Re: Rittenhouse

1

I don't have words for this. but this, from NPR....

"However, unless the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that this wasn't reasonable and that he didn't believe that he needed to use deadly force to defend himself, then the only proper verdict is acquittal," said Chris Zachar, a criminal defense attorney based in La Crosse, Wis., who was not involved in the trial."

.... isn't how I thought self-defense works. But the last time I handled a gun was before Columbine so maybe now all shootings are treated this way? If someone comes into my class and shoots a student, and we intervene to stop them, and they shoot more of us, does the shooter get to claim self-defense?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:28 AM
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We went through this at the time of the Zimmerman killing -- I was surprised then to find that in most states, you have to prove "not self-defense" beyond a reasonable doubt. Then I thought it was surprising and counterintuitive, now I think it's very dangerous and should be changed (although I have no hope that it will be.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:31 AM
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This is one of those things that's so sickening in a surprising, new way that I can't yet think about it directly and need to wait a day or so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:32 AM
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This is good because it offers a nice addition to mowing down protestors with cars. One needs variety.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:33 AM
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Was this judge Roy Bean reincarnated.


Posted by: Abe Speckle | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:34 AM
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Sigh.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:36 AM
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1: In your literal hypo, he's already committed a crime, so he can't get the benefit of self-defense against someone trying to stop him. The horrifying situation is Zimmerman and here, where the killer is armed and menacing but has not yet done anything literally criminal, and people try to get him to back off in a manner that he characterizes as threatening him with bodily harm. Then he can kill who he likes, and the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they weren't threatening him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:36 AM
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The state of Wisconsin would like to remind you to shoot first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:36 AM
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"I was surprised then to find that in most states, you have to prove "not self-defense" beyond a reasonable doubt."

Surely this is the case for every defence against every crime. Criminal guilt always has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
If I am charged with theft of a hat and my defence is "mistook it for my own hat", then the prosecution has to prove "didn't mistake it for his own hat" beyond reasonable doubt.


Posted by: Ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:37 AM
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Right, if one of his victims had instead killed him, they would have arguably had a strong self-defense claim too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:38 AM
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Can we try that?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:39 AM
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I'm guessing a black person in Wisconsin might find a jury with a different definition of reasonable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:40 AM
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9: No. The state has to prove the elements of the offense (intentionally killed a person, roughly) beyond a reasonable doubt. But justification or self-defense isn't a claim that one of the elements of the offense was absent (which is how you can think about your hypo - intent to take something you don't own is an element that has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt). In some states, and I think it used to be most or all, defenses of that type had to be proven by the defense by a preponderance of the evidence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:42 AM
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Just in case we need to open a different direction for discussion... I have known that Wisconsin is an unusually racist place (anti-black especially, but otherwise too) for essentially my entire life, but I also don't really know why. Rural, insular, deep deep Eurocentrism, fear of Milwaukee and Chicago... are there books on this, I wonder? It's such a strange place.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:43 AM
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Isn't there a big disparity in which crimes you have to prove state of mind on?

A lot of the crimes committed by poor people are convictable based on actions as facts, regardless of intent. Financial crimes, almost never (you also have to know it's a crime). The self-defense exception seems like a middle ground, where state of mind defenses work if you're white.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:44 AM
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13: ah, interesting. Thanks. So a defence of accidental shooting would need to be disproved b.r.d. (because it relates to intent)?


Posted by: Ajay | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:45 AM
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14: I think white flight may have been more pronounced and complete in a lot of Wisconsin than in other states? Milwaukee is the best example, an especially non-white core city surround by especially white suburbs. I don't know how Kenosha compares.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:46 AM
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14: see Katherine Cramer's Politics of Resentment


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:48 AM
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7: But that's what victims #2 and #3 thought they were doing -- they were going after an idiot kid who had just shot someone.

9: They'd have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you took the hat and that it was theft. There's no right to mistakenly taking hats.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:49 AM
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I don't know enough about the specifics of this case or the relevant law to know if the jury got it wrong legally, but if they didn't get it wrong then that's basically worse because it means the laws are utterly fucked up.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:49 AM
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16: Right. The phrase that eluded me when I was typing my last was "affirmative defense". A defense is anything which supports a not guilty verdict, including a failure to prove an element of the crime. An "affirmative defense" is a claim that although you performed an act including all the elements of the crime, there is some other reason why you shouldn't be found guilty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:50 AM
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19: I think it's bootstrapped by the self-defense to the first killing. If that was justified, it didn't deprive him of the right to keep defending himself. Again, they plausibly would have had a self-defense claim if they'd killed him at that point.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:53 AM
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I am having very big feelings.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:53 AM
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19: Right, but the reason for the first shot is relevant *even if* the future people don't know why it happened. You can't just start shooting people for no reason, but once you've shot one person for a legal (albeit stupid) reason they're saying you can then keep shooting people after that. Seems quite a problem for all the people who think "good guys with guns" should be stopping bad guys with guns.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:53 AM
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23: I have a new strategy for big feelings. Watch the trailer for Turning Red. Then when you're having big feelings you just do the stance.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:55 AM
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22,24: I get how the chain is supposed to work. But if shooting #1 is self-defense (really borderline), then #2 (skateboard) isn't justified in bringing down a kid who he just saw shoot someone four times.
That's fucking bizarre. (I can't get my head around #3, who was a legal concealed-carry permit holder and the proverbial good guy with a gun here who wasn't pointing it at KR when he fired.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:01 PM
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No, they're saying 2's and 3's behavior is justified, but killing them is also justified. Roughly as soon as there's a dangerous situation anyone is justified in killing anyone else.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:03 PM
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Which seems like a dangerous set of rules if they actually had any belief a jury would really not just follow a racial- social hierarchy instead.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:05 PM
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This is not meant to be a more-cynical-than-thou comment to any of this--really just echoing Moby's 12--but I genuinely don't think the written law has much to do with this (and similar) outcomes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:05 PM
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27: I stand by 'fucking bizarre.'

Also, yes, of course this is about race. I can't see a black KR (idiot kid from a broken home makes a straw purchase and decides to roam around with his gun) leaving the scene alive after shooting three people, let along becoming a conservative darling.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:10 PM
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I think people are overstating the extent to which this is about race. This victims were white. Was George Zimmerman white? Not exactly, but he was far right. I think a conservative black terrorist may well have also have gotten a non-guilty verdict if he was shooting lefty "rioters." Race plays a role, but so does politics.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:20 PM
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29: Yes, even if the jury had found him guilty, the judge still would have found a way to avoid sending him to prison.

That thought occurred to me after I read about this case -- https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/18/nyregion/christopher-belter-rape-sentence.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:22 PM
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I think if the protest wasn't BLM, the verdict would have been different.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:22 PM
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Well, what's "about"? The context was a Black Lives Matter protest. Something can be "about" race even if everyone involved is of the same race.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:22 PM
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33: Certainly that plays a role, but do you really think it'd be that different if it was like WTO protestors?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:27 PM
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My level of cynicism and despair on this front is well-illustrated by the fact that I find the length of time the jury took to be a positive. Jeezus, I'm fucking Atticus Finch.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:31 PM
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Really hard to say until we see it happen. But in this killing, race was a big part of the context.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:32 PM
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I'm also reading things that make it sound like the problem is the way the law treats self-defense (and I'm biased in favor of that interpretation, because I served on a jury in which the defendant was claiming self-defense. We acquitted, which seemed like the right decision at the time, based on the instructions that we received, but I came to regret the decision as a bad outcome given the circumstances).

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/11/17/wisconsin-self-defense-law-rittenhouse-522814

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/11/rittenhouse-jury-verdict-self-defense-legal-analysis.html


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:34 PM
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It is striking to observe the extent to which the sort of people who subsist on making other people angry about other people, on Twitter and Substack, have drawn around this ugly story. I suppose there is congruence between the "guns will never be restricted or limited, so we have to shape our lives and politics around them and their prerogatives" and "guns scare liberals and leftists--I hate liberals and leftists, so guns, which are inevitable, must be good!" lines of thought.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:37 PM
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No, they're saying 2's and 3's behavior is justified, but killing them is also justified. Roughly as soon as there's a dangerous situation anyone is justified in killing anyone else.

That is a pithy version of what the second link in 38 argues:

Rittenhouse's self-defense claims boast legal plausibility. But they also illustrate the difficulty of reconciling mass gun ownership and expansive rights to self-defense with the rule of law.

Rittenhouse's killing of Rosenbaum may have been lawful. But that was scarcely self-evident to the bystanders who heard gunshots and then saw a killer holding an AR-15. The group of protesters who proceeded to chase and attack Rittenhouse could have reasonably believed that killing the armed teenager was necessary to save others from imminent bodily harm. If Rittenhouse had a right to shoot Huber and Grosskreutz in self-defense, the latter had a similarly legitimate basis for shooting Rittenhouse dead.

Put differently: Once Rittenhouse fired his first shots, he and his attackers plausibly entered a context in which neither could be held legally liable for killing the other. Whether one emerged from this confrontation legally innocent or lawfully executed hinged on little more than one's relative capacity for rapidly deploying lethal violence. Rittenhouse had a more powerful weapon and a quicker trigger finger than Huber or Grosskreutz. Thus, he walks free, in full health, while Huber lies in a grave and Grosskreutz gets by without the bulk of his right bicep.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:38 PM
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35: Yeah, I do. I honestly don't think the same political forces would go to the mat for the WTO in the way they do for lawnorder white supremacy (pro-cop as well as anti-BLM). The striking thing here to me is less the verdict than the way the trial itself was a kind of reverse show trial: portraying the defendant as simultaneous martyr and ├╝bermensch.

My email address is associated by various data harvesters with someone named Lisa in Roanoke, VA, and this year I got added to a few right-wing mailing lists related to the election. The subject lines about how we needed to stand up to the government making Kyle Rittenhouse suffer -- even putting him on trial for killing people was apparently a bridge too far; the man deserved literal impunity -- tempted me, for the first time in my life, to send profane vitriolic replies to total strangers. (I just deleted them.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:42 PM
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In my admittedly pessimistic (but I think quite possible) view of the descent of America into a Manchin-Sinema* enabled quasi-democracy, I think this kind of asymmetric threat and use of violence and skewed judicial outcomes** is the fourth key deciding element.

1) Populace - enough voters to at least to get close, (and given how the past 1o months have played out maybe enough to win outright). Loose commitment to democracy.
2) Legislative- especially at the state level
3) Judiciary (election law)
4) Security apparatus (and I include low-level judging to be part of this realm) and a strategic reserve of armed and motivated assholes.

*Yeah, I know. "Orbanian" or something like that but fuck those two fuckers.

**Or pre-judicial see the killing of Michael Reinoehl for contrast. And although I do agree that the killers on the ground were not rresponding directly to Trump's claim that he ordered the killing that's how it turned out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:44 PM
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41: (I just deleted them.)

And people think canceling is bad!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:47 PM
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do you really think it'd be that different if it was like WTO protestors?

I don't recall any WTO counterprotesters ever showing up with AR-15s


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 12:52 PM
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Ok, obviously the WTO thing broke the analogy ban and I would like to take that back.

Still I think people systematically underrate the extent to which conservatism has become a slightly broader tent. Look at conservative defenses of Farrakhan or Kanye, or look at someone like Milo. As long as you're down for an authoritarian movement that's run by white straight christian men, you're allowed to not fit the bill exactly yourself. Conservatives would be falling all over themselves to celebrate a black anti-BLM murderer. Which isn't to say it's not about race, everything is about race, but it's also about conservatives authoritarianism and supporting reactionary violence.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 1:01 PM
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I agree to the extent that saying something is about race doesn't say much -- race is so complicated and underlying everything in the US that while it affects everything, that's often not much help in figuring out how things work in detail.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 1:08 PM
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Yeah, that's a good way of putting it. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think the races of the individuals involved mattered much to the verdict. That the protest was BLM obviously plays a big role (whether or not there are other lefty causes that would also be enough to provoke conservative sympathy). And his race played a big role in Rittenhouse was even able to get into that situation in the first place, the police likely would not have taken the time find out that he was a counterprotestor if he was black. But I'm skeptical that his being white was necessary to the verdict.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 1:22 PM
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If you restate it as, people opposing white dominance get the short end of the stick, people supporting it get the long end, that's still pretty racialized regardless of the individual offenders' or victims' races.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 1:32 PM
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Yes. But I don't think white people face the same issues regardless of their politics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 1:35 PM
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When white people kill right-wing protesters they get executed by a police hit squad.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 1:38 PM
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But I'm skeptical that his being white was necessary to the verdict.

As I think you are acknowledging, supporting white supremacy was important.

Meanwhile, in another example of race not mattering, Black supporters of white supremacy can make a good living, even to the point of being named to the Supreme Court.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 1:46 PM
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I feel like there are two kinds of news stories I read constantly:

1. White supremacists do a thing which is stunningly racist and/or violent.

2. If we can't reign in activists who use the word "woke", middle america will be so annoyed that they're forced to elect stunningly racist and violent politicians to office.

I just am at a loss.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 1:52 PM
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52: Murc's Law on steroids.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 2:03 PM
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My interpretation of the outcome is that everyone, at least those with the correct skin tone, now has the same immunity as cops. It's not complete but it's pretty close if you can make any plausible claim of fear.
This summer a driver intentionally cut me off while I was biking- looked right at me, accelerated past me to an intersection and turned in front of me. As the Times story last week noted, cops use the fact that a car is a deadly weapon to justify shooting otherwise unarmed suspects in cars. So could I have shot the guy because his actions made me fear for my life? Not in my state but maybe in FL or WI.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 2:40 PM
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So could I have shot the guy because his actions made me fear for my life?

No. The car is right-identified, the bike is left-identified. You would have gone to jail.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 2:44 PM
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27, 40: Ahhh yes, this is looking very familiar.


Posted by: Opinionated Thomas Hobbes | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 2:52 PM
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But I'm quite white! Although the Jewish thing is an aggravating factor.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 2:55 PM
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The car is right-identified, the bike is left-identified. You would have gone to jail.

As Frank Wilhoit observed, and people here have probably mentioned before:

"Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

"There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect."


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 2:56 PM
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55 is exactly right. Your only hope here would be riding a Harley, then if they were in the wrong car you'd have a chance.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:01 PM
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And his race played a big role in Rittenhouse was even able to get into that situation in the first place, the police likely would not have taken the time find out that he was a counterprotestor if he was black. But I'm skeptical that his being white was necessary to the verdict.

Counterfactuals are hard, but I can't see a black kid walking away after shooting three people, and I certainly can't see a black kid with KR's story getting conservative money & pity. I'm not sure it happens for a white kid who isn't there to defend against BLM protestors. (And surely we want 'sufficient' here, no?)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:13 PM
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52: When was the last time you heard any "leftist" "activist" use the word "woke" non-derisively? It's become a right-wing shibboleth with remarkable speed. (Question can be serious if anyone actually remembers. My vague memory is "sometime after GamerGate but before Trump got elected.")

47: Again, I think the pro-cop angle is significant here. There are at least stories going around -- so, part of the myth for sure, whether true or not I don't know -- that the cops were openly friendly and encouraging to Rittenhouse. "Abolish the police" really did strike people as throwing down a gauntlet.

As Frank Wilhoit observed, and people here have probably mentioned before

Approximately five hundred thousand times all over the internet. The amazing thing is that I've never yet seen it mocked. If liberals don't start mocking Frank Wilhoit, middle america will be so annoyed that they'[ll b]e forced to elect stunningly racist and violent politicians to office.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:17 PM
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Anyway, I just don't believe that conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, and seeing that particular rhetorical flourish again and again, however motivated it might have been originally, has made me cranky about it. Which is a real shame since I'm otherwise quite cheerful.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:25 PM
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I think when Saiselgy wrote this article I still thought it was a clever headline and not a right-wing shiboleth. But at any rate I think that's around exactly the time you're looking for, maybe a month or two after the switch or a month or two before.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:27 PM
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When was the last time you heard any "leftist" "activist" use the word "woke" non-derisively? It's become a right-wing shibboleth with remarkable speed. (Question can be serious if anyone actually remembers. ...)

Barbara Lee used "stay woke" as a slogan for a while after Trump - it's in an email I got from her campaign in mid-2017 - and tweeted it as recently as July 2020.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:52 PM
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I heard people use woke positively as late as last summer. I witnessed one married couple where the wife would use the word "woke", and the husband would scold her for cultural appropriation.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:54 PM
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I'm imagining she said something like, "Boy I was tired when I woke up this morning."


Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:55 PM
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I'd like to point out that Judge Bigot is acting just like the Weimar judiciary -- he's there to preserve as much political violence as possible, egging on the Nazis so they'll provoke even more deadly attacks. Speaking of 'woke', does anyone else remember the murder of Michael Brown, and how many people here advocated for a reasonable, liberal take on the situation? And how many people in this very comment section supported that child-murder-defending cop ? Guess it only takes one police station burning down to radicalize millions of liberals.

There will be a harvesting.



Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:56 PM
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>> I can't get my head around #3, who was a legal concealed-carry permit holder and the proverbial good guy with a gun here who wasn't pointing it at KR when he fired.

That's Gaige Grosskreutz. He did not have a valid permit for the gun. He previously had a permit, it had expired.

He testified in court that he was pointing the gun at KR when KR fired:
DA: It wasn't until you pointed your gun at him -- advanced on him with your gun, now your hands down, pointed at him -- that he fired, right?
Grosskreutz: Correct.


Posted by: O Kadence | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 3:59 PM
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52: *rein in


Posted by: Mr. F | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 4:12 PM
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It's raining activists.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 4:14 PM
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65.last: for real?? I'm half convinced you're taking the piss here, but I'll accept it if you swear it's true. I guess my path has diverged from the unironic "woke"-users for a while, or else I just don't flag it much when I hear it in contexts other than "fight wokeness by literally burning books you loved as a kid."

67.last: Grampa, you said that about all the presents.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 4:27 PM
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I don't think I've ever heard anyone use "woke" without irony or insult.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 4:44 PM
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I guess nearly everything I hear is either insult or irony. I really nailed the whole Gen X thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 5:02 PM
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As a datapoint, I just saw someone I don't know use "woke" ("the woke people of Chicago") positively and unironically in the FB comments of a high school friend. I think people catch up with language changes at all sorts of speeds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 5:05 PM
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Meanwhile in Kenosha County, the state is still fighting the court ruling that Chrystul Kizer, who, at age 17 killed her trafficker, should be allowed to argue an affirmative defense.

https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/prosecutors-plan-to-appeal-chrystul-kizer-defense-decision-to-supreme-court/article_186ba9bc-5dfa-5260-b5ee-ae96a4f9974c.html


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 5:10 PM
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Yeah. My dad never caught on to "dame" being not particularly polite these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 5:10 PM
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A system of justice would legitimately seem to support throwing the book at him for the open-and-shut case of underage possession, which the judge dismissed, reckless endangerment for openly carrying a long gun at a protest, and manslaughter or 2nd degree murder for the second victim, yes, victim. An assault rifle, yes, it's an assault rifle is not a commensurate defense against a fucking skateboard.

But we don't have a system of justice, we have a system of enforcing the power hierarchy.

Also anyone who thinks a Black kid doesn't get shot or violently arrested on the spot is... I'm sorry, I lack appropriate words for that level of naivety.


Posted by: (gensym) | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 7:46 PM
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The possession charge was thrown out because of something about the gun being long enough that it was acceptable even for a minor? I though the dick measuring contest was just a metaphor.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 8:17 PM
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I haven't read the statute, but the commentary I did read suggested that minors weren't allowed by the statute to possess handguns, but they were allowed to possess long guns, presumably because hunting is a wholesome activity suitable for children. And the gun he wholesomely shot people with was a long gun rather than a handgun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 8:21 PM
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The law was pretty clearly written to allow minors to hunt, but the text of the law didn't limit it to hunting.

Badly written law. Loophole.


Posted by: O Kadence | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 8:25 PM
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I got my shotgun when i turned 13.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 8:36 PM
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That old?


Posted by: O Kadence | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 8:43 PM
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I still have it, in case a bird gets in my way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 8:44 PM
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For us it was squirrels. I don't know why we hated squirrels so much but we did.

Jesus Christ. Fucking squirrels.


Posted by: O Kadence | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 8:46 PM
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71: I'm serious. Maybe it was last spring? They're in the Bay Area, if that makes a difference.

I don't think I thought of woke as a right-wing shibboleth until late last year.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-19-21 11:08 PM
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The jury instructions were pretty eye opening for me. To convict, jurors more or less needed to decide that he can't possibly be telling the truth when he -- a stupid teen all hopped up on authoritarian fantasies, in way over his head -- says he was scared. And pretty much anyone could have shot the kid. That's where we are: bring a gun to a protest, and you can be shot by police or by vigilantes. I suppose you can shoot a vigilante, but you're going to be shot by police immediately after.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 12:58 AM
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So I assume Jury instructions follow patterns or templates specific to the lw-making political entity. How much leeway do judges generally have to modify them (as I assume they must to handle specific circumstances and combinations of charges)?

And I guess the fact that he allowed a request to take them home was highly unusual.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 4:32 AM
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I'm pretty sure they can be whatever the judge wants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 4:37 AM
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87, 88 -- There are books of approved pattern instructions, and yes they vary by jurisdiction. The parties each offer proposed instructions based on the pattern instructions, customized for the case, with citations, and the judge rules on which to give. Failing to give a proper instruction gets jury verdicts overturned, so that limits what a judge is going to do.

The fatal flaw imo is measuring self-defense as of the moment the trigger is pulled. While all that came before might help in understanding what the shooter's mid-set might have been, here we have a kid who probably was afraid, having created a situation that was spinning out of control. This is how cops get off too.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:29 AM
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If you want the guy to get off, you don't need to worry about making a reversible error.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:39 AM
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31: This is "about race" in exactly the same way that the 1979 murders by the Klan were about race - it's about shooting white "race traitors" as a lesson to white people that they need to stay in line. All these nazi alt-right types have a strong and ongoing discourse about race traitors, degeneracy, race mixing, etc. That didn't disappear in, like, 1965. Rittenhouse may or may not have set out to kill some people but he heard plenty about the degeneracy of anti-racist whites.

For me, I feel like there's so much power in the usual American hippie-punching discourse that many of us have a semi-conscious feeling of "oh the protesters are frivolous woke college kids doing dumb shit before becoming vice presidents in the non-profit sector, they probably all have Che shirts but couldn't find Cuba on a map" and therefore anything that is done to the protesters is somehow similarly frivolous/non-political/doesn't count, just kids killing kids, etc. This is not an analysis which is adequate to the moment, to say the slightest.

One thing I can tell you - there's going to be a lot more armed leftists at demos from now on, they're going to be better with guns and they're going to be quicker on the draw, and it is going to be because of this trial. Also, I would not be at all surprised if this pushed people away from street demos and into sabotage, etc.

There are a lot of people out there who are in their late twenties/early thirties who started out very reform-minded and have gotten awfully hard core over the past few years, people who feel that between the climate and the right, they don't necessarily have that much to lose. These are people who are not frivolous college activist types, they are people who have been doing fairly serious homeless support, mutual aid financial and logistical organizing, etc and have been very intensely targeted by the cops.

Many of these people literally know someone who has been killed by the police or the right. Even I know someone - there was this guy here, Norman Truman, who was shot in the face by a rubber bullet during the protests last summer. He had a traumatic brain injury and was permanently disabled, and then he fell into a coma a year later due to brain swelling and died. I volunteered with that guy at a radical bookstore about ten years ago. I didn't know him well but I remember him, I remember talking to him at the store. And he died! He died! He was popular and beloved and had been a punk forever and ever - he was about ten years older than me. He was a really warm and charismatic person, which is why I remember him so clearly. He showed up for protests as a matter of course and he got shot in the face at a time when cops were intentionally shooting people in the face and he had brain damage and he died.

My point being that this makes me sad, yes, but there are a lot of people out there who had close friends badly hurt or even killed. People around here knew Anthony Huber, who was shot by Rittenhouse, for instance. Do not underestimate the actual harm and trauma undergone by a lot of people who started out as mildly left and reform-minded.

For me, I'm not hard core. I'm basically your frivolous college activist type, I go to demos, I flinch at getting arrested, I have a job and a house and things I don't want to lose, also I'm old and arthritic now. But my experience is not at all representative of serious movement people. Things are not like the nineties or early 2000s, not even close.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:39 AM
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I have so much hip arthritis.

But I would like to recommend not openly carrying long guns at demonstrations. Street battles with gun fire is what they want in order to justify their coup. Rittenhouse and the like are just the chum to start things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:46 AM
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I really don't want anyone shooting anyone else, and I'd honestly on some level prefer that there be more violence by people I disagree with than by people I think of as on my side. But yeah, if this self-defense standard is applied even-handedly (which I expect it won't be -- although the fact that the guy in Portland was killed by police rather than arrested suggests that the cops thought he might have a good defense), there's a real sense in which it makes sense for lefty protestors to use deadly force in preemptive self-defense when they're threatened by armed counterprotestors.

This is horrifying, but I can see things going this way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:52 AM
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Yes, that's the idea. Do that, get a few Horst Wessels, propaganda for the suburban masses until they think they need to choose between comfort and democracy, and a police-military intervention to restore order.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:56 AM
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It's a really good plan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:57 AM
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Because the alternative is asking people who are obviously being denied police protection to rely on police protection.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 7:03 AM
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The saving grace available is that the only ground troops on the right are total shits. Not just morally, but in nearly every aspect of life.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 7:19 AM
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It is true that if you've been following the current Charlottesville trial, Richard Spencer et al are much, much dumber than I had feared. It's not like I thought that they were geniuses or anything but I had assumed a level of cunning that is not present.

But man, seriously, the corruption of the system is so amazingly obvious. I've always thought that if, eg, I had been the mayor of Charlottesville I would have shut down as much of the Unite the Right event as possible and had the national guard in the streets keeping order - not because the national guard are so great, Minneapolis experience suggests to me that they are less bad than local cops but still pretty bad, but just because keeping a lid on popular violence ought to be everyone's priority in a functioning society. You don't need to be some kind of critical race theorist to think "my town will be a lot worse off if a bunch of Nazis reave through the streets looking for people to beat up" (which was the plan, actually - it got derailed by the counter-demo, but the plan was actually to basically attack the town.)

In Minnesota, when some Rittenhouse-lite teens egged each other on to shoot people at a BLM event, the judge put them in prison and basically summed up "you claim that this was all one big accident but obviously you were going out to start shit, don't try to lie". And that, my friends, was the last good thing that happened in Minnesota.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 7:47 AM
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And that, my friends, was the last good thing that happened in the entire Upper Midwest.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 10:29 AM
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I would be interested to hear if any of this changed people's ideas about law enforcement. Lizard Breath, you wanted to abolish the police, do you still think that's a good idea?

Frowner is making the case for stronger law enforcement, is that OK with you guys now?

Sort of not what I would expect.


Posted by: O Kadence | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 2:39 PM
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Did the Kenosha police do anything helpful? Is there something good that could've happened if there had been more police doing their thing? I'm curious since that hadn't been my impression.


Posted by: Blank Stare | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 3:09 PM
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I guess self-defense is technically as much a defense to manslaughter as to murder, but why on earth did the judge throw out reckless endangerment as a possibility?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 4:36 PM
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54: Surely where we're headed is that drivers of cars are allowed to run down and kill pedestrians or cyclists whenever they feel that those people make them slightly more likely to get in an accident.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 4:41 PM
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A few years ago, I was legally walking in a crosswalk with a "Walk" signal when a car turning left in the intersection nearly hit me. They stopped to roll down their window and tell me that because they had a green light, they could legally run me over.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 4:43 PM
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because they had a green light, they could legally run me over

Seems like we should revisit that law.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 5:02 PM
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I often wonder how much longer I can take living in this country. But other than Canada it's not really clear what good options are available (that don't require learning a new language or dealing with the continuing Brexit meltdown), and I don't think I've had good enough results recently to actually pull off a move a similarly good job.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 5:05 PM
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102: I feel like that question answers itself.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 5:10 PM
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Antiguan citizenship will cost you $100K. If you can come up with the cash, you could do worse.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 5:17 PM
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104, 105 -- Don't take legal advice from assholes cutting you off.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 5:55 PM
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The guy worth $20 billion who I'm facebook friends with recently moved from HK to Bermuda. I wonder how much he had to pay Bermuda?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:00 PM
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Bermuda is already rich, they don't need to sell passports to fund basic government operations.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 6:30 PM
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The guy worth $20 billion who I'm facebook friends with

!?! How does one become facebook friends with a multi-billionaire, and are there any material advantages to the association?


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 7:05 PM
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Looks like Bermuda generally requires a job for permanent residence, but if you're a billionaire I imagine setting up a company legitimate enough to employ you costs significantly less than buying a house.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 7:13 PM
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I taught him in the summers when he was a high school kid. We didn't know each other particularly well, and no, no direct advantage to me. I was pretty shocked to realize just how wealthy he'd gotten. I didn't think I'd know anyone who would pass my high school friend who was quite high up at Facebook, but I suspect he doesn't even have 100 million. (I was about to describe him as my oldest friend's "it's complicated", but googling up on him I just learned he may be responsible for Facebook adding "it's complicated" as a relationship option, and now that just feels weird.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 8:16 PM
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but I suspect he doesn't even have 100 million.

Not even 100 million?! Guy's a loser: anything less than one hundred mil is mere chump change.

And obviously, I have been doing this social media thing all wrong: if there are any multi-millionaires (never mind billionaires) in my facebook feed, they are hiding it very well indeed (and, of course, they are not about to share it with me!)


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 11-20-21 8:39 PM
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Conservatives would be falling all over themselves to celebrate a black anti-BLM murderer.

It occurred to me that one (complicated and messed-up) example supporting this is the, "roof Koreans " memes: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/roof-koreans-meme-know-real-story_n_5ee110a1c5b6d5bafa5604f3


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-21-21 8:10 AM
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All of these Wisconsin city names don't really stick in my brain, so I had to look up that Waukesha was one place and Kenosha a different one.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-21 7:18 PM
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That was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-21 7:19 PM
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Apparently Rittenhouse went on Tucker Carlson and proclaimed himself a supporter of BLM. I say a lot of negative things about Twitter, but this time it means you can see the exact moment in which the taste of victory for right-wingers turned to ashes in their mouths.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 3:05 AM
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I don't see why it means anything like that. There's no need for coherence with that audience. Nearly all of them believe both that they aren't racist and that something like "separate but equal " is just and necessary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 7:54 AM
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God that would be amazing if he truly did reckon with himself and become progressive. I am not holding my breath, of course.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 8:18 AM
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120 -- And equal has to be decidedly unequal.

119 -- Couldn't happen to a more appropriate bunch of people. What's likely to happen thing is that KR will learn his lesson from this, and come to understand that he has no future outside the RW bubble.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 9:33 AM
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122.2: Can't some group on the left or center adopt him? Make him the Jane Roe of the anti-racism movement?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 9:36 AM
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Jane Roe is maybe not the best role model for this sort of thing.

I'm not going to watch the the actual interview but I'd be astonished if Rittenhouse recanted anything. He went to Kenosha to support the Good Ones, and he carried a gun in case he needed to shoot some Bad Ones.

Moby's 120 is exactly right, and I don't think you can understand Republicanism/Trumpism/fascism until you have internalized Moby's wisdom.

And anyone who still has undue respect for facts, decency and logic needs to reflect on Charley's 122.2. Rittenhouse is, by some lights, a loser and a dope, but he'll prosper if he learns to properly execute doublethink and doesn't carry too much of the crazy into his personal life.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 10:08 AM
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I've have no wisdom. I learned it all from Al Franken as Stuart Smalley.

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

Assume that's true and then work backward. If you did something, it's good. If you think something, it is a smart and true argument. If people don't like you, that's because they are evil. With the corollary that since you are smart and good, if you aren't successful, it's because of evil people who don't like you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 10:22 AM
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We need to comb the archives for Mobyisms to publish a Stuart Smalley sequel. "They're bad enough, they're dumb enough, and goddammit, they're responsible for all this bullshit."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 11:38 AM
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He's literally a child, no changes of opinion would surprise me in a teenager. Obviously what he did was evil, and his being a child doesn't lessen that evil, but it does make it more likely that he'll have a change of heart at some point.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 11:41 AM
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124: What wisdom? You can literally read right-wing Twitter and see them lose their shit, or do that rationalizing thing that human beings do when they desperately try to explain away an inconvenient fact. Do you just assume now that your model of how right-wingers behave is so good that it never requires input from the real world?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 11:58 AM
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Moby at 120 has it right: Little Nazi loudly proclaimed he's not a racist, and that has precisely as much probative value as when TFG does it. The reichwing has for a long time made an art form of the deniable racist act/utterance. Surely we all remember the white power handsign that was just an "OK" symbol. And then there's "let's go Brandon".

But also, I remember _Miller's Crossing_ and "look in your heart [and don't shoot me]". The last line in the movie is, of course, "What heart?" It doesn't matter what he *says*. What matters is what he *did*. And for the entire time since he murdered and maimed those innocent protestors, he's been palling around with white supremacists and Fascists. And he did so right after the verdict (went to visit Flynn).


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 12:00 PM
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128: I don't assume a few dozen people loosing their shit on Twitter is input from the real world.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 12:02 PM
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I could see it going either way, tbh. Not great for the white supremacists, but for the 'white moderate'? See, KR supports BLM. How unjust that such a good boy even had to stand trial.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 12:07 PM
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I don't understand you people. How can you confuse "supports BLM", and "isn't racist"? Everyone knows that BLM are the real racists.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 12:58 PM
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I'm sure it goes both ways. I think the former is greatly outnumbered by the latter, but that it doesn't matter either way. Rittenhouse isn't a load-bearing asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 12:59 PM
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128: With a proper understanding of rightwing consistency, there's absolutely nothing inconsistent about rightwingers going apeshit about this and supporting him fully. Donald Trump gets criticized by the nuts, too.

Still haven't watched the video, though. If Tucker went off on him in realtime, I'm absolutely prepared to reconsider my opinion. Carlson isn't shy, and if he thought Rittenhouse was offending fascist values, he'd have said so. It's possible.

(If Carlson denounced Rittenhouse a day later, that's perfectly consistent with rightwing values and doesn't amount to any kind of change at all.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 1:06 PM
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The video I linked in 124 is just the advance teaser for the actual interview, but it has the relevant stuff:

"This case had nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense. I'm not a racist person. I support the BLM movement. I support peacefully demonstrating."

As I suspected, he recants nothing. This is Donald Trump getting "booed" for telling people to get vaccinated.

You're not going to understand Trumpism until you understand that the people booing Trump were booing in support of him.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-22-21 4:44 PM
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This seems like a good dead thread in which to drop this. The always-excellent Michelle Goldberg simultaneously counsels against despair and persuasively induces it. What she doesn't mention is that until organizations like the NYT recognize the crisis on their news pages, there's very little hope of resolving it satisfactorily.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-21 5:38 AM
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Dude, I know you think you have some mystical understanding of Trumpism, but I am not actually going to adopt you as my Trump whisperer. We're looking out the same window, and you're pointing at the same scene that I am, and condescendingly explaining to me about the tree we're both looking at, even though neither of us is a biologist.

Anyway, you have read a whole bunch of stuff into my comment, which was merely gloating. I never said that he recanted. Why would he recant? He just rendered himself useless as a prop in the race war that some right-wingers are salivating for, and it was pretty funny to see.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-23-21 5:52 AM
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He just rendered himself useless as a prop in the race war

This brings us close to a testable hypothesis, but I can't quite work out the test. How could Rittenhouse render himself useless in the race war, and how would we know if he had done so? Certainly he's done 99% of the damage we could ever expect him to do, so if he personally fails to do significant further damage, that seems like it's consistent with both of our theories.

My answer was that he could render himself useless by undercutting his past actions -- by recanting. You are talking about some other kind of uselessness.

Me, I don't gloat when overt racists deny being racists, and I certainly don't take them at their word. I don't have any confusion about why Fox chose that particular clip to promote Carlson's interview. Fox was not seeking to dampen racial hostility.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-23-21 7:55 AM
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Fox is not actually run by some supercomputer that can see the future and optimize for its outcome. After that interview, mentions of Rittenhouse on right-wing sites vanished almost overnight.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-23-21 11:13 AM
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