Trumpian legal defense logic would suggest that like the COVID toll, Wendy Rittenhouse helped her kid with his guns but she didn’t get killed, and the death toll from her son’s shooting spree was a lot less than Newtown. Trump claims he’s saved millions of lives even as his inaction and incompetence has more than doubled the COVID death toll.
Misdemeanor possession is yet the least of Kyle Rittenhouse’s problems when his mom may have aided and abetted his Trump fetish.
All sorts have been attracted to Rittenhouse’s defense, those with Second Amendment axes to grind, a QAnon lawyer, among others claiming that Rittenhouse was defending himself with his mom’s gun. Then there’s the absurdity that 32 Boogs in Kenosha are a “well-regulated militia” even as they disavow Rittenhouse.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 1, 2020
Rittenhouse was also charged with a sixth crime: possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. And that will give rise to an interesting defense by his lawyer — one that is not likely to succeed.
Rittenhouse’s attorney, John Pierce of Pierce Bainbridge, plans to fight the underage weapons possession charge, arguing that at 17, his client could be part of the “well regulated Militia” mentioned in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Put another way, Pierce will likely argue that Wisconsin’s ban on firearms possession by 17-year-olds is unconstitutional because a 17-year-old minor is on the same Second Amendment footing as an adult.
Therefore, the argument goes, the Wisconsin law unconstitutionally restricts Second Amendment-protected firearms possession. Pierce will likely add that the American colonies expected, and sometimes required, citizens under 18 to have and bear arms.
That will be a reach, for several reasons. In the 2008 Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, Justice Antonin Scalia expressly stated that “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” Up through the 19th century, “commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose,” he added.
— Kim Masters (@kimmasters) September 1, 2020
— The Serfs (@theserfstv) September 1, 2020
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) September 1, 2020
— Tom Schuba (@TomSchuba) September 1, 2020
An adherent to the far-right boogaloo movement — whose most extreme followers are reportedly looking to spark a civil war — was with Kyle Rittenhouse last week in Kenosha, Wisconsin, before the Antioch teenager allegedly opened fire on protesters, killing two and wounding another.
Ryan Balch, an Army veteran from West Bend, Wisconsin, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he met Rittenhouse in the lead up to last Tuesday’s shootings and spent much of the day with him. While Balch said Rittenhouse “had no connection” to the loosely organized group, he noted that as many as 32 boogaloo adherents were in Kenosha that day.
Balch, who has used social media to post Nazi propaganda and white nationalist messaging, described himself in a series of Facebook messages to the Sun-Times as a “Boog Boi.” According to the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacists, militia members and other extremists use the phrase boogaloo as “shorthand for a future civil war.”
“Whereas the militia movement [and] radical gun rights activists typically promote the boogaloo as a war against the government or liberals, white supremacists conceive of the boogaloo as a race war or a white revolution,” the Anti-Defamation League said.