Kyle Rittenhouse and the prosecutors…

“He shouldn’t have been there!”

Is the prosecution down to that? One might make and many have made such arguments to call most anything into question. I once heard the perpetrator facing charges of vehicular assault tell the officer at the scene, “Well she (the badly-injured driver) shouldn’t have been there!”, as he stood before her mangled automobile.

Given the First Amendment’s language assuring the right of the people “peaceably to assemble” to seek redress from the government, neither should the mobs in the streets wreaking destruction on the property of private citizens and looting businesses in plain view. Neither should these have “been there”.

And I am waiting for the gun control crowd to rage for increased legislation/confiscation over the fact that “the gun shouldn’t have ‘been there’”. It shouldn’t have. But the absence or presence of a person or object considered in itself is not the point of law at issue addressing a claim of self-defense.


Let’s examine briefly the other presences that might have absented themselves as well. If Rittenhouse had not “been there”, the violent aggressors would still have “been there”. Assuming that the threatening mobs were not present to sing Kum-Ba-Yah, might their violence have simply targeted others? A different recipient to be assaulted by the same aggressors, who were “there”? And if that other recipient of the attackers had been armed, might that person have pulled a pistol and shot them in self-defense? Presence may never imply intention in any case.


And what of the absences that were not present? Where were the mobs in the streets outside the courthouse before the Rittenhouse trial began, and during it to date? Only few and calmer protestors to be seen. And why did not a Maxine-Waters-type travel 1,500 miles from his or her own district to insist that the absentee mobs become “even more confrontational” if the expected outcome not achieved? 

The answer about these absences is simple, too easy. All three of the Rittenhouse “victims” were white. There existed no racial capital whatsoever to be exacted, no fuel for POC flames to be fanned by the media, and no promises of further mayhem if the jury reaches the wrong verdict.  

I am not sympathizing with Rittenhouse. Apart from the boy’s age, why a rifle for “personal protection” in crowd situations is absurd on its face to any knowledgeable firearm owner. A rifle barrel is simply too long for close-quarters defense while under physical assault by another, the more so given multiple aggressors. The other reasons given by a teary Rittenhouse to have “been there” in the streets we do well to leave with the law.

What I am saying is that we do well to look for the presences that ought not be “there”, just as we take note of the absences that might have been “there” but were not. Both serve equally to inform appropriate conclusions and responses, and another part of the long path forward toward social sanities.

Father David+  

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