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Reviews |  The Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal and US gun laws

The jury decided that the accused had acted in self-defense. He was unable to address the limited Second Amendment restrictions and open transportation policies that create an unsafe environment for all Americans. Will our legislators take care of it one day?

Gold mark
Newton, Mass.

For the publisher:

From my perspective here in the cheap seats north of the border, it occurs to me that apart from the race and gun rights issues this case involves, there is another much more worrying aspect.

As the Rittenhouse courtroom drama unfolded in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Georgia, another murder trial was underway. This concerns the case of three white men accused of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who had gone jogging near Brunswick, Georgia. The man who pursued and shot Mr. Arbery claims to have acted in self-defense during the arrest of a citizen.

There is a disturbing common thread running through both the Rittenhouse and Arbery trials – the idea that by 2021, border self-defense justice is seen as legal and laudable in many parts of the United States.

In the Rittenhouse and Arbery cases, the defendants claim that they were acting as a substitute for police and that they were justified in firing shots in self-defense. I can’t help but wonder if these aren’t signs of a society in which the rule of law is crumbling before our eyes. This should be a worrying thing for all Americans, regardless of their political stripe. And Canadians too.

Ken Cuthbertson
Kingston, Ontario

For the publisher:

Try to imagine the roles of Ahmaud Arbery and Kyle Rittenhouse upside down. Mr. Arbery, a teenager, patrols the streets of Kenosha with his type AR-15 rifle visible to all. The city is accused of racism after a black man, Jacob Blake, was shot dead by police. There are skirmishes and two men are shot down by Mr. Arbery and one is seriously injured. Assuming Mr. Arbery spends the night alive, which is even the most imaginative, he draws the same judge as Kyle Rittenhouse. Would he have the same leeway?

Now imagine Kyle Rittenhouse jogging outside of Brunswick, Georgia. Do armed white men react when they see him chasing after a suspicious neighbor calls the police? If they do, does the jogger end up dying?

nytimes Gt

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