metal wheels at his head, or the mob’s Typical propaganda from the agenda driven and owned lame stream media. They are trying to make their point, regardless of the facts or truth. Stir up some more sh!+

  15. Branca thinks he didn’t actually violate the gun law that is the basis for the misdemeanor charge. He also says that the law is so convoluted as to be unconstitutionally vague.

  16. 17 year olds should not be in a middle of a riot. Where were his parents?

    As for Doctrine of Necessity, he chose to go there. It was not necessary for him to go there. He was not a member of any aid group (I think).

    His defense has (maybe) a way to show it was ‘necessary’ for the AR-15, but they will have a hard time showing it was ‘necessary’ for him to be in those dangerous streets.

    Lots of luck.

      • But you were a volunteer for an organization, that helps. Was he? And you are not 17 (me neither) with a weapon you were not supposed to own.

        Now the weapon is a weapon… and in SD cases it should not matter if you are being attacked (even ex-cons with guns that were illegal to own have successfully proved self defense.)

        I will say there will be wrongful death suits over this.. but I doubt the 17 has anything the can sue for.

      • And not defending ourselves as best we can from unfair harm while doing actual good is existentially a form of self-punishment, and at worst a kind of suicide. We just have to get out from under the idea that self-serving Government will save us if we just sit on our hands and watch while our country burns down.

    • Deaf Smith:

      You are correct. Kyle could have played it safe and stayed home. Instead, he chose to help his fellow man. This makes him even more of a hero than a police officer, who is doing his duty, and is paid to do it. Because Kyle’s motive was so pure, he should not even be charged. He should be left alone by our government.

      If I am not mistaken, there were five 15-year-old soldiers on Guadalcanal during WWII. They should not have been there. They lied to the Army recruiters in order to join. After serving on Guadalcanal, should our government punish them for lying to get into the Army?

      Nearly all American servicemen who served in our foreign wars of the twentieth century were above and beyond heroes. You could call them “super heroes.” This is because they were not fighting for America. They were fighting to defend and free the people of other nations like France, the Philippines, South Korea and South Vietnam.

      The American homeland was never threatened by any country during the twentieth century. (During the Cold War, Russia was a threat, but only because Oppenheimer gave them the knowledge of atomic weapons, or maybe their spies stole it, I don’t know). Therefore, the American homeland never had to be defended. We could have been like Switzerland. Instead, we sent our young men to free other peoples. We even built up our former enemies Italy, Germany and Japan after the war. Yes, we did it so that they wouldn’t go communist, but it was still a good gesture. We could have turned their countries into big cemeteries if we had the will to do that type of genocide. I think America could only have been threatened in the twentieth century if Nazi Germany had been able to develop atomic bombs, and a delivery system to get them here.

      Now, I know I am making a moral argument. I would lose in an American court making this argument. The court will see it your way, that is, Kyle should have stayed home, and not gotten involved. Well, maybe America should have stayed isolationist, and hundreds of thousands of young servicemen would have died as old men, not as young men bleeding to death on a foreign battlefield. Germany would have ruled Europe for a longer time. Japan would have ruled the Eastern Pacific for, who knows how long? North and South Korea would be united under Kim Jong-un. Our service people and our first responders are heroes, and so is Kyle Rittenhouse. Leave him alone. Maybe he should be a speaker at an NRA meeting.

      • Yeah, NONE of this matters at all. 1) he’s not in the military, 2) he was not under lawful orders to go there, and 3) this wasn’t a warzone encompassing the entire continent. Oh, and it’s not WWII anymore either. He wasn’t a child soldier and we’re not living in 1940 anymore. That history matters not one bit to this case.

        Kyle was an Explorer Scout and he let that go to his head and wanted to play cop. And he’s paying the price for that, and he’ll be found guilty on all charges. He shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and I have not met ONE PERSON YET defending him who is a parent who would allow their child to go to a riot or volatile situation unsupervised and with a gun. So what does that tell you? “It’s okay for that child but not for mine!” Give me a break.

      • Rich,

        In this case, I’ll concede you are correct, if staying out of trouble is the goal.

        You said Kyle wanted to play cop. If I see someone who is physically hurt, and I render first aid, am I playing doctor? After all, as an untrained person, I could do more harm than good.

        I’m just playing the philosopher here. I personally like the idea of citizens fighting against crime, so I am trying to find a way to justify it. You are correct that if Kyle had stayed home, he would not be in trouble with the law. The two people he killed would still be able to continue their righteous fight against us evil Americans who built this society on greed and slavery.

        I will say it. I’m glad those monsters are dead. The world is a little bit better without them. America is a place which kills babies, but won’t use the death penalty to kill very many criminals. In fact, we not let criminals go free in society. Yes, for that reason we are an evil country. The Leftists/Democrats are evil.

      • I should have proofread my piece one more time. That sentence should read, “In fact, we let criminals go free in society.”

  17. I think the jury will try to throw an unsuccessful sop to the mob to avoid riots and he’ll get dinged on the possession charge.

    That said, when people ask me where I’m going that I think I need a gun, I always respond with, “I don’t know. If I knew I was going someplace where I needed a firearm, I wouldn’t go there. I carry in case I run into a situation where I didn’t think a gun was needed, but it is.”

    That poor kid doesn’t have that defense.

  18. Based upon some of the comments above, there seems to be a “blame the victim” tendency, for some people, in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. It is rather like the attitude that a woman who wears a sexy outfit is just “asking” to be raped. In their view, a seventeen-year old Kyle Rittenhouse, by simply “being there and being armed” was just “asking” to be set upon by a crazed mob and assaulted.

    It seems to me that these types of attitudes are “wrong-headed”. This is AMERICA people. We are supposed to be a FREE PEOPLE. This is supposed to be a FREE SOCIETY. In a free society, as long as one is not breaking the law or harming others, then one should have the FREEDOM to make choices. Even if these choices may seem unwise to others.

    A woman who chooses to wear a sexy outfit is not breaking the law. She is not harming anyone. Certainly, it should not be used to justify her being attacked by a criminal and raped.

    In a similar way, Kyle Rittenhouse had just as much right to be on the scene as any one of the so-called “Protestors”. In fact, he had a better right since it seems that he did not go there to break the law by contributing to the rioting, looting and burning (as so many of the Antifa and BLM people were doing) but was there in the hopes that he could do some good. His carrying a medical kit is proof of that.

    So, his being there does not make him guilty of some crime. He did not “deserve” to be set upon by a mob no more that the woman, in my above hypothetical, “deserved” to be raped.

    It was the mob that were the aggressors in this incident. When Kyle Rittenhouse ran and retreated from the scene, he established his “Mantle of Innocence”. Whatever mistakes or unwise choices, that he made before his retreat, became irrelevant and immaterial. His retreat established him solidly as the “Good Guy” who was trying to avoid trouble.

    When the mob set off in pursuit of Kyle Rittenhouse, they became the CRIMINAL AGGRESSORS at that point in time. The shootings that followed became their own fault because they FORCED Kyle Rittenhouse to respond with self-defense to their CRIMINAL AGGRESSION.

    This is as clear-cut case of self-defense as you are ever likely to see. I am frankly amazed that some people still try to find fault with Kyle Rittenhouse and “reach back in time” to some irrelevant, prior event so that they can try to “blame the victim”.

    • I have been very critical of Rittenhouse being where he was. That’s not the same as “blaming the victim”, it’s not the same as saying he should have been absolutely forbidden to go, and it is a separate issue from whether he has a valid self-defense case. If someone wants to go to a protest for any reason, be my guest. I also think he acted completely within the boundaries of a legal self-defense shooting.

      Now put yourself in his shoes. Is this something you would do? We know you support him from afar. How many BLM/Antifa protests have you plunked yourself in the middle of, armed? Seriously. It’s easy to type here and say – good job, kid. You’re not the one who killed two people and are now sitting in a courtroom. You would drive to another state with one friend, to confront a proven-violent mob that had been growing night after night? What makes you think this was smart on Kyle Rittenhouse’s part? Is he the second coming of Sun Tzu? Would you tell your 17-year-old, “Son, you go off with that AR in front of overwhelming numbers, where even the cops won’t go – oh, and be careful!”

      Whether we think he acted legally doesn’t matter. What matters now is what a jury thinks. And I don’t care how much you want America to be different (I am just like you and want it to be different, too), America is as it is right now with no changes in our favor coming anytime soon. When you find yourself before a jury, no matter how clear-cut you think you followed the law, if a prosecutor can convince a jury that you didn’t follow the law, and/or your attorney does a poor job showing how you followed the law, you will kiss your freedom goodbye. Any time you go before a jury, as Andrew Branca says, your chances of conviction are at that point greater than zero. A question you should always think about ahead of time when thinking about all sorts of risky situations: is this worth me possibly being in front of a jury? Maybe so. That’s up to you to answer. I can’t think for you. This is just a guess, but I bet a 17-year-old Rittenhouse gave that question little to no thought. This is also just a guess, but I bet an older Rittenhouse at some point will ask himself, if he hasn’t already done so, did I really need to be there? BLM protests sure as heck didn’t vanish after August 2020.

      I live in Texas, there have been two mob situations here that went south fast. One of them was close to me a few years ago, when someone whose name I refuse to try to remember murdered five LEOs in downtown Dallas. I remember that night and watched it on TV. I also remember thinking ahead of time, because it was known there would be a large protest that night – hmm, avoid downtown Dallas this evening. Should I have gone down there with my weapons to prove that I support a free America? No one expected five officers to die that night with 11 wounded including two civilians. Protests don’t typically feature any kind of slaughter at all. Still, should I have gone? Name any leftist protest that was risk-free. Just because I can put myself in a situation, does that mean I have to? What am I getting out of doing such a thing vs. the risk? I’m not a member of some organized group that has skill and experience with this sort of thing. Neither was Rittenhouse, who was too young to buy the rifle he used to defend his life. Even if I were part of an experienced group like, say, the Dallas PD, did that experience and skill protect them in July 2016? What if I had been there and gotten my nose broken from a sucker punch? What in the hell am I doing there? I don’t know if you’re married, but good luck explaining to your wife that your broken nose at a BLM was worth it. Forget your wife, find me anyone who you told your broken nose protest story to who would say, “On balance, I’m proud you went down there.” You changed what in America at that point? Your nose. Meanwhile, BLM and Antifa rage on.

      Second example in Austin from July 2020: Uber driver, active-duty soldier at Fort Hood, found himself in the middle of a BLM mob and ended up shooting and killing someone who had pointed a rifle at him. At first the soldier wasn’t charged. Almost exactly a year later he was indicted for felony murder. Why? Because Austin is a leftist hellhole with a gun-hating jerk DA. In this case, I don’t know if the soldier unexpectedly found himself in a bad situation because he was an Uber driver and couldn’t avoid the mob. I doubt he was looking to drive into it. All I know for sure is that he got stuck in mob, honked his horn and tried to get out. He was not expecting someone to pull a rifle on him as a result. But that’s what happened. I don’t understand why anyone would voluntarily put himself in such a place. Again, I’m not saying this is what the soldier did. I’m saying: why would you seek out a BLM/Antifa protest away from your community and take your armed self down there for reasons not directly connected to your life?

      If spending millions of dollars on lawyers and gambling your life in prison is worth it for someone else’s burned-down car lot, have at it. I will defend my life, my loved one’s life, I will defend my home, I will defend a stranger in a lethal situation if I am there to help. I will not go out of state to place myself in the middle of a mob to guard a stranger’s ash heap.

      We live in a country free enough to walk around with a long gun in Wisconsin. Doing so in a crowd of thousands who hate your guts for doing so, I don’t know why you’re shocked that things might not end pleasantly.

      • You wrote, “Would you tell your 17-year-old, ‘Son, you go off with that AR in front of overwhelming numbers, where even the cops won’t go – oh, and be careful!’”

        By all accounts, he didn’t go there with an AR15. According to his attorneys, he went there to help the injured and help clean up damage, and was only given the rifle when he found himself in a dangerous situation.

      • Gotcha, thanks. I still wouldn’t advise my own son to go, armed or not armed, to a different town to confront a mob, being that outnumbered, knowing that the police haven’t done anything to stop the damage from the previous nights.

        Again, this is just me. If this were my own home or business, and the mob comes to me, the situation changes.

  19. Sorry Mas. I love your work, and respect the hell out of you, but I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you here.

    Kyle was an Explorer Scout and he let that go to his head and wanted to play cop. I think it ultimately boils down to being as simple as that. And he’s paying the price for that, and I strongly believe that he will be found guilty on all charges.

    To the rest of you defending him: he shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and I have not met ONE PERSON YET defending him who is a parent who would allow their own child to go to a riot or volatile situation unsupervised and with a gun. So what does that tell you? “It’s okay for that child but not for mine!” Give me a break.

    We gun owners need to start picking better “heroes” to idolize, instead of gullible children and wanna-be cops. It’s getting pretty embarrassing. First it was Zimmerman, who turned out to be a massive d-bag, and now it’s Rittenhouse. We need to hold people like the Roof Koreans, Lance Thomas, and Mas up as our icons. Not them.

    • “he shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

      Here it is again. The “Blame the Victim” mindset. George Zimmerman should have “never got out of the car” and Kyle Rittenhouse “shouldn’t have been there in the first place.” They were stupid so they “deserve” to have their lives destroyed by the courts and the media because of their stupidity.

      Let me make this point. Stupidity is not a crime! If it was, then half of the people in the United States would be in prison right now. Every seventeen year-old that I have ever known has engaged in stupid behavior. Hell, I was pretty stupid myself when I was seventeen. Fortunately, nobody tried to sentence me to life in prison because of it!

      Let me try to lay out this point-of-law. Being unwise or stupid is not a crime. Kyle Rittenhouse is not charged with multiple counts of criminal stupidity. He is charged with specific counts of homicide, assault and criminal endangerment of others.

      His response to these charges is to claim self-defense. From a legal perspective the only thing that should matter is: Does he meet the elements of self-defense? These are:

      1) Innocence – Was Rittenhouse an innocent party during the incident? The answer is YES. Rittenhouse retreated before each shooting. That showed, clearly, that he did not want trouble and was not the aggressor. These actions to retreat established his “Mantle of Innocence” for all to see.

      2) Imminence – Was Rittenhouse under an imminent threat at the time of each shooting? The answer is yes, In the first shooting, he was caught and had heard a gunshot behind him. It was reasonable to suppose that he was under an imminence threat. The man tried to disarm him. It was reasonable to suppose that he would be shot with his own weapon if disarmed. The same applied to the other shootings in which he was attacked with a skateboard, other attempts were made to disarm him and he was approached by a man with a pistol in his hand. Combined with the continued hot pursuit, he was clearly under an imminent threat each time.

      3) Proportionality – Was his response proportional to the threats? Yes, he was threatened, multiple times, with death or serious injury. He was in danger of being disarmed and shot, being beaten and stomped by a mob or being shot by a handgun in another man’s hand. As a result, his response of deadly force was proportional to the threats of deadly force that he was facing. In each case, he only responded with the force necessary to neutralize the threat. He did not continue to shoot or use excessive force once his attackers were down or had backed off.

      4) Avoidance – Did he try to avoid a fight? Yes, I have already talked about how he retreated, multiple times, in an effort to avoid a conflict.

      5) Reasonableness – Were his actions those that a reasonable person would take in similar circumstance? Remember, the law does not require one to be right (or smart, or wise) during an incident. It only requires one to be reasonable. In my view, anyone who was armed and faced with multiple attackers would react to defend themselves with their firearm. One can argue about whether it was reasonable to place himself in the middle of a riot but that is immaterial to the self-defense question. The only (legal) question is: Was his use of force reasonable? I say YES!

      So, from a legal perspective, Kyle Rittenhouse meets each and every element of legal self-defense. If he receives true justice, he will be found “Not Guilty” because his actions were justified by the law of self-defense.

      All this hand-wringing, about his stupidity in putting himself in the middle of a riot zone or what his parents should have done, matters not one red-cent from a legal point-of-view. The ONLY LEGAL ISSUE should be: Does his claim of self-defense meet the standards laid down in the law? As shown above, they do. All these other side issues, that people are dragging into this case, are totally irrelevant and meaningless.

      It does not matter whether Kyle Rittenhouse is a hero, villain or a stupid jerk. He is probably none of the above. All that matters, legally, is did he act in self-defense? As I said before, you will likely never see a more clear-cut case of self-defense than this one.

  20. Remember John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry? Today he is seen a hero. Back then, he attacked a federal installation, to arm slaves so they could rebel against the government. I think two of his sons were killed. The government tried and hanged him. I’m sure people back then thought he risked everything to break the law and free legally owned slaves. He should have stayed home in peace.

    Kyle Rittenhouse should be given a medal. Instead, our government that we pay for will spend time trying him in a court of law. Our government will not secure the southern border, or arrest any Antifa or BLM members. In addition, it will let criminals out of prison so they won’t contract COVID-19, which is a very deadly virus if you live in a nursing home.

    Leave Kyle Rittenhouse alone. He killed criminals, while our government is empowering criminals.

  21. Quote of the Day:

    “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell” – Carl Sandburg

    The Prosecutor in the Rittenhouse Case has the law against him. The facts, including the video evidence, are also against him. So, what can he do to win his case?

    He will follow the above advice of Carl Sandburg. He will summon the support of the American Left, their media attack dogs and their Antifa/BLM street thugs and then he will “pound on the table and yell like hell”.

    That, in a nutshell, will be the Left’s strategy for winning the Rittenhouse Case.

  22. While I have a rather jaundiced view of most “journalists”, this morning’s Washington Times ( has an interesting article on pretrial agreements/rulings in the Rittenhouse case for those who can’t/don’t access commentary by attorneys’ following the case.

    Teaser: the defense can refer to those shot as rioters, looters and/or arsonists, the prosecution is barred from referring to them as “victims” as that presumes Mr Rittenhouse wasn’t acting in self defense.

    There’s other stuff about scope of expert witness testimony, admission of videos etc. I expect the commentators will cover this in much more detail and depth.

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