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The instant canonization of Kyle Rittenhouse and American gun culture

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Rittenhouse fulfilled one of the most cherished fantasies of MAGA supporters by killing unarmed protestors with an AR-15 and getting away with it, and he will be treated accordingly:

The other critical issue here is that Wisconsin law — soon likely to be made national by a partisan Supreme Court — codifies the transparent fiction that the widespread possession of firearms makes people safer:

The most poignant words out of the courthouse came from the families of the two people Rittenhouse killed, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, who said that they felt abandoned by the prosecution, that the prosecutors did not seem to advocate for the dead and wounded. Given that, in almost every trial, the prosecution spares nothing to use the family members of the victims to inspire sympathy from the jury—and, occasionally, from the judge as well—the fact that the families of the people whom Kyle Rittenhouse killed felt abandoned strikes me as extraordinary. I don’t know where all the Victims’ Rights firebrands are, but they weren’t in Kenosha. Hell, the people Kyle Rittenhouse shot weren’t even allowed to be referred to as victims in court.

What I do not feel right now is safer.

I’ve tried to imagine how I would have felt were I on a sidewalk in Kenosha that night and saw this pudgy little fellow walking up the center of the street with his AR-15, preferred weapon of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, strapped across his chest. I guarantee I would not have felt safer. I would not believe that Kyle Rittenhouse was there to protect me. Upon seeing him, I would’ve concluded that things were getting dangerously out of control and that it was time to find some safe place to be for a while. I would wonder why somebody gave Lumpy Rutherford a military-grade weapon and turned him loose in a situation already grown volatile.

I remember seeing protestors with long guns showing up at some of President Obama’s rallies and thinking that something serious had changed in our politics. Open carry transforms any mass event into a potential firefight. Open carry transforms an already violent event into a potential bloodbath. It is only a matter of time, and after yesterday’s verdict, you can reset the Doomsday Clock a little closer to midnight.

And let us not forget:

The police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times, leaving him paralyzed, faced no criminal trial.

The treatment of firearms in America is deeply, deeply pathological.

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