We may be at a national inflection point. The Second Amendment, Sixth Amendment, and Rule of Law were just vindicated. Implications of the Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal in Wisconsin on November 19 are significant. Consider six big ones.
First and surely foremost, an innocent man avoids a life sentence for exercising a constitutional right. While facts are rehashed, the reality is simple. A young man (18) who defended himself during violent riots, who could have been killed otherwise, was entitled to do so. That is the nub.
While prosecutors, agitators, activists, Democrat politicians, including President Biden, castigated, condemned, mislabeled, and prejudged him, this young man stood his ground with dignity. The case broke down. Truth emerged.
Second, this case answers other questions. Does the 2nd Amendment still apply? Are there limits that do not meet the eye? Can violent riots go unchecked? Are citizens empowered to protect?
Is a violent rampage, even described as a protest, inoculated against citizen response? Is the defense of life legitimate? Is it appropriate – with life at risk – to use a gun?
The summary answer seems clear: A bona fides threat to life permits constitutionally protected use of a firearm in self-defense. Limits exist; proportionality matters, but the right is real.
This finding may deter violent riots. Violent riots now run the risk of engendering a constitutionally protected, armed response. The case does not permit all responses, does some.
Third, rule of law – especially the right to a fair trial in our Sixth Amendment – was vindicated. This trial was arduous, beset by media and political miscasting, even possible jury intimidation.
Yet – rule of law held. The trial appears to have been –as our founders hoped, and the judge commended– a testament to the integrity, foresight, probity, and value of our Constitution.
While freeing the innocent and upholding the 2nd Amendment are wins, preserving – and vindicating – the right to a fair trial in turbulent times, judiciary under fire, is gratifying.
Fourth, reactions tell a story. True colors emerge when political actors seek to overthrow a verdict. The Democrat House Judiciary Chair, Mr. Nadler, has reflexively asked Justice to intercede, review the verdict, put a thumb on the scale, overriding local citizens, just as Biden engineered a request for the FBI to frame parents who opposed CRT as “domestic terrorists.”
That political reaction to a legal outcome is – ominous. It speaks to the approach Democrats take in other venues, abusing federal power. Not to be outdone, the National Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) issued a false and demeaning statement.
Political reactions seeking to upend a lawful verdict suggest rule of law is always at risk. Abuse of political power is always a threat, as in court-packing – another Democrat aim.
Fifth, the verdict repudiates big tech. Their attempt to influence, twist and intimidate the jurors – from afar – did not work. If the Democrat political machine’s anger at gun owners is clear, so is big tech’s anti-gun, anti-constitutional pitch. Media and social media are on the hot seat.
Controllers of the “digital town square,” seemingly aiming to minimize defenders of a citizen acting in self-defense, may soon see tables turned. Deriders and potential defamers of a private defendant – not a public official – may face a reckoning. Civil suits may now emerge.
Interestingly, these suits may involve claims of defamation, “republication” – knowingly repeating defamation – and other torts. Brace for another test – for our rule of law.
Finally, this trial has a deeper meaning. The foregoing implications are significant, but the entire future of guns, their use, value in an era of defunded police, value in responding to violent, seemingly unstoppable riots – may have changed.
We may be at a social tipping point when record gun ownership, buying, distrust of politicians, runaway drug trafficking, homicides, other social indicia awaken a new appreciation for rights.
If that event flows from this case, it would change more than a few lives or specific reactions to riots. It could represent a renaissance in awareness about the Constitution – rights like those secured in the 2nd and 6th Amendments. These rights are, after all, at the heart of our freedom.
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