ELVIA DIAZ

Kyle Rittenhouse shows the worst of America's love for firearms at protests

Opinion: Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty on all charges. And he's still alive. Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber are not.

Elvia Díaz
Arizona Republic

Kyle Rittenhouse could have spent the rest of his life behind bars, or he could have walked free.

Either way, he’s still alive. And now free.

A jury on Friday found Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges. The legal system, like or not, has played out.  

That’s no consolation for Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, the two men Rittenhouse shot and killed. 

Niether had a chance when they faced Rittenhouse’s semiautomatic rifle that night of Aug. 25, 2020.

They'd be alive today, if not for his decision

Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, with another armed civilian.

Forget the Second Amendment for a moment, and let’s stick to the undisputed facts.

Rittenhouse, then 17, went to Kenosha, Wis., carrying a semiautomatic rifle to a volatile protest over a police shooting. Rittenhouse fired eight shots, killing 36-year-old Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Huber, and injuring a third man.

Rosenbaum and Huber would still be alive had Rittenhouse not carried that semiautomatic rifle to the protest.

By now it should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that walking into a riot with any kind of firearm – and especially a high-powered rifle – is incredibly dangerous.

Will we learn from Rittenhouse? Maybe not

The judge presiding over Rittenhouse’s trial had earlier dismissed the lesser charge of an underage teen carrying a rifle with a long barrel, so this isn’t a legal or Second Amendment argument.

We have the right to carry arms, but that doesn’t make it less dangerous to go to public protests armed to the teeth.

Rittenhouse and his family found that out the hard way.

But he’s still alive. Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber are not. Their families are left to their painful losses.

Will this be a lesson that firearms and angry protests don’t mix?

I doubt it. Why? Because displaying one’s arsenal at public protests is America’s new deadly sport.

Elvia Díaz is an editorial columnist for The Republic and azcentral. Reach her at 602-444-8606 or elvia.diaz@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter, @elviadiaz1

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