As we speak, I am banned from Facebook for 30 days. I have a number of “non-violation violations” on the platform dating back to February. In other words, I didn’t do anything wrong or actually break their rules, they just arbitrarily ruled certain posts were violations anyway. This has always happened to conservatives on Facebook, but back in the day when Facebook was at least trying to give the appearance of being a neutral arbiter, the big conservative pages used to have a Facebook rep. I must have informed mine of at least a half-dozen plus different violations and EVERY SINGLE TIME, she agreed it wasn’t a violation, inquired behind the scenes, had the strike removed, and then would tell me, “It was a mistake.” That’s how it works for conservatives on Facebook. They make an awful lot of “mistakes.”
Here’s the latest one that produced the 30-day ban.
Kyle Rittenhouse is on trial for murder, but his lawyers are saying he’s innocent of those charges because he was engaged in self-defense. Furthermore, if you were making a bet, the smart bet would be that the defense will win that trial and Kyle Rittenhouse will go free because yes, he was so obviously engaged in self-defense, he shouldn’t have been charged. Suggesting that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense might be beyond the pale for Facebook, but it’s certainly not anywhere else.
Of course, if you’re trying to put this issue into the proper context and understand why it should matter, we need to start with the failure of the government in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The first duty of the government is to maintain order and protect the citizenry. If mobs are allowed to riot, burn down buildings, and menace the public, that’s a failure of the government to do its most important job. Granted, nobody should expect the government to stop all crime and if riots unexpectedly break out, it’s possible to see how the police could be temporarily overwhelmed. However, riots can only happen night after night if local officials either silently support the rioting (as we see in places like Portland) or if they don’t take their duty to protect the public seriously enough to use as much manpower and force as necessary to stop the lawlessness. If the police and National Guard in Kenosha, Wisconsin had done their jobs, there wouldn’t have been 50+ million dollars worth of damage and three nights of rioting in a city of fewer than 100,000 people, and Kyle Rittenhouse, among many others, wouldn’t have felt compelled to answer the call to defend local businesses. It’s worth adding that after Kyle Rittenhouse shot the rioters that attacked him, that was the last night of rioting. It’s funny that one good guy with a gun defending himself from grievous bodily harm ultimately managed to do more to protect the people of Kenosha from rioting than the police and National Guard combined. That says a lot about the lack of seriousness the people in charge showed about tackling these riots.
Now, some people have said Kyle Rittenhouse shouldn’t have been there in the first place and they’ve gone out of their way to note that he “crossed state lines” to get to Kenosha. First of all, when it comes to “crossing state lines,” I live in North Myrtle Beach and cross the state line into North Carolina multiple times in an average week. It’s not exactly an unusual occurrence. In Rittenhouse’s case, he lived less than 30 minutes away and worked in Kenosha that day as a lifeguard, so it’s not as if he drove from four states away looking for trouble, he had a genuine connection to that community. As to the idea that he shouldn’t have been there in the first place, there’s a fair argument to make there as well.
Getting beyond that, what happened that night? Here’s a good rundown of what Rittenhouse was doing in the run-up to the shooting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Rittenhouse, of Illinois, and his friend Dominick Black, of Kenosha, had been helping clean up around Civic Square Park on Tuesday. They return downtown that evening with rifles, joining other armed men guarding a second location of a car business that had been severely damaged Sunday night... Later, Rittenhouse walks alone to the business' third location four blocks away….
So far, so good right?
Now, here’s Fox News breaking down what happened from there:
The Rittenhouse case isn't a whodunit. Bystander video captured most of the shootings.
It shows an unarmed Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse into the parking lot of a used car dealership. At one point, Rosenbaum throws a plastic bag at Rittenhouse before the two move off-camera and Rittenhouse fires the fatal shots at around 11:45 p.m.
Soon after, Rittenhouse is seen running down a street away from the scene with several protesters on his heels. He falls. Huber appears to strike him in the head and neck area with a skateboard; Rittenhouse shoots Huber, striking him in the heart.
Seconds later, Gaige Grosskreutz steps toward Rittenhouse holding a pistol. Rittenhouse shoots him, badly injuring Grosskreutz's arm. Rittenhouse then gets to his feet and leaves the scene.
Although I have no idea who Logical Checkmate is, he has put out a number of videos that splice the footage from that night together and this one is particularly good:
What you will see here is that Rittenhouse RAN from the rioters when they started to come after him. When he was cornered and he either had to shoot Rosenbaum (a child molester who had been discharged from a mental hospital that day) or wrestle with him for control of his gun, he shot him. Afterward, Rittenhouse continued to flee and his attackers continued to chase him. When he eventually fell, Huber attacked him with a skateboard and tried to take the gun away. Then, Rittenhouse shot him. When Rittenhouse was still on the ground and Grosskreutz ran up to him, Rittenhouse held his fire. When Grosskreutz, who had a gun in his hand, then lunged at Rittenhouse, which could have meant a struggle for the gun, Rittenhouse shot him.
What we see here in every case is unambiguous, clear-cut, responsible self-defense. How can it be anything else when Rittenhouse literally ran from his attackers, didn’t wildly fire, and only shot when he was cornered and risked having his gun taken away from him by an attacking rioter, which could have been a death sentence?
So, why does this one case matter so much? Because this is as clear a case of self-defense as you’re ever going to see outside of someone’s home. If Kyle Rittenhouse is guilty in this case, it’s hard to know what even constitutes “self-defense” in America anymore. Because it’s a political prosecution. The DA, who is a Democrat, correctly decided not to prosecute the officer that shot Jacob Blake. If he didn’t prosecute that officer OR Rittenhouse, he’d make Democrats mad and wouldn’t get reelected. So, Rittenhouse is on trial for murder to help improve the DA’s prospects of being re-elected. Because lax and liberal local governments need to understand there can be potentially fatal consequences for allowing mobs to do as they please. Because liberal rioters need to understand that if you decide to attack someone just because you think they may be “on the other side,” it could potentially cost you your life if they’re armed.
It is incredibly dangerous for the government to willingly give up its monopoly on force to politically motivated, armed mobs. That’s not just because those mobs can do enormous amounts of damage or kill people. It’s because ultimately if the government is not going to protect the citizenry, others will have to rise up to do it. That could be individuals like Kyle Rittenhouse trying to help the community. It could be the now legendary rooftop Koreans from the LA riots. It could even be street gangs, militias, or armed political groups.
Mixing the tribalism of modern American politics with armed factions battling in the streets while city governments refuse to do what’s necessary to maintain order is a recipe for disaster. Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t cause this problem. He was a victim of it and the rioters that very well may have killed him if he didn’t defend himself from their unprovoked attacks.