Rittenhouse case complicated by gun

If you have been following the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old charged with killing two people and wounding a third in the Kenosha, Wis., demonstrations last year, you have to feel for the jury given the task of deciding his guilt or innocence.

There’s no doubt that Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, came to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Ill., with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle, with the intent to stand up to protesters who might be trying to destroy property. It is also evident that he became the focus of some protesters’ aggression. He got caught in a scuffle that escalated, leading him to shoot the three men, the last two as he was being chased. He’s claiming self-defense, and there is reason backing that up.

So many questions — did he go to Kenosha with a gun intending to use it?

When did his desire to protect property become a desire to protect himself?

If anything is clear in this situation, it is that guns have a tendency to escalate disputes to tragic heights. Rittenhouse went to Kenosha to perform a public service in a difficult situation, a situation he was not prepared for, and it cost two men their lives and changed his forever.


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