Enraging

There is rioting in the streets of Rotterdam, which is not far from where I live. An impromptu protest against our government’s Covid measures. In addition, an announcement came today that private fireworks will be prohibited on New Year’s Eve and people go so wild about that? Is there seriously nothing better to violently protest?

And then I also read that Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of the killings he did in Kenosha, Wisconsin. How is that even possible? Don’t tell me this has nothing to do with racism. As someone on Twitter said so aptly…

And hey, in some countries you can’t even easily buy an assault rifle, let alone get away with shooting people. I’m sure he was scared and shot because of it but he shouldn’t have been allowed to even walk there unhindered with an assault rifle in the first place!

It’s 2 am as I type this and tonight I go to bed with this angry song in my head…

… and hope I can view the world a little more positively in the morning.

17 thoughts on “Enraging

    1. Thank you but I apparently I can’t open this in the EU. I did read this: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/11/19/us/legal-experts-what-helped-rittenhouse-acquittal/index.html
      Even if he did act in self-defence, he should not have been allowed to walk around with a gun like that in the first place, whether he was underage or not. That of course touches the whole gun posession laws issue in the US and I will never understand those either.
      There’s a difference between law and justice and this doesn’t feel like justice to me.

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      1. Servetus

        Huh. Well, the thrust of it is that most self-defense laws in the US and particularly the one in Wisconsin are written so that you may claim self-defense even if you are the person who put yourself in the situation where you needed to defend yourself from threat. This piece makes the same point but without the technical explanations (which are more interesting to me than the general point, on which I agree with you).

        https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/11/kyle-rittenhouse-right-self-defense-role-model/620715/

        i.e., the consensus among legal scholars is that the jury made the correct decision based on the evidence they saw, and there is no reversible error, so Rittenhouse won’t be tried again.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for this! The parts that stand out for me:
          “The law allows even a foolish man to defend himself, even if his own foolishness put him in harm’s way.”

          And also the final paragraph:
          “If the jury acquits Rittenhouse, it will not be a miscarriage of justice. The law gives even foolish men the right to defend their lives. But an acquittal does not make a foolish man a hero. A political movement that turns a deadly and ineffective vigilante into a role model is a movement that is courting more violence and encouraging more young men to recklessly brandish weapons in dangerous places, and that will spill more blood in America’s streets.”

          I wish there were also laws to curb the foolishness!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Servetus

            re: Rittenhouse as hero — I’m going to say that I suspect he was more effect than cause, i.e., it’s not so much that people will be inspired by him as that people who already agree with that sort of attitude will feel upheld in their beliefs. I agree that it is worrying.

            I also very much agree that he shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and I do not know what his mother was thinking, driving him into Wisconsin. There are a lot of individual failures here, in addition to the social ones. But I agree we are driving hard toward a reckoning with the Second Amendment. Ironically it may be the gun lobby that is pushing us there. The sooner the better.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I had read that too about being allowed to carry a long barreled gun. Intended for hunting but it doesn’t say that in the law I gather so the charge got dropped. Ridiculous, as he wasn’t hunting animals, he walked there and looked like he was hunting people. And that is OK? Nobody should be walking around with a gun at all but that’s here and not the US. Again, US gun laws make no sense to me…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Servetus

        As far as I know, no gun *possession* statutes in the US relate explicitly to the owner’s personal rationale for possessing the gun. (Understandably: it would be pointless to write a law that says “you can possess an AR-15 for purposes of hunting but not for purposes of assassinations” — for example). They all relate to the function of the gun and/or ammunition, and/or the legal status of the gun owner. The rationale for *using* the gun gets into intent and thus the statues relating to homicide, manslaughter, etc.

        It is legal to hunt in Wisconsin with an AR-15 style weapon, as it is in about 4/5 of the US states, if it has the long barrel. (There are short barrel AR-15s apparently. My brother’s friend shot his own thumb off with one.) In places where it is not legal to hunt with an AR-15, as I understand it, the prohibition relates to the size of the ammunition, not to the style of the weapon.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is that although a lot of people are saying “this wouldn’t have happened if Rittenhouse were Black,” I’m really not sure that is true. Based on state statutes, the prosecution overcharged Rittenhouse (they might have had better luck with a lesser charge — and the prosecution realized this during the trial — so potentially Rittenhouse’s acquittal might have been different with a more competent prosecutor). If anyone who did this kind of thing were found guilty, they would have found reversible error on appeal as the judge’s instruction to the jury were detailed and accurate based on the statute. That isn’t to say a Black person would not have had problems on the basis of other problems — but on the basis of the statute or the jury’s application of the statute.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Servetus

            Yeah, this kind of judgement really bothers me. But I learned in school that courts don’t deliver moral justice, only legal justice, and that it’s better for guilty people to be free than for one innocent person to be imprisoned (there is no state death penalty in WI).

            There are problems with how the gun statute is written, but / and it’s thirty years old now and the world of firearms has changed a lot. I am also really bothered (as someone who grew up with hunters / hunting and until very recently regularly ate game shot by relatives and family friends) by how the hunting crowd has been mobilized by the gun lobby. I know plenty of men who possess AR-15s, but none who use them to hunt. (I suspect this is because it’s easier to use a traditional rifle to hunt, there isn’t a lot of time to practice with the newer weapon, and there’s been an ammo shortage for over two years now.) Hunting as a practice is dying out in the state (which is going to create a real problem for deer management), but there are more guns than ever.

            As to the message it sends — the civil rights people are sort of skeptical that this case will set a precedent of any kind. There were weird special circumstances in this case, one of them being that almost the entire event was captured on video. They don’t think that this means the courts are saying “go ahead and go armed to a protest as long as you take a long gun and not a handgun.” That doesn’t mean that people won’t draw their own conclusions, of course. I suspect that if far-Left protestors were to start going armed to protests, though, the gun laws would change very quickly.

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            1. Well, if AR15s aren’t that good for hunting, why even own one? I can sort of get the owning guns for hunting argument and that’s the only pro-gun argument I could accept. At the very least any assault rifles should be outlawed but I don’t think that will ever happen in the US.

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              1. Servetus

                AR-15s are useful for hunting. They are lighter than a traditional hunting rifle, and more versatile (you can kill a variety of game by swapping different components in and out, as opposed to having to have a different rifle to shoot different ammo for different game). But there’s a learning curve for using them to hunt game. You can’t just blast the hell out of a deer if you want to eat it, and if you make a lot of noise you will scare away any other animals if you should miss. So the thing that attracts a lot of people to the AR-15 as a general weapon — its “assault style” — is not the point for the game hunter. And if you look at people around here, most of them are not shooting all the time. They maybe use their hunting rifles only 1-3 times a year. My suspicion is that the people who use them for hunting are mostly recent military veterans and/or law enforcement, i.e., people who have spent more time around weapons recently. But that would just be a guess.

                There was a federal assault weapon ban in the US (1994-2004). It didn’t impact the AR-15, which remained legal. It also did not have a big impact on crime. It had an almost not noticeable impact on mass shootings. The problem is less the legal will to impose a ban, I suspect, than the capacity to enforce one.

                Liked by 1 person

  1. Carrying guns makes no sense at all to me. I’m not naive and I know that, even in a country where you cannot buy easily a gun (here in France, for ex.), there is a black market for guns, rifles, etc… (I remember perfectly, seeing it as I was living in Paris suburbs). But we don’t see kids shooting on people… US gun laws are the worst, really.
    Good choice, RATM song…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was absolutely shocked and disgusted when I heard about the verdict yesterday. Technicalities aside, I am simply worried about the message that is conveyed with this acquittal. Rittenhouse will become a celebrated hero on the right, and potential vigilantes may see this as the get-out-of-jail card for their own activities. It’s just all deeply worrying.

    Liked by 1 person

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