Every time this guy opens his mouth, he proves how wrong I can be


Once upon a time, I thought David Silverman was a good guy — a bit aggressive, maybe, with a few weird ideas, but heck, he was going on Fox News to fight the good fight, and he proudly declared himself a feminist. Then he got caught coercing sex from young women, was fired, and now…

I look at him now and wonder how bad a judge of character am I? How did I miss the warning signs? He’s an object lesson in how vulnerable we all are to believing what we want to believe.

By the way, on just the objective facts of the case, Rittenhouse is a gun freak who traveled out-of-state to drop in on a protest and murder a couple of people with a high-powered rifle. He is a murderer. He killed with intent. He’s also probably going to walk because our justice system is a joke, and he got a lunatic as a judge.

Comments

  1. Allison says

    Maybe it’s because I’m a radical feminist (and, according to some, a misandrist), but I see this sort of behavior as an essential part of the Masculinity Cult. Basically, the more masculine a guy seems, the more likely I consider it that he’s going to be a gun nut (viz. my elder brother) or a harrasser of women or a bully or a homophobe (note that in Manistan trans=lesbian=gay=wimp=queer, so it covers all bases.) Our dear ex-governor Cuomo is a case in point.

    When you come down to it, is there such a thing as non-toxic capital-M Masculinity? Not that I’ve seen.

  2. Badland says

    David has been looking for a cash cow ever since he was booted from AA, and he’s zeroed in on this. I’m not sure if it speaks to his desperation or if he was always an amoral grifter, but at least he has nothing to hide behind now.

  3. lotharloo says

    I am so perplexed by the US system. Is my understanding correct that under the current US laws, his shooting of the dude with the gun was lawful? And similarly, if the other dude with the gun had shot him first, his shooting would also be lawful? Basically, is it correct to say that in US and in such a confrontation, if you have a gun and you feel unsafe, you can just shoot the person threatening you?

  4. R. L. Foster says

    There’s a good summation of the ‘initial aggressor’ conundrum in today’s NYT.

    I’ll paraphrase one quote and make a few adjustments. “In other words, Rittenhouse’s own decision to carry a gun became a justification to use it, lest it be wrested away from him.”

    An underage boy illegally acquires an AR-15, crosses state lines to ‘protect’ property without any legal justification to do so, gets into a tangle with some unarmed protestors and kills two of them. Now he claims self-defense.

    This is the kind of insanity that arises in a nation where anyone can get a firearm and then twist self defense laws to defend the initial aggressor.

  5. fishy says

    They were able to seat a jury of my peers who are completely objective.
    No.
    Really.
    Don’t give me that look.

  6. raven says

    …and he got a lunatic as a judge.

    The judge has so far seemed to have been way biased towards Rittenhouse.

    If this guy walks, the prosecuting attorneys should definitely try to get a mistrial declared on appeal. I’m not even seeing why it was held in Kenosha, Wisconsin either. Hard to get an unbiased jury there for sure.

    As many people have pointed out, you don’t bring a loaded AR-15 rifle to an event without some expectation that you might actually…use it for its intended purpose, which is to kill people.

  7. says

    No. 3:lotharoo: yeah basically.

    No 4. Raven: “The guy walks” the prosecutor has no right of appeal. Double Jeopardy The prosecutor had a limited right of interlocutory appeal to appeal some of the judges procedural rulings, but they chose not to try to do that..

  8. raven says

    I put some keywords about the Rittenhouse judge and bias into Google and there are quite a few articles in the mainstream media saying exactly that.

    One sentence from the NYTimes stood out. NYT”… but one that experts said could also create issues for an appeal if Mr. Rittenhouse were to be convicted. (Prosecutors cannot appeal an acquittal.)”
    Prosecutors cannot appeal an acquittal.
    Yeah, it looks like Rittenhouse is going to walk free and there is nothing the prosecutors can do.

  9. logicalcat says

    @4

    His crossing state lines is meaningless. He didn’t have the gun when he did that and its weird seeing supposed liberals all of a sudden care about strict border control.

    Stick to the facts of the case.

    @PZ I doubt you really are looking at the objective facts of the case. I think you are doing what I did, which buy the narrative wholesale and uncritically.

    Its very clear that the first victim lunged at Rittenhouse and grabbed the barrel of his rifle in an attempt to take it. At that point its self defense. You do not lunge at a person regardless of their armed status. Thats stupid. Doesn’t matter that he was armed or not. Thats assault regardless.

    @6

    The judge only seemed biased towards Rittenhouse because this incompetent prosecutor almost violated his constitutional rights leading the judge to practically yell at him that hes on thin ice. Also the idea that simply carrying a weapon is intent to use is circular. Thats not how it works. You can carry a weapon and not want to use it. By that logic one of Rittenhouse’s victims was also armed. So I guess he intended to use it right? Good thing he was stopped before he had the chance right? Dont be ridiculous. I don’t even like the second amendment but do not let your ideology cloud your ability to think. Even if it was true he intent to use it you cant prove that in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt. It also doesn’t change the fact that the first victim lunged at Rittenhouse and tried to take his rifle. You can even use the same logic against it and say the first victim intended to use his gun to kill people since he tried to steal it. You can switch it any way possible, making its viability pretty useless.

    @everyone

    Rittenhouse is still guilty, but off his other charges. Not murder thats for sure. Although prosecutors might get the homicide charge to stick if they can show how his other charges of reckless use of deadly weapon and endangering lead to the confrontation. Thats extremely hard to prove with the video evidence at hand. Not impossible tho. Although with these dumb prosecutors who actually tried to use the “you play violent video games right” card it might be close to impossible.

    I fell for the narrative too. Dont make that mistake. Its not worth it. This story is really not worth it. It makes us look unhinged, dishonest, and hypocritical. I feel bad for the second and third victim, who probably reasonably thought there was an active shooter situation especially since multiple shots were fired immediately prior to Rittenhouse (the situation was seemingly sparked when someone in the area fired some shots seemingly in the air tho not by any involved in this incident.)

    Believe it or not I’m still a proud leftist who loves this blog. PZ is the man I wish I were (cool biologist who studies spiders). But we gotta be careful. Leftist narratives are being routinely filled with lies, half truths, misinterpretations. We still need to be skeptical. Not overly skeptical sure but healthy amount.

    This case is not worth it.

  10. stroppy says

    Self defense. You got self defense, I got self defense, everybody’s got self defense. Everybody gets to stand their ground. Some punk-ass little snot with with a gun in that situation is a clear threat. The unstable lunging guy is acting in defense of self and those around him as much as anybody else is.

    Fuck this shit. No points for the fascists on this one.

  11. says

    In Canada no matter how right wing sympathetic the cops might have been Rittenhouse would have been arrested by the first cop he came across. Besides openly carrying a firearm within civic limits his AR15 would probably have been a restricted firearm, and he’d be transporting it without a permit.

  12. stroppy says

    You know, so far I’ve seen Rittenhouse’s weepy mom on TV and that’s it. Where are the families of the victims, and will they get to have their say in court?

  13. specialffrog says

    @logicalcal: so if you try to disarm an intended school shooter before they have shot anyone and they shoot you they are acting in self defence? Is there no scenario in which wielding a gun is an implied threat?

  14. Artor says

    Logicalcat, what are you smoking? Rittenhouse was pointing his gun at people. That’s assault right there. He had already committed multiple felonies when someone tried to defend themselves by disarming him. That’s when he compounded his crimes by murdering them, and others who tried to subdue the murderer they witnessed.

  15. logicalcat says

    @14

    Bad anology. Rittenhouse was not an active shooter. He was just an armed man. Or rather armed child. Stick to the facts.

    Now on my previous post I forgot to add this. Everyone is focused on the judge being biased but thats not true. Hes not anymore biased than the average human being which he is. Everyone is biased. The goal is to not allow your bias to make you do a bad job and he hasn’t.

    And by focusing on the judge you ignore the real problem. The prosecutor who almost violated Rittenhouse’s 5th amendment and also tried to bring evidence not found in discovery. Eventually the prosecutor talked it out witht eh judge and the judge allowed the line of questioning that he objected to to begin with. If the judge was biased positively towards Rittenhouse, he wouldnt have done that. He would have also heard the mistrial case the defense tried to pull when the prosecutor messed up.

    But the narrative wants us to be anti-judge. So we make shit up.

  16. raven says

    After Rittenhouse shot and killed his first victim, he was no longer a dumb kid with an AR-15 rifle in the wrong place. He was a terrorist and an active shooter.

    And BTW, the guy he first shot four times was unarmed.
    “Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, who prosecutors say was unarmed, was the first man shot by Rittenhouse.”

    The next two people he shot were trying to disarm an active shooter. And failed.

  17. logicalcat says

    Also forgot to add that thinking just having a gun is a threat shows me that you’ve lived an extremely sheltered and privileged live. I don’t even like the second amendment and wish all guns were banned and yet this line of thinking is extremely stupid.

    @17

    Doesn’t matter if armed or unarmed. If someone lunges at you that’s still assault. Stop with this dumb take. Rosenbaum tried to take his weapon. Hell im surprised this kid has the trigger discipline to not shoot him as soon as he lunged. Instead he waited until he was at the floor and Rosenbaum had his hands on his weapon in an attempt to take it from him. If he was an active shooter that wouldn’t have happened. Its pretty clear you do not understand these things.

    But the narrative needs it to be an active shooter situation so the story will be twisted by you and people like you dishonestly. I get the feeling that our sense of leftism relies on this case for some fucking reason. It doenst. Its not worth it. At this point it feels like sunk cost fallacy.

  18. robro says

    logicalcat — What has happened to the person arrested for firing the first shots? I read last night that it wasn’t Rittenhouse, and it’s the event that started the melee of people trying to take the gun from Rittenhouse. It’s not clear what’s become of that other shooter, or who he was.

  19. specialffrog says

    @logicalcal: to be clear, I asked, “Is there no scenario in which wielding a gun is an implied threat?” Is your answer that there is no such scenario? Also your distinction about what makes an active shooter seems muddled.

  20. marner says

    @ 19

    I get the feeling that our sense of leftism relies on this case for some fucking reason.

    There is a lot being written by non-leftists how dishonest the left (including the media) has been on this case. And they are largely correct. It is not a good look for us.

  21. says

    There’s so many of these people who started out mildly wrong, got criticised by people they deemed to be beneath them, and who then became fully fledged fascists as a reaction.

  22. says

    Its very clear that the first victim lunged at Rittenhouse and grabbed the barrel of his rifle in an attempt to take it.

    Well, yeah, when a stranger shows up in your neighborhood with a gun, who clearly isn’t a cop, trying to disarm him is a perfectly appropriate act of self-defense. The locals were STANDING THEIR GROUND. It was not Rittenhouse’s ground.

  23. says

    Also forgot to add that thinking just having a gun is a threat shows me that you’ve lived an extremely sheltered and privileged live.

    It’s called “civilised society”. Honestly, you should try it sometimes.

  24. marner says

    @24 Raging Bee

    The locals were STANDING THEIR GROUND.

    Wisconsin is not a “stand your ground” state.

  25. says

    If a person who takes a gun and goes to someone else’s neighborhood to threaten people with it isn’t an “active shooter,” then does that phrase have any meaning at all?

  26. marner says

    @28
    There were a lot of guns there. Many of them open carry. Attacking someone for merely “open carrying” is not lawful. As to “locals”, Rittenhouse and the three men shot all lived within about 25 miles of Kenosha. Rittenhouse has long ties in Kenosha including a father, grandmother, aunt, uncle and a cousin living there (from his testimony).

  27. aarondeemer says

    @22
    I’m not a leftist per se, but I identify them as my allies (liberal here), and I agree, this is not a good look for us. The narrative around this trial has been filled with misinformation, passed on uncritically. If anything is still be considered “a sin” in my post-religion world, I’d say it’s that. (obviously exaggerating for effect; I’m obviously not a fan of rape, murder, theft, etc. either)

    Example time:
    @4 refers to him killing “unarmed protestors”. The reason to refer to them in this way is to paint them as innocent, and tar Rittenhouse.
    During the first shooting, Rittenhouse shot at: 1) a man charging him at close range, shouting aggressive obscenities (Rosenbaum). Rittenhouse wasn’t even “standing his ground”, as @10 tries to imply. Rosenbaum was chasing him, and Rittenhouse was fleeing.
    During the second group of shootings, Rittenhouse shot at: 2) a man attempting to kick him in the head after he had fallen to the ground (“Unknown”), 3) a man attacking him with an improvised weapon (skateboard), who then attempted to wrestle his gun away (Huber), 4) a man with a handgun pointed at him, lunging toward him to reach for his gun (Grosskreutz). Also, for context, the 3 attackers were part of a larger group, shouting “get him!” and “cranium that boy” as they chase a fleeing man through the streets. I feel pretty sure I’ll get accused of bias or poisoning the well, but this group of “protesters” seem to have a lot more in common with an angry mob.

    @14 and @17 refer to him as an “active shooter”, or at least imply that the 2nd group of people who were shot thought he was an active shooter.
    The idea that Rittenhouse was an active shooter is entirely unsupported by any evidence. I’m dismissing it out of hand unless some is supplied (beyond the evidence set forth in the trial)
    The possibility that some of his secondary attackers thought he was an active shooter does exist. I concede that. However, this raises the question “if someone else thinks you committed a crime, and attacks you, do you have the right to defend yourself?”. Also, see above re: context. If a mob is chasing you, howling for blood, do you have the right to defend yourself?

    @13 and @17 refer to the people Rittenhouse shot as “victims”. It’s a loaded term that implies guilt, equivalent to asking you “when did you decide to stop beating your spouse?”. The trial is currently in progress, and at the end, the jury will decide if Rittenhouse had victims, or if instead he was the victim of 3-4 assaults that defended himself in accordance with the law.

    I have other issues as well, but this is a good start

  28. Susan Montgomery says

    PZ, you saw it all along. As with so many others, you just didn’t want to see it. We all have our blind spots – even you :)

  29. lochaber says

    You don’t get to arm yourself up, go into a volatile situation, threaten people, and then claim self defense after shooting someone. He specifically went there to kill people – that’s why he’s carrying a weapon of war, and using one of those stupid tactical slings, that aren’t any good for carrying a rifle, but are great for keeping it at hand for those rare occasions when you aren’t shooting people. It’s not like he went there and just happened to have a rifle, that rifle isn’t part of his “EDC” (Every Day Carry), and while I don’t like it, that may be an argument for a handgun. And holding a rifle at the ready is a threat, and Rittenhouse realizes it, just look at how he holds his rifle when approaching the cops and other militia members, if you don’t believe me.

  30. marner says

    @32

    You don’t get to arm yourself up, go into a volatile situation, threaten people, and then claim self defense after shooting someone.

    Depending on what you mean by “threaten people”, yes you actually can. That is what this trial is about.

  31. chris61 says

    I don’t believe Rittenhouse committed murder and I expect he’ll be found not guilty. Up to me I’d sentence him to 10 hours of community service per week for 20 years ( so maybe after a few more years of brain development he’ll recognize how flamingly irresponsible and stupid his actions were and that intent or no, he is responsible for killing two people and he’ll be reminded of it every week while performing his community service). He’d be joined in that sentence by his lawyers, his mother, the friend who provided the gun, the friend’s stepfather who was apparently storing the gun and gave him access to it and any and all political or other public figures who have written, said or done anything to indicate he should be viewed as some kind of hero.

  32. KG says

    <

    blockquote>Believe it or not I’m still a proud leftist who loves this blog. – logicalcat@9

    <

    blockquote>

    Not. The fact that chris61 and David Silverman are on the same side of the argument as you really should tell you something. What do you think Rittenhouse’s intention was in going into that situation, entirely voluntarily, with an (illegally possessed) military weapon?

  33. Joe Smith says

    @logicalcat

    “His crossing state lines is meaningless.”

    No it isn’t. If people complain about protesters being “outside agitators” then when Killer Kyle crossed state lines he is also an outside agitator by definition.

    “Its very clear that the first victim lunged at Rittenhouse and grabbed the barrel of his rifle in an attempt to take it. At that point its self defense. You do not lunge at a person regardless of their armed status. Thats stupid. Doesn’t matter that he was armed or not. Thats assault regardless.”

    Complete utter total bullshit. There is no video clip from any angle that shows Rosenbaum “lunging” for Kiiller Kyle’s gun. Define “lunging”. Rosenbaum is running slowly towards Kyle, gets fairly close, but before Rosenbaum even touches Kyle’s gun, Kyle shoots him. That’s not even close to “assault” by any stretch of any definition of assault. Stop watching right-wing social media channels.

    “The judge only seemed biased towards Rittenhouse”

    LMAO! The Judge set the parameters of discourse by forbidding prosecutors from using the word victim to refer to Killer Kyle’s actual victims. Meanwhile, the defense were allowed to refer to Kyle’s actual victims as ‘rioters’ or ‘arsonists’, even though none of them had been convicted of such acts. And I don’t care about whether this judge or other judges have used this manouever before, it’s a nonsensical rule and shouldn’t be allowed. It goes to show just how absolutely insane and corrupt the entire US criminal justice system is. No other democratic country allows this kind of blatant bias by judges. This judge also allowed the defense to argue that Apple’s zoom feature “manipulates the footage”, despite zero evidence. But even before the trial, the judge refused to do anything about Kyle violating his term of bond. And it gets even crazier. During the trial, the judge had everyone in the courtroom applaud a defense witness who was a veteran. The judge then kept interrupting prosecutors whenever they made a motion, or caught a defense witness in a contradiction. To top it all off, this judge was also caught reading a cookie catalogue during the trial and refused to turn off his own cellphone.

    But yeah, the judge only seemed biased ! LMAO!

  34. Joe Smith says

    @logicalcat
    Please link to a clear video (you used the word ‘clear’) clip of Rosenbaum “lunging” and grabbing Kyle’s gun. I’d love to see this. Cite the time stamp on any video where you think Rosenbaum is “lunging”. I’m afraid whatever you think you are seeing on a video is pure pareidolia.

    The fact is Rosenbaum did not get close enough to even touch Kyle’s rifle before he was shot. There was no grabbing, no ‘attacking’, no struggle, no fighting, no wrestling for possession of the rifle — at all…..ever.

  35. unclefrogy says

    as objective as I can be in this you get to judge me on that what we have here is the result of a lot of things and I do not see how to put all the pieces in separate boxes so as to tell the story we want. That is what the layers do in a court of law.
    the public was very upset about the protests at the time. the racists and the I’m not a racist but.. were reacting to the demonstrations with a lot of fear and hostility. The conservative media was portraying them as rioters bent on destruction.
    The demonstrators were making it known that the actions of society and the “justice system” had to change and change now.
    So a kid without any of the training of a police officer nor the military gets a military weapon and the other gear of a combat soldier and heads to a highly volatile demonstration so he can be a hero and protect the innocent unasked for.
    The reality of the situation over whelmed him very shortly and he killed people who were exercising their rights and trying to protect themselves both with demonstrations and form their perspective an armed self styled militia member and a racist white supremacist thug who were always a threat and openly so. He was not identified as just a dumb kid with delusions of heroic deeds he carried no sign he looked the part but had no idea how to act other then run and shoot.
    If you deliberately operate a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner in unsafe conditions and kill people you will be found guilty of the deaths.
    in this case he was armed with an AR15 type weapon not driving the family sedan driving home from the homecoming game. That alone adds a deeper level of concern. He has proven that at the least that he at this time does not have the judgment abilities to remain free in society

  36. stroppy says

    This is the new America, it’s legal chaos, if you have a gun and somebody makes you uncomfortable you can shoot them, particularly if you claim to be a law and order patriot.

    And yeah in a highly volatile situation, it’s just common sense to worry about some asshole with a military assault weapon.

    Also, the first guy shot, wasn’t he the one armed with a baggie filled with dangerous snacks that tossed at some jerks?

  37. Joe Smith says

    @aarondeemer “It’s a loaded term that implies guilt, equivalent to asking you “when did you decide to stop beating your spouse?”

    No it’s not. It’s a neutral term describing an actual fact. ‘Victim’ refers to any injured party in a dispute. It does not matter how that person became injured or who the person is. Talk about misinformation.

  38. says

    Ugh.

    Yes, Rittenhouse can “claim” self defense. That doesn’t mean that it is self-defense.

    Self-defense law is all kinds of fucked up, but the fact that it’s being asserted here isn’t a problem. Rittenhouse’s lawyers have a duty to offer the best possible defense that is available to their client without breaking legal ethics and/or the law.

    The problem is that we have laws like menacing, etc., which make merely pointing a weapon at another human being a crime, and recognize a right for someone to defend themselves against such crimes, but the defense is the same affirmative defense used by Rittenhouse: self-defense.

    So logicalcat is not correct at all in saying, “If someone lunges at you that’s still assault” or the longer version,

    Its very clear that the first victim lunged at Rittenhouse and grabbed the barrel of his rifle in an attempt to take it. At that point its self defense. You do not lunge at a person regardless of their armed status. Thats stupid. Doesn’t matter that he was armed or not. Thats assault regardless.

    This is bullshit. To make it true, you have to say,

    Its very clear that the first victim lunged at Rittenhouse and grabbed the barrel of his rifle in an attempt to take it. At that point IT WOULD BE SELF DEFENSE, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF THE PERSON LUNGING EXECUTING THE LUNGE IN SELF DEFENSE AGAINST THE RIFLE HOLDER’S INITIAL CRIME. You do not lunge at a person regardless of their armed status. Thats stupid. Doesn’t matter that he was armed or not. Thats assault regardless, UNLESS, OF COURSE, THE PERSON LUNGING IS IN FEAR, IN WHICH CASE IT’S NOT ASSAULT AT ALL.

    The problem for the law is that if you commit a crime like menacing or assault (which need not involve touching the other person or their property), the victim engages in self defense that would be criminal if not for their reasonable fear, and the person who committed the original crime then kills the person who was in reasonable fear, you never get to hear about that person’s reasonable fear, because they’re dead.

    This giant fucking loophole is exploited by cops all the time. I’ve read more than one account of cops telling each other that it’s better if the person that they shoot dies, because then they control the narrative. Same thing here.

    Logicalcat is pretending that all unwanted touching is assault and that affirmative defenses don’t matter. That’s Crim101 bullshit. By week 8 they teach you that parsing the individual statute isn’t enough, because the code will list, in other places, generally applicable defenses and justifications that must be read into a specific statute like assault.

    This case is not as simple as locialcat would like to make it seem, and touches on the exact problems with chaotic situations that result in killings and subsequent self defense claims that have been raised in dozens of other high profile cases from South Africa to NZ to the UK, and definitely including the USA.

    This isn’t a legal blog, and people are free to opine that Rittenhouse is a murderer since Rittenhouse will not have his rights stripped because of the opinion of anyone here. But if you want to talk about the legality of this, nothing is simple. Not whether or not initially grabbing the gun counts as assault NOR whether Rittenhouse is legally guilty of murder.

    Anyone, yes, including locialcat who is nonetheless correct about some other significant things, who tells you that this is simple is engaged in pure bullshit.

    Lunging at someone and/or grabbing their gun is not always assault. Period.

  39. says

    Oh, and by the way, logicalcat, the judge was WAY FUCKED, IMNSHO when he started lecturing the jurors about the bible. I haven’t been following the trial, so I won’t comment on how biased he is or isn’t, but that right there is enough for at least a mild inquiry by the relevant committee on judicial ethics.

    If he wants to explain hearsay, he can do it using hypotheticals involving the actual USA: requiring jurors to learn about his take on the bible in order to understand the law on hearsay is just a bullshit excuse at indoctrination and shows very little awareness of, or respect for, the requirements on government actors with respect to captive audiences. If I were a juror in that courtroom, I would have put my hands quite obviously over my ears and chanted, “La la la la la” until the judge actually stopped that shit. If I wasn’t ejected from the jury pool and asked to defend my actions I would have quite happily told the judge all this, using stronger language, myself. And if I ended up sitting in a jail cell for contempt, I would have happily served my time.

    A place on the bench is not license to force others to listen to you spout off about your religion just because you have a legal point you’re going to get around to eventually.

    This judge is fucked, even if many of the criticisms leveled at him in the press are undeserved.

  40. nomdeplume says

    Wait a minute, there are people on this thread who are perfectly fine with teenage vigilantes armed with assault rifles killing people in the street? People who follow Pharyngula?!

  41. says

    I am totally astonished that anyone can look at the outcome of this event — two unarmed men dead, one maimed — and the cause — an arrogant kid who strolled into a protest armed with an assault rifle — and try to tell me that this was “self defense”. You’ve just reduced “self-defense” to a meaningless term that endorses and justifies extreme and unnecessary violence.

  42. says

    It goes to show just how absolutely insane and corrupt the entire US criminal justice system is. No other democratic country allows this kind of blatant bias by judges.

    I’ve seen pretty fucked rulings from Australia and India. As for Italy, well, there’s some bias there, too.

    Not disagreeing on the need for reform, only the idea that every other democratic country has got it all figured out.

  43. wrpinpnw says

    Just to clarify a few things:

    Under the theory put forward by Rittenhouse’s lawyers (and ably repeated here by several individuals), the first murder is free. It’s all well and good to train our schoolkids to throw their bodies at “active shooters”, but their enthusiasm for self-sacrifice must always be tempered by the knowledge that until there is blood on the pavement, there is only a “good guy with a gun” who is entitled to kill any wannabe heroes without consequence, for encroachment upon their personal space.

    Even if someone has started shooting, it is necessary to correctly identify the shooter before attempting self-sacrifice. Anyone who is not yet over their kill limit is still a “good guy with a gun”, entitled to kill any wannabe heroes without consequence, for encroachment upon their personal space.

    Even if the person you’re charging has shot and killed someone, it is necessary to examine their victims for asterisks before taking action. If the shooter turns out to have been a “good guy with a gun”, who successfully exercised their privilege to kill someone for encroachment upon their personal space, then they’re still a “good guy with a gun”, and entitled to kill you.

    Also, grabbing a rifle and carrying it into a chaotic situation that you don’t understand is a choice without moral consequence, as is systematically lying to potentially gun-carrying teenagers about the actions of their fellow Americans and the risks that they present. It is ridiculous to discuss the legal consequences of shooting people as if the choices that led to the confrontation had moral import, and any effort to do so automatically diminishes the entire “liberal project”, whatever that might be.

    Did I get that right? Or is it just “in a chaotic situation, ties go to the conservative white kid”?

  44. marner says

    @47

    Wait a minute, there are people on this thread who are perfectly fine with teenage vigilantes armed with assault rifles killing people in the street? People who follow Pharyngula?!

    This is a strange question. Do you equate arguments that something is legal with that it is moral? I can both think that Rittenhouse is morally reprehensible and that he is likely innocent of the most serious charges under Wisconsin law. To me the more interesting question is why so many of us are desperately clinging to a false narrative.

  45. says

    @marner

    Maybe they aren’t clinging to a false narrative and you’re less skilled at distinguishing moral arguments from legal arguments than you believe yourself to be.

    When dealing with non lawyers, the fairest interpretation interpretations of such arguments is something like, “The fair, just, and moral thing is that Rittenhouse be convicted, and I want the law to act consistent with morality.”

    The fair interpretation isn’t that every lay person commenting on a random blog on the internet has read the relevant Wisconsin law and made a determination that a conviction on this set of facts is the most legally correct decision.

    Rittenhouse shares the moral culpability of a murderer. Rittenhouse may not be legally guilty of murder. Many people wish that moral culpability and legal guilt should coincide. Yet they are not delusional or clinging to a false narrative, they are MORE THAN WELL AWARE that legality and morality diverge. They aren’t deluding themselves about the existence of such a divergence. They’re making an argument that we should reduce that divergence as much as possible, including by eliminating that divergence in this particular case.

    Maybe you could do better than calling arguments for more consistent alignment between morality and the law “a false narrative”.

    It’s not a narrative at all. It’s an exhortation to the creation of a better world.

  46. raven says

    I am totally astonished that anyone can look at the outcome of this event — two unarmed men dead, one maimed — and the cause…

    The fact is, that two unarmed men are dead and one is maimed. And Rittenhouse is the one on trial here.

    To paraphrase something stupid from above.
    Dead people lying in the street aren’t a good look.
    Unless you are a right wingnut, in which case they would celebrate.

  47. Susan Montgomery says

    @51. Do you know what would have made Rittenhouse completely safe? Not being there. He exercised his volitional consciousness to travel far out of his state and head straight towards an altercation. After all that, claiming self-defense is ludicrous.

  48. marner says

    @52

    you’re less skilled at distinguishing moral arguments from legal arguments than you believe yourself to be.

    That’s a fair cop.
    The moral vs. legal issue is not where I see a false narrative, although I can certainly see why you thought that was my point. Rather it is that so many are convinced that Rittenhouse is unquestionable legally guilty of murder while ignoring the available evidence.

  49. marner says

    @54

    Do you know what would have made Rittenhouse completely safe? Not being there.

    I agree. He should not have been there.

    After all that, claiming self-defense is ludicrous.

    After following the trial, I do not think this is true. At least from a legal standpoint. From a common sense point of view I have no argument with you. I will, however, lose zero sleep if I am wrong and he is convicted of all counts.

  50. chesapeake says

    chesapeake
    November 14, 2021 at 4:41 pm
    The following is from Wikipedia “Kenosha unrest shooting”. These seem to be the facts-from witnesses and video from multiple angles. Seems to support self defense. What would have happened if Rittenhouse had not shot? Was he reasonably in fear for his life as it seems a mob was chasing him and threatening to kill him? Remember he ran from people chasing him and didn’t shoot until he was assualted(in the 2nd and 3rd encounters, leaving out Rosenbaum). What would you have done? Not absolving him of whatever his intentions were in going there with an assault rifle, but he is not on trial for just that.
    “ Second confrontation

    After hearing gunshots about a block away, a video journalist from The Washington Post observed Rittenhouse run past with his rifle followed by a few protesters in pursuit.[55] According to the criminal complaint, at that point, protesters were heard on two different videos yelling “Beat him up!,” “Hey he shot him!,” and “Get him! Get that dude!”[22] One individual struck Rittenhouse from behind, knocking off his cap,[66] shortly after which Rittenhouse tripped and fell to the ground.[55] After which others shouted “What’d he do?,” “Just shot someone!,” and “Get his ass!”[22] One of the men in pursuit jumped and kicked Rittenhouse while he was still on the ground – Rittenhouse fired twice but missed the unidentified man.[19][67]

    Next, according to court records and video footage, another protester, Anthony Huber, “made contact” with Rittenhouse’s left shoulder with a skateboard as the pair struggled for control of the gun.[21][22][68] As Huber was pulling on the rifle, Rittenhouse fired once, hitting Huber in the chest, perforating his heart and right lung, causing his rapid death.[22][69]

    Third confrontation

    Gaige Grosskreutz, who testified that he believed Rittenhouse to be an active shooter,[70] approached Rittenhouse while he was still on the ground but stopped and put his hands up when Huber was shot. A complaint filed by the Kenosha County Clerk of Courts stated that Grosskreutz appeared to be holding a handgun,[71] which Grosskreutz later confirmed.[72] Grosskreutz then moved again towards Rittenhouse a second time. Grosskreutz testified at trial that he did not intend to shoot Rittenhouse, but acknowledged pointing his handgun at him, saying that Rittenhouse opened fire only when Grosskreutz approached Rittenhouse with his handgun aimed at him.[73] Rittenhouse then shot Grosskreutz in the arm, severing most of his right biceps muscle.[21][74][75] At least 16 gunshots from other sources were heard on video during the time that Rittenhouse was on the ground.[51]”

    Note: “Rittenhouse opened fire only when Grosskreutz approached Rittenhouse with his handgun aimed at him.”

    How is this not self defense.?

    Sent from my iPad

  51. fentex says

    Following Americans argue over firearms is an act of absurdity.

    Carrying a functional, loaded, battle rifle in public is an implicit threat to the lives of everyone nearby.

    If you can’t live together without threatenng each others lives you’re not a civilsed society.

    By the way, not knowing a lot about this case I’ve only seen a few reports about the trial – there is a distinct impression left that the prosecutors are fumbling it.

  52. says

    @marner

    I think we’re in the same place, I just read this:

    Rather it is that so many are convinced that Rittenhouse is unquestionable legally guilty of murder while ignoring the available evidence.

    and think of all the times when someone says something like, “He’s obviously guilty,” about any number of cases over the decades and if you ask them, “You mean you’re sure he’s legally guilty and that none of his defenses have legal validity?” they will freely admit, “Well, I don’t know about the law, I just know he’s guilty.”

    To me the large number of experiences like this (including with my own statements about who was “obviously guilty” before I got an education) make me unlikely to think that these are people expressing legal opinions. I think most people expressing such statements, as much as they might look like legal opinions, are actually expressing moral ones.

    There’s a parallel here with being trans. People have accused me of being delusional, as if I don’t actually know what my genitals looked like as a child. But that’s taking my assertions out of context, and at root, missing the fact that words can have more than one meaning. My statements aren’t evidence of delusion, and I don’t think that (for most people) those statements about obvious guilt are evidence of the “false narrative” that concerns you.

    Read PZ’s original post, for example:

    He is a murderer. He killed with intent. He’s also probably going to walk because our justice system is a joke, and he got a lunatic as a judge.

    “He is a murderer” is a definitive statement and might seem like a false narrative. But “He’s also probably going to walk” is a clear acknowledgement that PZ does actually see the question of whether or not he considers someone a murderer to be separate from the question of legal guilt.

    The fact that moral and legal questions, that advocacy and fact, are often expressed using the same terms might make your take reasonable at first glance, and it’s sure as hell going to have its reasonableness bolstered by a few idiots, I think that’s the wrong interpretation of the vast majority of statements on the issues of Rittenhouse’s guilt, legal or otherwise, here or anywhere.

  53. says

    Note: “Rittenhouse opened fire only when Grosskreutz approached Rittenhouse with his handgun aimed at him.” How is this not self defense.?

    So what if I aim a gun at a cop, but he’s able to point his gun at me before I kill him? How is THAT not self-defense?

  54. raven says

    “Rittenhouse opened fire only when Grosskreutz approached Rittenhouse with his handgun aimed at him.” How is this not self defense.?

    This is stupid.

    Grosskreutz was the third person Rittenhouse shot!!! And the only one armed.
    At this point, Rittenhouse was no longer a dumb kid with a rifle. He was an active shooter who had killed two unarmed men. A terrorist.
    Wikipedia “Gaige Grosskreutz, who testified that he believed Rittenhouse to be an active shooter,…”

    What do you call someone who has just killed two people? An active shooter. If that isn’t an active shooter, there is no such thing as an active shooter.

    How is this not self defense. When Grosskreutz was the hypothetical good guy with a gun. Who it must be said, wasn’t very skilled at using his gun.

  55. marner says

    @Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden and PZ
    So we are all in agreement? Rittenhouse may be legally innocent of the murder charges, but is guilty of being a really bad person? And people here/elsewhere are not actually denying that there’s significant evidence pointing towards his innocence. They are just expressing their frustration at a judicial system they feel is unjust? Nice. I can go back to the Seahawk game.

  56. says

    Someone elsewhere commented that Gaige Grosskreutz’s biggest mistake that night is that he didn’t shoot and kill Rittenhouse. After all if he had he could have claimed self defense as a defense.

    So much of the argument made for Rittenhouse are the same old Magic Powah of Gunz nonsense we always see. The people shot that night were supposed to magically know he was a Good Guy With a Gun, and not a criminal fleeing the scene of a crime.

  57. John Morales says

    More or less what fentex wrote @58.

    Seems to me to be a peculiarly USAnian attitude towards shooting people dead.
    A perfectly reasonable form of defending oneself, apparently.

    I’m pretty sure that alleged defence would not fly here in Oz — I reckon we’d reckon that if you deliberately go out of the way to put yourself into a position where your only recourse is to shoot people dead, you’re kinda to blame for the killings. But hey, IANAL.

    In passing, I read this article (under the heading of ‘Jurisprudence’) on Slate the other day, a magazine known for its ‘liberal’ slant:
    Don’t Blame Judge Schroeder if Kyle Rittenhouse Goes Free

    (TLDR: it would be the prosecutor’s fault)

  58. oddie says

    @61 one thing I have noticed recently since following more lawyers in social media and following zoomcourt is that the law in the USA doesn’t work they way I thought it did. I used to be upset when things “went the wrong way” now I’m just annoyed about how the law works. I’ll be waiting on the Opening Arguments podcast review of the case to see how they review the judge.

  59. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    Good to know that Silverman agrees that we can second-guess verdicts. Every clearly guilty cop who got off? Zimmerman? We can say they’re guilty and he can have no complaint.

  60. aarondeemer says

    @Joe Smith

    “It’s a neutral term describing an actual fact. ‘Victim’ refers to any injured party in a dispute. It does not matter how that person became injured or who the person is.”

    So you’d have no problem if the media talked about “Joseph Rosenbaum’s victim, Mr Rittenhouse”?

    @Susan Montgomery

    “Do you know what would have made Rittenhouse completely safe? Not being there.”

    True, and the mob could have stayed safe by staying home too. Though honestly, based on the evidence in the case (which I’m actually bothering to watch in full), it wouldn’t have required “everyone” staying home. Just Rosenbaum. If he hadn’t been there, he wouldn’t have tried an unprovoked attack on a person armed with a gun, and the whole chain of events wouldn’t have happened.

    I wish we had a counterfactual universe to examine, I really do. In the counterfactual universe, an aggressive, but unarmed right-winger (maybe the guy that shouts “Fuck around and find out” while fondling the butt of his rifle, in one of the early videos that night) tries to attack Gaige Grosskreutz and take his Glock. Grosskreutz tries to flee, but eventually, unable to escape, wrestling with the man for his pistol, he shoots the guy, fearing (rightly so) that his life is in danger. He heads for the police to turn himself in and explain what happened, but the mob of right-wing idiots (all mobs are made of idiots in the end) pursues him. He trips in the street, and at that point, Ryan Balch runs forward and swings a fire extinguisher at his head, then grabs for the pistol. Grosskreutz shoots him, ending another life. Before he can struggle to his feet, Kyle Rittenhouse lunges forward, AR-15 pointed at him in one hand, the other hand outstretched to reach for the Glock. Grosskreutz fires, neutralizing the last attacker. The rest of the mob stops aggressing, and Grosskreutz continues to head to the police.

    Tell me that you don’t “know” deep in your bones that in that universe, Fox News and other right-wing media sources would be hailing Rittenhouse (the “victim” who lost most of his bicep) as a hero, and painting Grosskreutz as an antifa supersoldier that mercilessly gunned down 3 proud patriots. And the broad Left, would we stick with our principles and agree that Grosskreutz actions were criminal (that he never should have been there after curfew with a gun without a permit) and that Rittenhouse was a brave young boy who only tried to stop an active shooter? Or, would we predictably just stick with our tribe and demonize “the other team”? I know what I think

  61. John Morales says

    aarondeemer, did you miss the distinctions made between legality and ethics?

    I mean, sure: legally in this case, the determination of the appropriateness of the term ‘victim’ is like Schrödinger’s cat; depends on the trial results. Not on the actual course of events, note.

    Apropos: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

    (Won’t find me going to that benighted land, I value my life and health)

  62. Joe Smith says

    @aarondeemer “So you’d have no problem if the media talked about “Joseph Rosenbaum’s victim, Mr Rittenhouse”?”

    Huh? Kyle isn’t the victim, he’s not the one who is dead, Rosenbaum is. Rosebaum is the injured party, ergo the victim. What is your major malfunction? Did you not make it past grade 2? Why do I have to explain this to you?

  63. lochaber says

    I’ll grant that maybe legally, everything Rittenhouse did is considered self defence, but the law is an ass, and I am not a lawyer.

    I’m arguing from more of a morality and common sense angle.

    Rittenhouse geared up with a weapon of war, and a tactical sling that is intended for battle. That’s not a sling used by anybody intending to do anything other than shoot people – it doesn’t carry the firearm in a comfortable or convenient manner, it just keeps it near a ready position if you have to momentarily take your hands off the rifle. Nobody who is trying to do something other than shoot people would opt for that sling. It’s not comfortable to use, and it keeps the firearm right in front of you, so it’s very awkward to do anything like provide first aid, which is what I believe Rittenhouse’s made up excuse was.

    He geared up specifically to kill (probably black) people, he willingly went out of his way to place himself in a volatile situation, and then he “started shit”. Any one of those actions are not consistent with someone who’s primary concern is safety of self. He went there with the intention of killing someone, and someone ended up dead due to his actions.

  64. aarondeemer says

    @John Morales
    I agree there’s a distinction between legality and ethics, and his legal guilt “depends on the trial results”, while his ethical guilt would not. However, his ethical guilt would depend on the facts of the matter, which everyone seems ready to assert based on twitter hot takes. The trial is the closest the rest of us will ever get to the facts of the matter, so I’m following the evidence presented there

    @Joe Smith
    “any injured party in a dispute.” Your words. Rosenbaum attacked Rittenhouse, therefore Rittenhouse is his victim. That’s how the words you chose work. I don’t have a major malfunction nor am I in 2nd grade. Weird to jump straight to name calling

  65. lotharloo says

    I don’t even assign him too much ethical guilt and I think he is also a kind of victim. He is a fucking kid who was encouraged and aided by the adults in his life and his role models. He is a minor foot soldier. He is the kind of person a reasonable county should protect by jailing people who provided him the weapon and encouraged him. His mom should go to jail, the person who got him the weapon should do too. But of course this is USA where civilians killing each other on the streets is kinda ok as long as both side fear for their lives; the good guy with a gun philosophy working as expected.

  66. says

    @chesapeake

    How is this not self defense.?

    According to the criminal complaint, at that point, protesters were heard on two different videos yelling “Beat him up!,” “Hey he shot him!,” and “Get him! Get that dude!”[22] One individual struck Rittenhouse from behind, knocking off his cap,[66] shortly after which Rittenhouse tripped and fell to the ground.[55] After which others shouted “What’d he do?,” “Just shot someone!,” and “Get his ass!”[22]

    Clearly, the people following him were at least personally convinced that he was a threat. As such, their actions were self-defense.
    I’m not clear on all the facts and the exact time line, but surely we can agree that you can’t claim self-defense against people trying to stop you after you’ve already shot someone else.

  67. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I am not in possession of all of the facts of the matter, nor all of the legal knowledge, and I don’t pretend to be. However, it appears that an adult in that state has a right to open-carry a firearm during a large protest gathering, and if a group tries to take that firearm from the person while shouting stuff like “get him” and “beat him up”, then shooting people from the group is lawful self defense under the law as currently written. Sigh.

    I appreciate the finer points of Crip Dyke’s comments, which is whether the gun-wielder did any legal menacing or brandishing, which could change the legal calculus of self defense.

    PS: I am forced to remember the many antics of the Black Panthers, and how I would be more sympathetic in roughly the same circumstances if the skin color was changed. That tempers my feelings.

    PPS: The book should still be thrown at the kid because he’s a kid unlawfully caring, transporting, and open-carrying a firearm. The kid is probably morally guilty of looking for a fight against black people because he’s a racist – anyone know this for sure? Any social media of his saying anything to this effect? Just curious.

  68. logicalcat says

    @78

    The kid didn’t even kill black people. He killed two white people. The kid is stupid and should be held accountable but it sucks that a lot of people on here are straight up lying about the facts or adding bullshit onto Rittenhouse (not you of course). Its a sad state where Silverman is better at skepticism than FTB. Ive said this in other thread but I feel that leftists are hard at work in making sure the old straw-mans are actually true. In this case its the “FreeThought Blogs? More like Free From Thought Blogs ROFLMAO.”

    @77 You got evidence that Rittenhouse instigated it because video evidence shows otherwise? Like I said he didn’t shoot right away despite having so much time to do so. That’s not the action of someone looking specifically to kill someone. It shows clear hesitation.

    @76

    Rittenhouses first victim was against Rosembaum who attacked first and it was self defense. The other two thought it was an active shooter situation and reacted to try to stop Rittenhouse. They were wrong but understandable. One of them is alive now and as far as I can tell he hasn’t been arrested for assaulting Rittenhouse. Which is good because he doesn’t deserve it. The worst is the second victim who through circumstance both Rittenhouse and the second victim are clearly both executing self defense making it murky. I don’t know what to say about this. I definitely want to see how the courts argue this.

    @75
    The guy who gave RIttenhouse the gun has been arrested and charged with two felonies regarding this event.

    @74

    Geared up for war with a tactical sling? Hes a kid. He bought it because it says the word tactical on it. Hes not thinking in such higher level logic like you are doing with hindsight. He came in with first aid supplies. Ive seen actual medics and EMT’s carry “tactical” shit (including guns, because guess what state I live in) even tho it would impede their ability. You also have no evidence he “started shit” or was there to “kill people probably black”. These are ad homs intended to muddy shit. Lets look at the facts. He killed zero black people, after curfew where the vast majority of protestors are white. Why didn’t he do this during peak hours of black protestors? This is stupid. This case exposed us lefties as propaganda gullible. Well, not the first time.

    I haven’t read the entire. To keep sane I tend to start from the bottom up. So sorry if I don’t respond to you but I genuinely feel leftists are fast abandoning reason and healthy skepticism.

  69. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Clearly, the people following him were at least personally convinced that he was a threat. As such, their actions were self-defense.

    That’s not how the law works and you know it. Any number of white people who murdered black people could make the same argument that “a big black man is scary, and I feared for my life”, and it wouldn’t be valid either. The unfortunate truth is that one cannot legally use self-defense against someone who is merely employing their constitutional rights of open-carry. Again, I feel obliged to mention Crip Dyke’s comments which is that other circumstances might change the legal calculus, such as whether the asshat was menacing or brandishing under a legal standard.

  70. logicalcat says

    @67 PZ

    If you have evidence that Rittenhouse did not act in self defense show it. This is beneath you PZ. Right now all the evidence points that its an act of self defense against an attacker which got killed. The fact that hes a gun nut (is he even?) or whatever changes nothing except to character assassinate. As if people who do not share your values are not eligible for basic human rights.

    The way everyone is behaving is dishonest as fuck. Instead of relying on the facts of the case they say they are relying on facts but then go into a complete fact less tangent hell bent on portraying Rittenhouse in the most unfavorable way possible hoping that attacking his character somehow denies him a right to self defense on sheer bias alone.

    Well two can play that game because Rosenbaum is a convicted child molester. So the video is clearly showing a child predator attacking a kid, and that kid killing him in self defense. These are true facts, 100%. More so than what you and others here have given me. So Rittenhouse is in the clear right? The reality is that Rosembaums character means nothing in this case and neither does Rittenhouse (Rosembaum payed his debt to society and I believe in second chances). I consider in some way George Zimmerman to be a child predator. Maybe not in the sexual sense but he did stalk a kid. That kid fought back and died. If Trayvon succeeded in killing Zimmerman would he be a murderer? You wouldn’t dare say such a thing.

    This is a blind spot. It reminds me of the first and only time I was mad at you which was when you decided to make fun of a gamer for surviving a murder attempt on his life. The one who’s girlfriend tried to kill him with a samurai sword because he played too much video games. The leftist narrative at the time was “male gamers are shit” (over simplified I know) so a male victim of extreme domestic violence became a joke to you. You cant see the obvious wrong here at least not immediately. If the genders were reversed you wouldn’t have dared to say what you said. I’m using the Trayvon/Zimmerman event in the same manner. If Rittenhouse was black and Rosembaum white you wouldn’t say this shit either. A bind spot, and add in the fact that one was right wing (is he even?) and the other left wing(are you sure cuz I’m not) to influence you further.

    Rittenhouse is definitely guilty. I agree he shouldn’t have been there but neither were the victims breaking curfew in a protest that didn’t concern them (if you white and after curfew you are not there for meaningful protest, sorry). But he is not a murderer. That’s a loaded term and you know it.

    Lefties have allowed the edgy dipshits among them to dictate the language and discourse. Its fast becoming not about reality but attitude.

  71. vucodlak says

    @ logicalcat, #80

    Like I said he didn’t shoot right away despite having so much time to do so. That’s not the action of someone looking specifically to kill someone. It shows clear hesitation.

    This is pure assfax. Hesitation does not indicate that he wasn’t there to kill people. Serious violence isn’t easy for the vast majority of people. Murder is harder still, even if they really want to do it.

    All his hesitation says about him is that it was his first time, and he discovered that pulling the trigger isn’t as easy in real life as it is in a video game.

  72. jimmyfromdelaware says

    The kid is a creep and was just looking for trouble and had no business being there. It’s a crying shame he encountered cops about 30 min before the shooting and they thanked him for being there and offered him water. That is the unspoken tragedy.

    However, they were not unarmed. The person he shot in the hand admitted on the witness stand he had a pistol and pointed it at him. He also got hammered by a skateboard and was running away and people pursued him and one person tried to take him weapon. Someone also fired their gun in the air while he was running.

    Media has done a poor job of covering this and I was shocked when following the trial. Just like Russiagate misinformation was thoroughly spread.

    Folks we can’t turn into republicans that make the narrative fit what they want it to be.

  73. John Morales says

    logicalcat:

    Its [sic] a sad state where Silverman is better at skepticism than FTB.

    To what scepticism do you refer? Look at what Silverman wrote.

    (The concept refers to doubting, not to certitude)

  74. KG says

    but neither were the victims breaking curfew in a protest that didn’t concern them (if you white and after curfew you are not there for meaningful protest, sorry – logicalcat@82

    What a load of shit. Whether or not it was a legitimate act of protest to be there after curfew, your race makes absolutely no difference. Racism – and speciifcally, police violence against black people – should be a matter of urgent concern to everyone.

  75. lochaber says

    maybe it doesn’t matter in legal matters and courtrooms, but I feel that context is a major factor in whether something con be considered self defense.

    I feel that all of these claims that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense are taken out of context.

    If Rittenhouse were randomly walking in some random street, and someone tried to lunge for their firearm, yeah, maybe that could be a “self defense” claim. but it wasn’t a random street, and he wasn’t randomly walking. He deliberately inserted himself into a volatile situation, with a weapon of war, held at the ready. And we have a whole fucking generation of people that we’ve “trained” for school shootings, as if that is an acceptable concept. And we also have a very clear and recent history of right-wingers using lethal force against BLM protests. So, if people in a BLM protest see someone armed with weapons of war acting in a threatening manner, of course some of them are going to try and attack that person, that’s literally what we’ve been telling them they should do for most of their damned lives. And, as noted above, at what point does someone go from “open carry because it’s my right” to “active shooter”? How many gunshots and dead bodies does it take before you allow young people to do what you’ve been asking them to do their entire lives? The whole notion of “self defense” in the US, in regards to firearms is so convolutedly fucked because the gunhumpers try to scrabble at any excuse to defend the person with a firearm. And, while I’ll readily admit this isn’t legally recognized (but I also damn the legal system for this oversight…), I am of the opinion that someone carrying a firearm has a moral obligation to if not de-escalate, at least refrain from escalation and provocation.

    If a white person wearing a KKK tshirt or similar walked down the street, and eventually (and in my mind rightfully…) got their ass kicked by a black person (or, well, anyone who objects to bigotry), I wouldn’t fucking care, but could accept that they maybe have a legal defense in use of force for self defense.
    If a white person wearing a KKK tshirt of whatever, walks into a black bar, or similar, and tries to start some shit with people, and then pulls a gun, I don’t think that’s a valid self-defense claim. Maybe the law disagrees, but, well, the law has a long history of being racist and wrong.

    At the protests i’ve attended, there were definite boundaries twixt the cops/proudboys/nazis and the BLM/antifa factions. The specific line may be contested, but it wasn’t easy for someone to end up on the wrong side of it unwittingly. And, from what I saw in those videos, Rittenhouse clearly disregarded those “camps” and charged into what he and his considered “enemy territory” and started some shit.

    Personally, one of the aspects I am most sad/disappointed about, is that this person was a minor, a dumb fucking teen, likely manipulated by stupid internet bigotry, and potentially capable of rehabilitation. But, I feel that regardless of the outcome of this trial, he is going to get lionized by the worst of the rightwing bigots, and his racism and bigotry is going to get baked in, and he is going to financially and otherwise rewarded for all of this bullshit, and is going to grow up to be an even worse person because of it.

    And, if he isn’t given a heavy-smack-down-sentence, it’s going to embolden other potentially violent bigots to be less potentially and more actually violent…

    I have a lot of issues with our “justice system” and I feel like a hypocrite, but I feel this and the Jan 6 attempted coup need very harsh and very swift penalties, or it will embolden people to make future re-attempts…

  76. lochaber says

    I also just want to point out how it’s “interesting” that people see “open carry” as an inviolable second amendment right, but somehow feel that it’s perfectly fine to staple “curfew hours” onto first amendment rights regarding people’s right to assemble or to petition grievances…

  77. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I also just want to point out how it’s “interesting” that people see “open carry” as an inviolable second amendment right […]

    Just going to point out that I am not such a person. I was just commenting on it appears to be under current case law, which is that if there was an adult in the same situation with the proper firearm licenses, then it appears that it would have been legal open carry. That appears to be the fucked part of this situation.

    I don’t think that the second amendment requires open-carry be legal. I think a policy of “concealed carry only” can satisfy the requirements of the second amendment, and I think it can be hidden behind a licensing scheme that requires attending training classes and background checks (but not behind a requirement that shows a particular or unusual need).

    I also think that carry of any kind can be banned in specific situations, like sports stadiums, and perhaps / probably during certain crowded permitted protests (assuming proper signage or something is posted). I see nothing wrong with such a law under the constitution.

  78. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I have a lot of issues with our “justice system” and I feel like a hypocrite, but I feel this and the Jan 6 attempted coup need very harsh and very swift penalties, or it will embolden people to make future re-attempts…

    On this, I vehemently disagree. The Jan 6 coup attempt people should have the book thrown at them. It should be argued in court that it was open rebellion against the United States. It should have been prosecuted as treason. Don’t actually hang anyone, but call it treason, prosecute it as treason, and send everyone involved to prison for like a a few months at least – maybe a year, and longer for the more serious offenders.

    By contrast, this case here is not clearcut. I cannot stand behind the idea that we should sacrifice a potential innocent for the deterrence value regardless of guilt. It’s completely antithetical to my liberal leftist views. What you said is outrageous.

  79. rorschach says

    Just another organised atheist who turned out to be a total moral failure. Had beers with way too many of those. I look back at those times now and reflect on how it felt cool and hip for a while to jet around the planet to meet all these people who agreed with you on one small detail, and feel similar to PZ, we should have seen the signs, and known better.

  80. jimjamjim0 says

    I posted in the first thread on this case that it was a waste of time and he’ll get found innocent, despite being a douchebag. I’ve followed this case closely and it’s even more obvious he will be found innocent.

    He had as much right to be there as anyone else, and was provoked and chased. If he hadn’t shot them what do you think would of happened to him? Not to mention at least two of the dudes were scum bags, one a nonce.

    The media lied massively in the coverage of this case. The media also helped stoke the riots in the first place.
    Jacob Blake was a rapist who pulled a knife on a cop and was shot, it wasn’t covered like that in the media at all.

  81. KG says

    Not to mention at least two of the dudes were scum bags, one a nonce.

    So why did you mention it? Because you’re following the standard racist strategy of excusing the killing of black people by police or vigilantes.

  82. rorschach says

    Racist @94,
    “If he hadn’t shot them what do you think would of happened to him?”

    I don’t know mate, but to speculate, would they have looked at him sternly, or raised their voice in dismay?

  83. says

    Bye bye, jimjamjim0. I clearly need to start clearing out some kneejerk bigots from this place.

    I’m still kind of shocked at the people here who think extra-judicial executions by a terrible kid with a gun at a protest are warranted.

  84. stroppy says

    PZ @97

    I think it may, in part, be the way it’s been reported in the MSM and, as Mystal says in the above link @92, the focus on 15 out of context seconds in the trial.

    From the right’s rhetorical playbook, myopia followed by a tumble down the rabbit hole…

  85. Pierce R. Butler says

    The only time I saw David Silverman in person occurred when he came to the unveiling of a small atheist monument outside the county courthouse in Palatka, Florida (also attended by the “League of the South” and other “conservative Christians”).

    Perhaps he caught some sort of political infection there.

  86. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I’m still kind of shocked at the people here who think extra-judicial executions by a terrible kid with a gun at a protest are warranted.

    Warranted in any moral sense? Not really, no. Legally permissible under current laws (which are broken)? Possibly yes, depending on the particular details.

  87. says

    That’s not how the law works and you know it. Any number of white people who murdered black people could make the same argument that “a big black man is scary, and I feared for my life”, and it wouldn’t be valid either. The unfortunate truth is that one cannot legally use self-defense against someone who is merely employing their constitutional rights of open-carry.

    None of this has anything to do with what I wrote. Go back and read again. Pay attention to the bolded parts of my quote. They’re there for a reason.

  88. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    By contrast, this case here is not clearcut. I cannot stand behind the idea that we should sacrifice a potential innocent for the deterrence value regardless of guilt. It’s completely antithetical to my liberal leftist views. What you said is outrageous.

    Well, we’ll see what precedent is set.

    So, your liberal leftist view is that whenever someone wants to shoot some people they don’t like, all it takes is to arm themselves and while keeping the gun handy, get in amongst the people one wants to shoot, wait for someone to make some objection to their presence, shoot them a few times (“I thought they had a gun! I was scared for my life!”), then run away while shooting anyone else who responds to those actions by chasing them or trying to take away their weapon.

    (BTW, legally innocent he may potentially be, but a killer is what he factually is)

  89. says

    Wisconsin law bars “possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18”, but only if the person is either under 16 or the weapon has a barrel less than 16 inches long. Since Rittenhouse was 17 and barrel was more than 16 inches long, the law doesn’t apply.

    Now how can anyone say that’s broken? /s

  90. says

    Bruce Schroeder is Julius Hoffman’s clone.

    That interview with Elie Mystal is excellent. Illuminating indeed. And stroppy’s scare quotes around “liberal” are well deserved for nonsense about “liberal leftist” views that are imbued with privilege.

  91. says

    “maybe it doesn’t matter in legal matters and courtrooms”

    It definitely does matter, as Elie Mystal explains, but the judge has prevented any context from appearing before the jury.

    “it will embolden people to make future re-attempts…”

    Indeed it will, and saying so does not deserve the ridiculous dishonest strawman “sacrifice a potential innocent for the deterrence value regardless of guilt”, since you do not believe that he is without guilt. Even if you’re mistaken, you have not committed the moral crime that this guy is “outraged” about.

  92. says

    “The person he shot in the hand admitted on the witness stand he had a pistol and pointed it at him. He also got hammered by a skateboard and was running away and people pursued him and one person tried to take him weapon. Someone also fired their gun in the air while he was running.”

    BECAUSE he had shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and he was still armed.

    “Folks we can’t turn into republicans that make the narrative fit what they want it to be.”

    Republicans start the story in the middle, as you did.

  93. says

    “Its a sad state where Silverman is better at skepticism than FTB. ”

    You’re a dishonest imbecile. There are so many errors of fact and logic in your comments that it’s pointless to waste further time responding.

  94. says

    “I am not in possession of all of the facts of the matter, nor all of the legal knowledge”

    That’s for sure.

    “The book should still be thrown at the kid because he’s a kid unlawfully caring, transporting, and open-carrying a firearm.”

    No such charges are being considered by the jury, because he isn’t legally guilty of any of those things.

    “The kid is probably morally guilty of looking for a fight against black people because he’s a racist – anyone know this for sure?”

    So this speculation is in line with your “liberal leftist” views but you’re outraged at someone wanting the book to be thrown at him because they think letting go someone as guilty as they think he is will lead to others doing the same?

    Someone chased him and threw a bag at him and in return he shot and killed them with a rifle that he should not morally have been carrying. Some call that self defense–I don’t.

  95. says

    “leaving out Rosenbaum”

    Yeah, let’s leave out the guy he murdered.

    Defense argument: the absence of Rosenbaum’s DNA on RIttenhouse’s gun doesn’t prove that Rosenbaum didn’t touch his gun, therefore Rittenhouse was justified in shooting and killing Rosenbaum.

  96. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John. This has nothing to do with what I want. I’m commenting on what i think that the law currently is.

    LykeX. I see.

  97. says

    “it is that so many are convinced that Rittenhouse is unquestionable legally guilty of murder while ignoring the available evidence”

    What about those who are convinced that he is not legally guilty of murder (or rather “first-degree reckless homicide”) while ignoring the available evidence?

    Joseph Rosenbaum chased Kyle Rittenhouse and tossed a plastic bag in his direction. Rittenhouse shot and killed him.

    Wisconsin law allows the use of force against someone whom you reasonably believe intends to do you harm or illegally interfere with you, but only the force necessary to prevent the harm or interference from occurring.

    What evidence do you have that justifies his disproportionate use of force?

  98. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    LykeX, I would not be surprised if legally, both sides could succeed in self defense claims due to imperfect information by both sides, eg by circumstances that would lead to reasonable but unsubstantiated beliefs by at least one side.

    I don’t know the timeline. I don’t know enough. It might be justified self defense, legally, by one or both sides. I would need to know more, and I don’t care to learn enough.

    What I know is that it’s unreasonable for someone to inject in their idea of reasonableness and argue that carrying a gun automatically legally excuses any assaults and batteries on that person. If carrying a gun is a constitutionally protected right in that context, then that matters. Is it stupid if it’s a protected right in the circumstance? Probably.

  99. says

    “There is a lot being written by non-leftists how dishonest the left (including the media) has been on this case. And they are largely correct. It is not a good look for us.”

    Since you’re part of the left, I would have to agree.

  100. says

    “I don’t know the timeline. I don’t know enough. It might be justified self defense, legally, by one or both sides. I would need to know more, and I don’t care to learn enough.”

    Then you should shut up and stop dishonestly attacking strawmen.

  101. says

    “What has happened to the person arrested for firing the first shots? I read last night that it wasn’t Rittenhouse, and it’s the event that started the melee of people trying to take the gun from Rittenhouse. It’s not clear what’s become of that other shooter, or who he was.”

    Read better sources or improve your reading comprehension. Throwing a plastic bag != firing shots.

    Unless, like Gerald, you don’t even care that you have the facts wrong.

  102. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Jim Balter
    It’s not that hard to spell my name correctly.

    I don’t need to know everything in order to know something. I pclearly presented my views as hypotheticals that depended on certain assumptions which may or may not be true in this case. That’s all that I needed to object to what others were writing. I could engage with their view of events, assume they were correct on the facts for the sake of argument, and still argue that they’re reaching incorrect conclusions because they’re making incorrect legal arguments, eg practicing a civil rights of carrying a gun means that one can be legally attacked without further cause.

    You are being a needless asshole.

  103. says

    “The fact is Rosenbaum did not get close enough to even touch Kyle’s rifle before he was shot. There was no grabbing, no ‘attacking’, no struggle, no fighting, no wrestling for possession of the rifle — at all…..ever.”

    Indeed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFai05bMeWo

    That is not self defense under Wisconsin law, which allows only the amount of force necessary to prevent illegal interference with one’s person.

  104. says

    “It’s not that hard to spell my name correctly.”

    It was a minor mistake, you stupid fucking dishonest immoral sack of shit.

    Look @121 and then fuck off and die.

  105. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Jim
    You have some serious problems. I’d you want to engage with whatbive actually written instead of what you think I’ve written, then I’ll be here.

  106. says

    My serious problem here is you, you stupid dishonest strawman-attacking sack of shit. I despise everything about you, but you are not worth any more of my time.

  107. DanDare says

    Its interesting that a lot of those defending Rittenhouse start with the “unprovoked attavk by Rosenbaum”. Eh? Rittenhouse was fleeing through the crowd long before that. Our opening available footage has him with the gun held ready for use running through a group.

  108. says

    DanDare@126

    Regardless of what Rosenbaum did or didn’t do, RIttenhouse wheeling around and shooting him was not self defense under Wisconsin law (it’s not a “stand your ground” state). See @121

  109. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Jim
    “Stand your ground” may not mean what you think it means. Normally, there a duty of a victim of assault and battery to retreat instead of using force in self defense. Stand-your-ground removes this duty to retreat and allows reasonable force for self defense.

    For example, if the other guy was the first to point a gun in a threatening manner, we have to ask if retreat is feasible. It seems pretty reasonable that retreat from a gun in an open space is not a feasible option, and thus the point about no stand your ground law does not appear to be relevant.

    Stand your ground, AFAIk, doesn’t change anything about the discussion of what force is reasonable in self defense.

    The legal case hinges on other details, specifically specifically exact timeline of who pointed guns at whom first, and who said what threats to whom and when, and who shot first, etc.

    Further, we might be in a weird situation where some persons from both sides could claim self defense.

  110. says

    Note that Gerrard is a dishonest cretin who admits not caring that he doesn’t know anything about what he’s talking about. What I said is that Wisconsin is not a “stand your ground” state, and this is a plain fact and would be even if I had no idea what the phrase means.

  111. says

    “specifically exact timeline of who pointed guns at whom first”

    My comment was about Joseph Rosenbaum. He was armed only with a plastic bag.
    I posted a video showing Rittenhouse wheeling, shooting, and killing Rosenbaum. I said nothing about the other incidents, you stupid fucking dishonest maggot.

  112. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    If Rosenbaum was part of a simultaneous multi person attack, then clearly shooting in self defense can be justified.

  113. says

    “If Rosenbaum was part of a simultaneous multi person attack, then clearly shooting in self defense can be justified.”

    Vile dishonest maggot.

  114. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    But thats what I was talking about before I was so rudely called out for strawmanning or something.

  115. logicalcat says

    By Gob its even worse now. Rosembaum was witnessed yelling “Shoot me N*****” to black protestors and even lunged at another man carrying a rifle like Rittenhouse but it was false lunges and the witness who testified in court thought he wasn’t a threat because he himself wasn’t alone. Rittenhouse was. Rosembaum’s girlfriend states in an interview hes bipolar. All of this behavior does scream suicide but I think that’s wrong. I think Rosembaum just hated the protests because it interfered with his life as a resident of the area similar to how people wish they could run over protestors who block traffic. He’s an edgelord piece of shit who lunged at Rittenhouse. Rosembaum was also witnessed threatening to kill Rittenhouse before hand.

    And this is the guy you guys are defending? Wow. That’s the stupid left for you. Defending assholes as long as it serves their dishonest narrative.

    @Jim Balter

    As someone who actually does live in a stand your ground state, you clearly do not understand this shit at all. But of course you don’t care. You accuse others of being dishonest as projection.

    If Rittenhouse shot first as soon as Rosembaum threatened to kill Rittenhouse (bet you guys didn’t know about that piece of evidence did you? Earlier that night witnesses saw Rosembaum threaten to kill Rittenhouse) then stand your ground would apply if it was law of that state. That didn’t happen. Rittenhouse shot after Rosembaum committed assault and battery by lunging at Rittenhouse and getting within his personal space. That’s standard self defense not stand your ground. And no it doesn’t matter if he was armed with a plastic bag or not. Assault is assault and battery is battery regardless, and you have the right to self defense. What do you want? For Rittenhouse to let him get within his personal space and allow the assault to happen simply because hes better geared? Get the fuck outta here. Privileged dipshit who clearly lives in safety and comfort.

    Stand your ground is basically codifying the phrase “Dead men tell no tales.” That’s why its bad. That’s why Zimmerman got off. That’s why a white man can shoot a car full of black people who had their music too loud, killed one of them, and then gets found guilty for attempted murder of the other passengers but not guilty on the one who he did kill. In this case (Rittenhouse) we have multiple video evidence, and eye witness testimony. Get your head out of your ass.

    The old video looked like Rosembaum got close enough to touch the gun. A forensic pathologist debunked that claim in court. This changes nothing. Assault is assault and battery is battery. You still have the legal right to defend yourself if someone lunges at you especially since he earlier that day threatened to kill you which is what happened. You guys are reaching far as fuck if you have to allow someone get within dangerous range to be legally allowed to fight back even with a deadly weapon. This is stupid. The video you linked still showed Rittenhouse having the discipline to not shoot Rosembaum despite being in clear danger. That’s self defense. Unwillingness to kill outright until there was no choice. Thanks for the video btw as helps my argument even better than the murky one originally. It also helps my argument that you guys are dishonestly seeing what you want to see because apparently your notion of leftism is riding hard on this case even though it shouldn’t be. Grosskreuts, the other victim who survived also testified in that court that Rittenhouse did not shoot him until he had his gun out and was about to aim it at Rosembaum, again showing a self defense mindset.

    I must reiterate. I think you guys lived sheltered privileged lives if you think any of this doesn’t constitute self defense. Or are simply lying.

    “throwing a plastic bag != firing a shot” Gerard was talking about Zeminski who fired the first shot in the air causing a panic. Like I said you are a dishonest dipshit who is projecting that onto others to protect your precious little stupid left narrative. Id say follow your own advice and get better sources and develop better reading comprehension except you are not here for good faith dialogue regarding the case. That’s pretty clear.

    “You’re a dishonest imbecile. There are so many errors of fact and logic in your comments that it’s pointless to waste further time responding.”

    Translation: “I got nothing.”

    @126 DanDare

    And its interesting that you ignore every other witness who testified that Rosembaum threatened others, yelled at a crowd to “shoot me n*****.” and earlier that day threatened to kill Rittenhouse himself.

    You also ignore the submitted evidence that the whole scenario started with another party firing a shot which is why everyone was running. That person (Zeminski) refused to testify in court tho under 5th amendment rights to not self incriminate.

    There’s two types of people against Rittenhouse here 1) fucking liars, and 2) people who couldn’t be arsed to look at the evidence presented and uncovered. Without reading this thread I’m going to assume you are the latter. Be careful of the former.

  116. logicalcat says

    Its harder to convince people to come over to the left when we behave this way, with dishonesty and malice. Twisting the narrative to fuel the dopamine we get when we rage at the establishment. I will say it again. Silverman is better at skepticism than FTB at the moment and that’s fucking sad. I’m also going to repeat that leftists are fast at work making sure the old strawmans are actually true and that’s also fucking sad.

  117. logicalcat says

    And now hes been found not guilty of all charges. Easiest case of not guilty Ive ever seen.

    I wonder whats going to be the most popular leftist excuse for how wrong they were. White supremacy? Shitty justice system? Oh how about the judge was biased (even tho all objective review of his actions shows he is not).

    The fucked up thing is that these are real issues but good luck getting Joe Schmo to believe you when our side, the side who is supposed to be about justice, is busy fabricating whole narratives and straight up lying about shit.

    Good Glob guys. Way to make us leftist look like a bunch of lying pieces of shit instead of the force for good that it should be. I fully expect some of you to keep up the false narrative.

  118. KG says

    Rosembaum was witnessed yelling “Shoot me N*****” to black protestors and even lunged at another man carrying a rifle like Rittenhouse but it was false lunges and the witness who testified in court thought he wasn’t a threat because he himself wasn’t alone. Rittenhouse was. Rosembaum’s girlfriend states in an interview hes bipolar. All of this behavior does scream suicide but I think that’s wrong. I think Rosembaum just hated the protests because it interfered with his life as a resident of the area similar to how people wish they could run over protestors who block traffic. He’s an edgelord piece of shit who lunged at Rittenhouse. Rosembaum was also witnessed threatening to kill Rittenhouse before hand. – logicalcat@136

    Rosenbaum, whatever his past crimes and his mental health problems, was not “an edgelord piece of shit” who “just hated the protests because it interfered with his life as a resident of the area similar to how people wish they could run over protestors who block traffic”. Snopes has a careful piece on the backgrounds of all three of Rittenhouse’s victims which includes the following:

    Porche Bennett, a Kenosha activist and business owner, told The Kenosha News while all three men were known by protest organizers, Rosenbaum and Huber were regular attendees of gatherings in the Kenosha area.

    “They came out here every time with us,” Bennett said of the deceased.

    So no doubt we can expect a prompt apology from you for getting it wrong.

  119. John Morales says

    logicalcat:

    And now hes been found not guilty of all charges. Easiest case of not guilty Ive ever seen.

    Yah, he’s found the formula for killing people on the street and getting away with it.

    Expect more of it.

    I will say it again. Silverman is better at skepticism than FTB at the moment and that’s fucking sad.

    That’s because you imagine scepticism is about having no doubt at all. :)

  120. lochaber says

    ” testified in that court that Rittenhouse did not shoot him until he had his gun out and was about to aim it at Rosembaum, again showing a self defense mindset.”

    So, does someone with a weapon out pose a clear threat or not? Because Rittenhouse also had a weapon out, and Rittenhouse’s weapon was much more powerful, accurate, and deadly.

    So why is it that Rittenhouse pointing a weapon at people not constitute a threat, but Rosenbaum merely presenting a weapon constitute a threat?

    And again, I’m not arguing legality, I’m arguing what I feel should be common sense and morality

  121. vucodlak says

    @ logicalcat, #136

    The video you linked still showed Rittenhouse having the discipline to not shoot Rosembaum despite being in clear danger. That’s self defense. Unwillingness to kill outright until there was no choice.

    He always had another choice.

    He could have chosen not to put himself in a situation he had no business being in- he didn’t wander into the protest by accident, he inserted himself a deliberately into the middle of it and started waving a gun around. That’s called “menacing.” Unless you do it to leftwing activists, among others.

    He could have chosen not to carry a goddamn weapon of war into a volatile situation. There is no reason he needed a fucking AR-15 to clean up graffiti or hand out bandages. He wanted to play soldier. He wouldn’t have needed to “defend himself” from people trying to take away his penis substitute if he hadn’t brought it in the first place.

    He could have chosen to drop the gun he never should have had in the first place, and take his chances running.

    I have been stabbed, hit with a baseball bat, shot at, threatened with a gun, punched, kicked, stomped, spit on, pissed on, and worse, and I’ve managed not to murder anyone, even when I had a gun at hand.

    An example:
    Once, when my father was in one of his rages, he grabbed me by the throat and threatened me with a hammer. I didn’t have a gun, but I could have killed him just the same, with a hell of lot better claim of self-defense than that snot Rittenhouse. I chose to pull his hand from my throat and try to talk him down. When he just kept on screaming and waving that hammer, I chose to turn my back on him and walked away. I half expected him to bury that hammer in my skull, but I’d made my choice. He kicked me as I walked away.

    When a murderer says “I had no choice,” they’re lying. Maybe one in a million isn’t, but Kyle Rittenhouse ain’t that one. It’s not even close.

    If anyone here comes across as sheltered, privileged, and ignorant about violence, it’s you.

  122. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    lochaber

    So, does someone with a weapon out pose a clear threat or not?

    Legally, no. In plaes where open-carry is lawful, the mere act of practicing that lawful right means that they cannot be characterized as posing a threat for the purposes of self defense analysis. Come on. This is like legal 101.

    So why is it that Rittenhouse pointing a weapon at people not constitute a threat, but Rosenbaum merely presenting a weapon constitute a threat?

    I haven’t watched the videos. Apparently I need to. It’s my understanding that Rosenbaum only fired after he was attacked simultaneously by multiple people, and after he was hit with a skateboard. Do you know that Rittenhouse actually pointed his gun at people before this? Is that on video? That would change my mind a little bit and make me less certain about whether Rittenhouse engaged in lawful self defense. However, we must also ask the question: Suppose Rittenhouse did point his gun at someone as the first act in the timeline. What are we saying regarding his attackers – that they were engaged in a citizen’s arrest? Based on my reading of this thread, I have been led to believe that it’s not a stand your ground state, and I think that retreat on their part from Rittenhouse’s threats would have been feasible and practical and thus any self defense claim on the part of the attackers would be void. So, citizen’s arrest? Does the state allow citizen’s arrest? Did they follow all of the necessary procedures for citizen’s arrest?

    vucodlak
    That sounds like victim blaming. Having said that, I agree with this victim blaming. Having said that, this victim blaming has no place in a court of law. If the asshole kid had the right to open-carry during a protest (as stupid as that fucking is – the law should be changed), then simply seeing him open carry cannot be part of a lawful self defense claim. Deal with it, and work to change the law as well.

  123. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Also, from the cop on duty:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/14/us/kyle-rittenhouse-trial-takeaways.html

    An Officer Gives His Perspective

    Officer Pep Moretti of the Kenosha police spoke publicly for the first time about his role in the case, and about how police officers had reacted the night of the shootings. His testimony suggested that he was responsible, in part, for not arresting Mr. Rittenhouse right after the shootings in the chaotic streets of the city. After Mr. Rittenhouse shot three people, he approached Officer Moretti’s squad car with his hands in the air as a gesture of surrender, but police officers ordered him out of the way and rushed down the street to aid victims and search for an active shooter.

    Officer Moretti testified that he did not interpret Mr. Rittenhouse’s actions as an attempt to surrender. He said that throughout the days of protest and rioting, many people in the crowds carried guns and other weapons — and that it was not unusual for someone to approach officers during the unrest with their hands up.

    “There was probably more people armed with weapons than not throughout the entire course of the civil unrest,” he said.

    “So seeing someone with an AR-15 wouldn’t necessarily mean much to you at that point?” asked James Kraus, a prosecutor.

    “At that point in time that night, no,” Officer Moretti said.

    Clearly, whatever happened to trigger the attack on Rittenhouse was more than just seeing someone open carry with a rifle because there was apparently a lot of such people. (Which is completely bizarre to my Californian expectations.)

  124. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Same question to you:

    he inserted himself a deliberately into the middle of it and started waving a gun around.

    Did he actually do this? Did he actually point his gun at people at the start of the timeline? Or is this just a colorful expression that you choose to use to describe mere open carrying? This is a genuine question. I don’t know. I need to watch the videos. Have you watched the videos? What did the witnesses say?

  125. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenosha_unrest_shooting#Sequence_of_events

    First confrontation
    [Interactive fullscreen map]
    Locations of shootings[66] († denotes fatalities)
    1
    Shooting of Joseph Rosenbaum †
    2
    Shooting of Anthony Huber †
    and Gaige Grosskreutz

    Part of the first confrontation between Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum was witnessed by McGinniss to whom it seemed that Rosenbaum and other protesters were moving toward Rittenhouse, who was trying to evade them; Rosenbaum tried to engage Rittenhouse who avoided this by sidestepping and running away.[11][67] Rittenhouse testified at trial that Rosenbaum had threatened to kill him.[68] FBI infrared footage taken from an overhead airplane captured the shooting of Rosenbaum and the events immediately preceding it.[69][70]

    The remainder of Rosenbaum’s confrontation, and the following incidents with Huber and Grosskreutz, were recorded in cellphone footage from multiple angles, including the moments of the shooting.[71] Video footage showed Rittenhouse being pursued across a parking lot by a group of people.[14] Rosenbaum threw a plastic bag containing socks, underwear, and deodorant at Rittenhouse.[11][19][72][67] A bystander named Joshua Ziminski fired a shot into the air,[43] and then Rittenhouse stopped running and turned towards the sound of the shot.[14] Rittenhouse testified at trial that prior to being chased by Rosenbaum, he heard another man tell Rosenbaum to “get him and kill him,” but also knew that Rosenbaum was unarmed. Rittenhouse testified that he aimed his gun at Rosenbaum to deter him from pursuing him further.[68]

    Witnesses for the prosecution testified at trial that Rosenbaum engaged Rittenhouse and tried to take his rifle from him.[15][17][21][73] At 11:48 pm, Rittenhouse then fired four rounds at Rosenbaum, hitting his groin, back and left hand. The bullets perforated Rosenbaum’s heart, aorta, pulmonary artery and right lung, fractured his pelvis, and caused minor wounds to his left thigh and forehead.[74][75] McGinniss began administering first aid to Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse stood over McGinniss for half of a minute before fleeing,[19] and was heard saying “I just killed somebody” on his cell phone to his friend Dominick Black as he sprinted out of the parking lot where he had shot Rosenbaum.[17][19][76] Rosenbaum died shortly afterwards.[74]

    Assuming this Wikipedia entry to be correct, and that’s assuming a lot, because it depends in part on Rittenhouse’s testimony, then this portion sounds like clearcut self defense to me of Rittenhouse against Rosenbaum. Again, it’s not a stand-your-ground state, so what Rosenbaum was doing cannot be interpreted as self defense, leaving only the options 1- unlawful attack, or 2- citizen’s arrest, and I don’t think it’s reasonable to interpret this as citizen’s arrest.

    I think I’m with logicalcat. There’s so many fucked things surrounding the case, like how it’s legal for someone under 18 to open carry a rifle at a mass protest, but none of that apparently changes the legal outcome which is that Rittenhouse pretty clearly acted in lawful self defense.

  126. John Morales says

    Gerrard, sure… ignore everything that led up to the confrontation, and also claim there’s no evidence he was waving a gun around.
    wpr [Published: Friday, September 17, 2021, 12:50pm]

    In a hearing Friday, Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder withheld a final decision on whether he would admit evidence that Rittenhouse said two weeks before the shootings that he wished he had his gun so he could shoot criminals. But Schroeder said he found the circumstance of those statements by Rittenhouse “so dissimilar” to the crimes he is accused of that Schroeder likely wouldn’t allow that evidence in the trial.
    […]
    Prosecutors also told the judge that Rittenhouse’s public appearance in January with members of the Proud Boys group, which embraces political violence, was relevant to the case.

    “(Rittenhouse’s) actions of coming into our community illegally after curfew with a gun at the time of a protest is entirely consistent with what the Proud Boys make it their job to do,” said Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger.

    As I noted, that’s a formula with getting away with murder. Neat!

    (Well, in the USA. Where I live, not-so-much)

  127. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John
    That’s a pretty shitty formula if one of the steps is:
    While displaying a gun, trick an unarmed opponent into threatening to kill you, and then trick them into chasing you, and then trick them into trying to grab your gun and take it from you.

  128. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John

    and also claim there’s no evidence he was waving a gun around.

    Also, seriously you fucking shitter. Go fuck yourself. Again. You godsdamned lying troll.

  129. John Morales says

    Gerrard, you miss the point.
    If it doesn’t work, well… no biggie — just try again later. Just means you didn’t get to shoot someone this time around. But if it does work, well… it’s “self-defence”! No worries.

    (Hey, was the guy with the skateboard gun-grabbing? I know the first guy shot wasn’t, since there’s perfectly clear video showing he never got that close)

    Also, way to ignore the evidence the judge rejected. But, to keep to your theme, it was perfectly legal to ignore it, since a judge judged it was.

    (Justice system!)

  130. John Morales says

    John

    and also claim there’s no evidence he was waving a gun around.

    Also, seriously you fucking shitter. Go fuck yourself. Again. You godsdamned lying troll.

    Fair enough. You actually claimed you were utterly ignorant, though you still chose to opine:

    Same question to you:

    he inserted himself a deliberately into the middle of it and started waving a gun around.

    Did he actually do this? Did he actually point his gun at people at the start of the timeline? Or is this just a colorful expression that you choose to use to describe mere open carrying? This is a genuine question. I don’t know.

    I do like how you get flustered, though. :)

  131. stroppy says

    Gerrard! HEY, GERRARD!

    Gerrard, Gerrard, Gerrard. Tsk.

    Will you please, for pity’s sake:
    1. Condense your thoughts.
    2. Take the time to understand what actually has people bothered. There’s more than one thing going on here.

    …..

    I’m really getting tired of posting this. Just watch it. For comprehension. It won’t hurt you, I promise.
    https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2021/11/12/amanpour-arbery-rittenhouse-mystal-golodryga.cnn

    And then also this more in depth discussion.
    https://the1a.org/segments/homicide-or-self-defense-the-rittenhouse-and-arbery-cases/

    …..

    As I said, there are a number of disturbing issues, starting with the environment this country is devolving into. Then there are the perceptions of the situation on the ground at Kinosha. If you’re not seeing the problem here, go find Kurosawa’s movie “Rashomon” and watch it.

    Regarding the particulars of the trial, the consensus seems to be that it was a difficult case for the prosecution but not unwinnable.

    Y’all know of any riots I can defend myself from?
    https://claytoonz.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/cjonesrgb11172021.jpg?w=768&h=580

  132. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    As I said, there are a number of disturbing issues, starting with the environment this country is devolving into. Then there are the perceptions of the situation on the ground at Kinosha. If you’re not seeing the problem here, go find Kurosawa’s movie “Rashomon” and watch it.

    Yes. Let’s talk about those other issues. Those are very important. We need to discuss how to change the law to help make this not happen again. We need to also try to change the way tht we as society talk about it to change the Overton Window. However, regarding the narrow issue of the proper verdict at trial, it’s simply not relevant.

  133. John Morales says

    It’s pretty obvious.

    https://www.adl.org/blog/right-wing-extremists-cheer-rittenhouse-verdict-in-predictable-fashion

    As soon as the jury announced its verdict, online extremist spaces erupted in cheers and self-congratulatory rhetoric. Supporters heralded the Rittenhouse verdict as a victory for the principle of self-defense and providing legal precedent for violent responses to perceived threats, and some argued that people no longer need to avoid acting during tense situations for fear of legal repercussions, a potentially dangerous development.

    + After one user on Patriots.win wrote, “Antifags and BLMKKK gotta be shitting. We have permission to defend ourselves now,” [sic] another responded, “We don’t need fucking permission and never did. But now, it’s a legal precedent.”
    + One boogalooer on Twitter wrote: “WE CAN PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES NOW REFERENCING RITTENHOUSE V. Wisconsin.”
    + On Telegram, QAnon John wrote, “This case is a MAJOR turning point in the quest for JUSTICE in our country. Especially in terms of the 2nd Amendment, and self-defense cases moving forward…The precedent set in this trial will be one that is revisited, and referenced for the unseeable future.”
    + Also on Telegram, Aaron Chapman, the leader of the neo-Nazi group the Occidental Templars, praised the verdict as giving “good Americans legal precedent and license to kill violent commies without worrying about doing life in prison if we defend ourselves in a riot. This will also show militia types that they don’t have to avoid the riots to protect themselves legally.”

  134. Rob Grigjanis says

    stroppy @153:

    Then there are the perceptions of the situation on the ground at Kinosha. If you’re not seeing the problem here, go find Kurosawa’s movie “Rashomon” and watch it.

    Contrary to a lot of comments about it, Rashomon isn’t about perceptions. It’s about people lying to cover their arses.

  135. stroppy says

    Gerrard @154
    Says who?

    “…regarding the narrow issue of the proper verdict at trial, it’s simply not relevant.

    Wrong. Certainly (over)simplifies things for you, though.

    Context matters. How context shapes the state of mind of the participants matters. How the trial is conducted matters. How the law is interpreted matters. How narratives are built matters. How the outcome is treated matters. All of these things are in question. By the way, civil suits are being filed, so it’s not over and will probably go on for years. So this isn’t really resolved, and may never be satisfactorily resolved.

    You didn’t follow and listen thoughtfully to the links I provided did you? Your comment was already partially addressed in the first one.

    Here’s another about judges in general and Judge Bruce Schroeder in particular.
    “What We Talk About When We Talk About Judges”
    https://www.npr.org/2021/11/22/1057999077/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-judges

    You seem to think the case is a simple arithmetic problem. It’s not.

  136. stroppy says

    Rob Grigjanis @156

    “Rashomon isn’t about perceptions. It’s about people lying to cover their arses.”

    Fair enough, probably not the best example. It’s been a while. OTOH, liars certainly try to influence others perceptions…

  137. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    stroppy
    I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re being unclear. Let me reframe the issue.

    Should a judge and jury decide a case against clearly written law according to their own personal determinations of what is best for the public good? Generally speaking, my answer is a clear “no”. The exception would be jury nullification, which is complicated, and often something of last resort. I cannot think of a single example where the judge and jury should find a criminal defendant guilty where the law clearly says that they’re not but where a “not guilty” verdict would be undesirable for other reasons.

    In other words, I was having a narrow discussion about rule of law, and that I support rule of law.

  138. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Also:

    PS:
    https://www.npr.org/2021/11/22/1057999077/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-judges

    While some of his actions were inconsequential, others — including a strong admonishment of the lead prosecutor last week — could be pivotal to the trial’s outcome.

    Wasn’t that because the prosecutor asked Rittenhouse on the stand why he remained silent instead of cooperating? NPR’s framing is complete nonsense. This is a clear violation of the case law around the 5th amendment’s right against self incrimination. Every prosecutor already knows that bringing up this line of questioning is a huge no-no. I’ve read about what hte prosecutor did, and it was outrageous. It was more than just this. The prosecutor should count themselves lucky that judges don’t put prosecutors in contempt more often (ever?), or don’t disclare mistrials with prejudice more often. I’ve read some reports that it seems like that the prosecutor was doing this misconduct purposefully in order to seek a mistrial (without prejudice) to get a retrial because the trial was going so badly.

    Again, NPR’s framing of this is astounding. It should read: “Prosecutor commits several cases of misconduct which are almost certainly willful, and judge was lenient on the prosecutor in their reprimands”.

  139. John Morales says

    Gerrard:

    In other words, I was having a narrow discussion about rule of law, and that I support rule of law.

    I know… you’ve made it perfectly clear in the past that you consider the law to trump your ethics.

    So, if slavery were still legal, you would support slavery. Right?
    If a man were still legally allowed to rape his wife, you’d support that too, right?

  140. John Morales says

    PS

    Every prosecutor already knows that bringing up this line of questioning is a huge no-no. I’ve read about what hte prosecutor did, and it was outrageous. It was more than just this.

    I refer you to my adduced link @66; just imagine, if you can be that cynical, that the prosecutor actually wanted Kyle the Killer to get away with his killings. How might have he proceeded, in that case? ;)

  141. stroppy says

    Gerrard.

    Well, it would probably be more clear if you had followed the links. But ok, frankly I don’t think you’re being very clear either

    “..narrow discussion about rule of law…”

    “Narrow discussion,” your discussion has indeed been narrow. “Rule of law,” that’s pretty broad, and may I say in this context could be a loaded phrase.

    A rhetorical device that I’m questioning is, in a sense, drawing conclusions from a pettifogged scenario, for instance how Rittenhouse’s choices were characterized or ignored, and the particular 15 seconds that, as Mystal pointed out, the defense tried to make the main focus of the trial. It was their manipulation of the narrative and was apparently pretty successful.

  142. stroppy says

    The judge’s demeanor toward the prosecution could be seen as prejudicial and not in accordance with Wisconsin code of conduct for judges. And it’s about a pattern of behavior, not isolated bits and pieces.

    “NPR’s framing is complete nonsense.”

    OK. If you can say that, I can point out that your comment is hyperbolic twaddle.

  143. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    So, if slavery were still legal, you would support slavery. Right?
    If a man were still legally allowed to rape his wife, you’d support that too, right?

    Such equivocation between different meanings of the word support, e.g. supporting judges making the right decison vs supporting legislatures maintaining unethical laws.

    And again a complete failure to read. I specifically mentioned jury nullification as a thing which would apply to certain aspects of legal slavery, e.g. jury nullification for workers of the Underground Railroad.

    And yes, if the law defined “rape” so that a husband cannot legally rape his wife, then courts shouldn’t be finding husbands guilty of rape of their wives. That’s what rule of law means. The correct answer to that situation is to change the grossly unjust law, not for the judge to take the decision entirely into their own hands. Is it not the remit of judges to decide what is best for society. That is a fundamental part of rule of law, and the separation of lawmakers from judges. It’s unfortunate that you skipped your civics 101 class.

    How might have he proceeded, in that case? ;)

    Yeah. I didn’t consider that. That makes sense. Willful incompetence. It’s happened many times before.

    The judge’s demeanor toward the prosecution could be seen as prejudicial and not in accordance with Wisconsin code of conduct for judges. And it’s about a pattern of behavior, not isolated bits and pieces.

    Great. I haven’t followed it too closely, but it seems like the prosecutor fucked up more than once in a rather serious way, so severely that the prosecutor should be considered lucky that it wasn’t declared a mistrial with prejudice.

    Are you upset that the judge forbade the prosecution from using the word “victims” to describe the people shot? That might sound surprising, but only because of our prejudices in the case (emphasis “ours” which entails “mine too”) – the prejudice that Rittenhouse was clearly guilty of something. However, as I learn more about the case, it unfortunately seems more and more like clearcut case of self defense, especially regarding where Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum.

    Think about if the roles were reversed, if it was a black man defending himself from white supremacists. Would we be as upset by the judge saying that the prosecutor can’t use the word “victim” to describe the dead white supremacists? I don’t think so.

    The only pattern of behavior that I see is a pattern of behavior of the prosecutor intentionally fucking up. Whether that’s because he wanted a “not guilty” verdict or a “mistrial with prejudice”, vs a “mistrial without prejudice” because the case was going so badly, I don’t know.

    OK. If you can say that, I can point out that your comment is hyperbolic twaddle.

    Oh come on. You really think that a prosecutor shouldn’t be sanctioned for asking the defendant “why didn’t you cooperate with the police initially?”. Of course that prosecutor should be sanctioned. One of the big injustices here is that the prosecutor isn’t seeing the inside of a jail cell, but prosecutors never see the inside of a jail cell no matter how badly they fuck up. Prosecutors are untouchable, moreso than even presidents.

  144. stroppy says

    @165

    “Think about if the roles were reversed…”

    If it Rittenhouse were a black person, what would the outcome have been?

    “The only pattern of behavior that I see…”

    Then you didn’t really follow all that was pointed out in the links I provided. Please don’t try and make me go back and transcribe the audio line by line.

    “Oh come on. You really think that a prosecutor….”

    I said “DEMEANOR” Gerrard, as part of a pattern of the judge’s demeanor, not his ruling which I have no opinion on. Please don’t mischaracterize my comment.

    demeanor
    dĭ-mē′nər
    noun
    1. The way in which a person behaves; deportment. synonym: behavior.
    2. Conduct; management; treatment.
    2. Behavior; carriage; bearing; deportment: as, decent demeanor; sad demeanor.

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