Editorial: Rittenhouse Got Off On "Technicality"

Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP

Kyle Rittenhouse is a free man. These days, his legal struggles deal with defamation suits against the legions of maligned him after he was forced to shoot three people, killing two of them, in self-defense.

That’s far preferable to sitting in jail or in a courtroom with your fate hanging in the balance.

What’s amusing to me, though, is just how few people who are supposedly well-informed about the world just can’t seem to understand what transpired.

Take this editorial from The Pitt News:

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse ended with him walking free on essentially a technicality. Even after shooting three people at a racial justice protest last summer with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle, Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges earlier this month because of vague self-defense laws.

Rittenhouse was 17 at the time of the shooting, and in the state of Wisconsin, minors are allowed to carry a rifle if it is a “sufficient” size. A loophole in the self-defense legislation allowed Rittenhouse to walk free. This should not be the norm, but it unfortunately is.

That’s an awful lot wrong in the first two paragraphs. I mean, it’s actually kind of impressive.

Let’s break this down.

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse ended with him walking free on essentially a technicality. Even after shooting three people at a racial justice protest last summer with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle, Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges earlier this month because of vague self-defense laws.

No, Rittenhouse didn’t walk on a technicality. The weapons charge was thrown out because it simply didn’t apply. The murder charges remained, though, and a jury of his peers found him not guilty on all counts.

That ain’t a technicality by any stretch of the imagination.

Getting off on a technicality is charges being thrown out because the address on a warrant was misspelled or something. Rittenhouse was cleared of all charges in a court of law.

And he didn’t shoot three people at a “racial justice protest.” It was a damn riot, for crying out loud. How is it so hard for the leftist media to acknowledge that reality?

Of course, if they did, people might wonder if maybe Rittenhouse’s life actually was in danger or not.

Rittenhouse was 17 at the time of the shooting, and in the state of Wisconsin, minors are allowed to carry a rifle if it is a “sufficient” size. A loophole in the self-defense legislation allowed Rittenhouse to walk free. This should not be the norm, but it unfortunately is.

First, Rittenhouse was carrying a full-sized AR-15. How is it a loophole that a law restricting the carry of short-barrel rifles didn’t apply to him? It’s not.

Plus, that only applied to the weapons charge. That had no bearing on the self-defense claim.

After all, let’s remember Andrew Coffee. Coffee was acquitted of homicide charges the same day as Rittenhouse, only he was convicted of weapons charges. Coffee was firing at police trying to execute a warrant, but because he believed his life was in danger, he walked on the most serious of charges.

If a weapons charge negated claims of self-defense, Coffee would have gone to prison for murder. The thing is, it doesn’t. That’s not how self-defense laws work.

Over at The Pitt News, they try to make the case that self-defense laws need to be clarified. What they really mean, though, is that they need to be neutered.

They go on to mention laws like “Stand Your Ground” laws, too:

Self-defense laws, such as stand-your-ground laws or an expanded castle doctrine, are notorious for being vague and give people an easy-out after killing someone. Currently, 34 states have these kinds of laws in place in some form. Many of these laws extend outside of the house — including in Pennsylvania — making the line between defense and homicide even murkier.

And yet, none of the high-profile self-defense cases in recent years invoked a Stand Your Ground defense. Rittenhouse, for example, tried to get away from his attackers repeatedly. After all, Wisconsin doesn’t have such a law.

George Zimmerman didn’t need it during his trial, either. After all, Trayvon Martin was sitting on top of him, bashing the man’s head into a concrete sidewalk. He couldn’t have retreated if he wanted to.

The truth of the matter is that the only relatively high-profile shooting I can think of where the shooter invoked Stand Your Ground was Michael Drejka in Florida after he shot a guy over a parking spot. How did that work out for him? You can ask him in 20 years.

This is difficult information to find. So why can’t The Pitt News editorial board look at see just how stupid their entire argument is?

The answer is simple. They just don’t want to see the truth.

Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t walk on a technicality. He didn’t dodge justice because of some vague bit of legalese. He was found not guilty by a jury because if he hadn’t used that AR-15, he’d have been a murder victim.