Kyle Rittenhouse got acquitted last week. There’s no need to go into the details of that one; you already know them.
The news was fantastic; Rittenhouse deserved vindication. But it’s important to pause and think about the many, many people whose ending isn’t as happy as his.
The McCloskeys had to plead guilty for defending their own home from a braying mob.
Jake Gardner, a man very much like Rittenhouse, who protected his bar from a group of rioters and shot one, lost his business, was charged with murder, and finally committed suicide. A Democrat in the state legislature celebrated his death.
And then, of course, there are all the people like David Dorn in St. Louis or Chris Beaty in Indianapolis. They both tried protecting their communities during riots, and their efforts only ended with their own murder. That could easily have been Kyle’s fate.
Rittenhouse saw that rioters were about to destroy his community, so he went out armed and prepared to defend businesses and people. Was it “smart” for him to do that? No, but it was the courageous thing to do.
It’s easy to be a keyboard warrior, saying that Kyle should have cowered in his home like everybody else, waiting for the storm to pass by him. That’s the safe thing to do, but it’s not what a hero does.
Whatever else you can say about him — that he was dumb, or naïve, or “shouldn’t have been there” — here’s the truth: Kyle Rittenhouse was a hero. Millions of conservative men like to boast about what they’d do if things really hit the fan; they talk about how they’d be out there fighting the mob. Well, he actually did it — and God bless him.
That’s why there was so much of a frenzy to destroy him: Because if Kyle Rittenhouse, slayer of pedophiles and defender of his community, is allowed to go free, then others might see him as a model rather than a warning to cower.
Think about how much effort went into destroying this young man. Rep. Cori Bush, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and President Joe Biden denounced him as a white supremacist domestic terrorist, all without evidence.
CNN and MSNBC presented him like a white supremacist terrorist too, but Monday morning were a lot more circumspect about the man who ran over the Waukesha Christmas parade (despite his Facebook page bragging about hurting old white people).
GoFundMe took down fundraisers to support his defense, so backers had to raise money at GiveSendGo.com instead. Then, hackers stole data from GiveSendGo, and a “journalist” at The Guardian named Jason Wilson took that data and doxed the people named on it. A cop in Norfolk, Virginia lost his job for donating $25. A TV reporter named Jason Nguyen went and harassed at the man’s home a paramedic who donated $10.
You know this case isn’t a one-off. It’s why the McCloskeys were hit with felony charges for standing, armed, outside the front door of the home they painstakingly restored when a mob crashed into their gated community and milled menacingly outside.
Know this, too: For the hard left, this is only the start of the battle, not its end. When the rules work out badly for the left, they don’t start playing by them. They try to change the rules.
The morning of Nov. 19, before the final verdict was even delivered, University of Wisconsin law professor John Gross wrote that “the law on self-defense must change” in America to make sure people like Rittenhouse are no longer protected by it.
Gross’s proposed changes would, in short, create a legal obligation to let Antifa destroy your community and burn down your home, while you are legally powerless to stop them, or even protect yourself. He wants to, “deny the right to act in self-defense to people who … are in a place where they are not allowed to be.”
Got that? Rittenhouse broke curfew; that means Antifa has the right to execute him, with no distinction necessary between who is defending civilization and who is trying to burn it down.
Gross argues that states should make it illegal to claim self-defense if a person tries to steal a gun from you: If you carry a gun to protect yourself and a psycho tries to seize it, it’s your duty to wait until he takes it to defend yourself in any way.
He also suggests that, “We could also restore the requirement that before someone has the right to use deadly force, they have a duty to retreat, [and] we could make self-defense an affirmative defense that must be proven by the defense by clear and convincing evidence, not disproven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution.”
Understand? Even in your home or your places of business, your duty is to flee from your attackers rather than defend yourself. And if you do defend yourself, then you are guilty until proven innocent.
The presumption of innocence has been with us since the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, almost 1,900 years ago, but progressives want it dumped to make sure their enemies go to prison. Not gangsters, not Antifa killers, not fentanyl smugglers — people like Rittenhouse, whose crime is wanting to defend their community from a mob.
Last year’s murderous riots weren’t just some aberration — an aside to the hard left’s agenda for America — they were central. Tear down history, kill cops, threaten communities, expel feds, redefine justice, and let the rest of the country know they’d better take it.
Men like Chairman Mao desecrated the family home and grave of China’s most revered historical figure, Confucius, not because of anything Confucius had done to him or the Communist Party, but to let everyone in China know if they could do this to Confucius, they could do anything they want to you.
They can come after executives like Brendan Eich; policemen like Bill Kelly; actors like Gina Carano; gym teachers like Tanner Cross; students like Nick Sandmann; bakers like the Gibson family; parents like Scott Smith and Tara McNeally, professors like Dorian Abbot and Mike Adams.
Here in America, whether it’s a statue of George Washington, the bones of St. Junipero Serra, or a teenager standing up for his community, the message is the same: Cower, or fall.
The iconoclasm, the violence, the cancel culture and legal intimidation: These things work in concert, and they’re not about hurt feelings — they’re about control.