Highly Misplaced Honor

KR

Just read the following in Heather’s latest newsletter:

The far-right, pro-gun “Second Amendment Caucus” today hosted Kyle Rittenhouse, the 19-year-old who shot three men, killing two of them, in summer 2020 during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and who was later acquitted of homicide. 

Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) made the following comment about Rittenhouse’s appearance:  

“It was an honor to have Kyle join the Second Amendment Caucus. He is a powerful example of why we must never give an inch on our Second Amendment rights, and his perseverance and love for our country was an inspiration to the caucus.”

Is it just me or do others find it not only disgusting, but sickening as well, that a person who needlessly SHOT AND KILLED two individuals and walked away scot-free is given accolades such as this?

How can ANY individual who respects human life and all it stands for declare that Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions were a “powerful example” of the “rights” declared in the Second Amendment?

Perhaps it was the way I was raised, but it is so completely beyond my understanding that ANYONE would heap praise and verbal trophies of approval on an individual who KILLED two people (and injured a third) using a gun that he should never have had in the first place!

I’m sorry, but I simply cannot agree that allowing an individual to buy, own, and use a gun to shoot and kill others and then walk away scot-free was the goal behind those who wrote the Second Amendment.

The personal ego already has a strong element of dysfunction, but the collective ego is, frequently, even more dysfunctional, to the point of absolute insanity.
–Eckhart Tolle

Who’s Next?

I just read this in an article about the recent shootings in Raleigh, North Carolina:

In a country where gun violence never stops, where gunmen have killed elementary school children in their classrooms; where people have died en masse at concerts and nightclubs and movie theaters; where the names of places like Newtown and Aurora and Columbine and Uvalde conjure memories of the horrors that happened there, Raleigh joined a dreaded club.

The shootings in east Raleigh are the 531st mass shooting in America in 2022, according to gunviolencearchive.org, a website that tracks mass shootings in which at least four people are shot “in a single incident.” Five-hundred and thirty-two people died in those 531 shootings, according to the website, and 2,221 people were injured.

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Before Thursday, the neighborhood had been like any other place where people never thought something like this might happen. Now it is transformed, like the supermarket in Buffalo or elementary school in Uvalde or the church in Charleston. It happened here. And if it could happen here, where will it happen next?

By early Friday morning, Raleigh wasn’t even the country’s most recent mass shooting. Six people had been shot in Alabama and four more in New Bern, No. Carolina.

I have nothing more to add …
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What Would YOU Do?

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Although I feel fortunate to live in a state that is not as “gun-friendly” as some others are … one never knows what a desperate/deranged person will do. And because of that unpredictability, I recently considered how I would react if someone “opened fire” where I might be.

My first thought was that I would try and find a place to hide … to become “invisible” to the shooter. But of course, that’s not always possible.

Perhaps drop to the ground and play dead?

Not sure that “running away” is always a good response …

What do you think YOU would do?

There are those who believe (and promote) that carrying a gun on their person offers “protection” in such a scenario. I strongly disagree. IMO, there are way too many variables that come into play during a mass shooting. Even if an individual has had extensive weapons training –or has an abundance of awards for marksmanship — adrenalin and self-preservation are very difficult factors to control. (Not to mention the police could see YOU as the shooter!)

Moreover, stopping a moving/shooting target … especially one with an AR-15 … presents a very real challenge of its own.

In any case, as I mulled over what kind of self-preservation action I might take, I couldn’t help but think … what a horrible way to live! To be concerned, worried, and/or fearful that every trip outside your home could mean facing gunfire.

Added to this unsettling thought was the sad realization that those of us who were born and raised in MUCH different (and safer) times will never again experience life in that same way again.

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Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

What Do You Think?

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If you haven’t already heard/read about the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, then I suggest you do some Google-type research. 

For those of you who ARE familiar with the name and the associated offenses … this post is for you.

As a refresher: Rittenhouse faces five felony charges and a misdemeanor weapons charge for killing two individuals and wounding a third during a protest in Wisconsin. If he is convicted of the most serious charge against him, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. 

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday, the 15th. The final jury members will be selected and will, most likely, begin deliberations on Tuesday. (Added note: there is still some discussion related to some lesser charges which the judge is considering over the weekend and will announce his decision on Monday.)

So where do you stand? Should Kyle Rittenhouse be found Guilty or Not Guilty? Do you see him as an armed vigilante who should definitely be sent to prison? Or was he simply a misguided kid trying to defend himself? Or perhaps something in-between?

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My personal opinion? No matter the circumstances, two people DIED at the hands of a 17-year-old kid using a semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle. While I hesitate condemning him to life in prison because of his age, I do not feel he should be allowed to walk away scot-free.