Analysis: Rittenhouse is the latest symbol of a nation divided by guns, crime and protests

Scenes of Rittenhouse, 18, walking freely on Friday after fatally shooting two men and injuring another last year during police shooting unrest Jacob Blake, a Black man, also opened a new debate about state law on the right to self-defense and the concept of vigilance.
The political echoes of the case have shaken a tense political environment ahead Election 2022 and even the 2024 presidential race.
Texas Democratic Domination Candidate Beto O’Rourke said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, for example, after the incident in the city of Kenosha showed that Americans are not allowed “weapons designed for use on the battlefield.” Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, who appears to be gearing up for another run for the White House, has hailed Rittenhouse, who has put himself in a volatile situation, as “the poster boy.” for the right to self-defense.
The debate on Sunday talk shows and elsewhere about Rittenhouse had taken place a few hours before an SUV rammed into a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, attacked more than 20 people. Officials said many people were killed but did not give exact numbers because relatives of those who died were notified. Police did not give details of a motive for the attack but said they have a person of interest in custody. After the tragedy, politicians from both sides of the aisle expressed their condolences and prayers for those who died and those who were first rescued.
The extreme politicization of the Rittenhouse case has only increased since he was found not guilty of first-degree murder and four other counts on Friday. The jury was forced to make its judgment based not on political considerations but on narrower questions of Wisconsin law as well as video evidence and testimony presented at trial. Seems to have accepted Rittenhouse’s testimony that he was fired after he felt that his own life was threatened during the standoff with two whites dead and one injured and that he acted in accordance with his right of self-defence.
If a jury system exists, decisions must be respected by those who disagree with them – something President Joe Biden Friday’s assertion said, “I stand with what the panel has concluded.” However, that hasn’t stopped an explosion of political backlash since Rittenhouse stepped out of court that looks certain to become more controversial than he is. turned into a hero by the conservative media, with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson securing exclusive access to him and members of his defense team during the trial for an upcoming documentary.
Biden reacts to Rittenhouse's ruling: & # 39;  The jury system works and we have to follow it & # 39;
Democratic politicians, including Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and members of Congress, have expressed varying degrees of disappointment with the ruling, although some have refrained from refraining from doing so. outright criticism of the jury. Others have been much more outspoken. New York Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called for a federal review of the sentence, tweeting: “Justice cannot tolerate armed people crossing the line. state circles looking for trouble while everyone joins the First Amendment Protected Protest.” Rittenhouse, however, does not cross state boundaries with weapons, according to testimonies.

Gun control groups and civil rights activists have warned that the outcome of the incident could spark an outbreak of vigilism – about Americans deciding to take the vision of justice into their own hands, and exercise their will with a gun in a way that can be let loose. anarchy and threatened First Amendment rights to protest. And a number of prominent African-American leaders have questioned whether a Black defendant wearing a Rittenhouse shirt would receive the same treatment or would live even a day in court after a history of police shootings of black people. .

The case provides immediate testing for O’Rourke on firearms

The new campaign of O’Rourke, who hit three points after defeating GOP Senator Ted Cruz in 2018 and running an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, will always sparking a new conflict over gun control.

During a Democratic debate in September 2019, former congressman said, “Oh yeah, we’ll take your AR-15, your AK-47”, calling for a government buyback plan for such weapons later batch shooting in West Texas, killing seven people and injuring 22 others.

“Yes, I still hold this position,” O’Rourke told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, trying to turn the conversation into his statement that the law does not allow carry-on due to Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s signature will cost the lives of state police officers. more dangerous. O’Rourke’s position draws him into a head-to-head confrontation with the GOP incumbent, who has presided over the relaxation of restrictions on firearms in an already very pro-gun situation. Rittenhouse’s ruling, however, quickly came into effect over O’Rourke’s position just days after he announced his candidacy for the governor’s mansion.

“This whole tragedy makes it impossible for our fellow Americans to possess and use weapons that are designed for use on the battlefield,” he said. “That AR-15, that AK-47 has only one purpose, and that is to kill people efficiently, effectively, in as many numbers as possible, in the shortest time possible. We are. We saw it in El Paso, Texas, where 23 people were killed by someone with an AK-47 in a matter of minutes. This is crazy.”

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, an increasingly Republican Criticize Trump’s election lies and possibly running for president in 2024, has made a case for the opposite, choosing not to comment on the gun issue but on what he sees as politicizing the case from the left.

“Justice was done … and the jury system worked,” Christie said on Fox News Sunday. “I think those leftists are just trying to keep tearing up our country for political gain. Anyone who has watched the video about this can tell that this is an act of self-defense. Anyone who knows the law knows it,” Christie said.

The former New Jersey governor said he hopes Rittenhouse can move on and live his life and “not become a political icon for anyone.”

With Rittenhouse’s collaboration with behind the scenes of the Fox News documentary, even with the trial going on, and the way he was made a hero figure to the right, that ability seems to have disappeared just three days after he was acquitted.


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