SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 3 months just 99¢/month



National View: Using the Rittenhouse case to push for gun control is pure nonsense

From the column: "The Kenosha case should serve as a reminder (instead) that being in the middle of a riot — for that is what it was — can have consequences, sometimes deadly."

Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

When keyboard cowboys at media outlets can fire off more than 60 words in less than a minute on the internet, should their First Amendment rights be limited? Even when those words are false and provide dangerous ammunition to rioters on our streets, looters, arsonists, and even murderers?

No. Their keyboards, like our guns, do not have brains to think with or fingers to pull their own triggers. What is required for either to function is a person. Proposing a ban on modern semi-automatic rifles because some people may misuse them simply doesn’t square with the facts or common sense.

On the subject of facts, here are a few the gun-prohibition lobby deliberately avoids.

Fact: Modern technology is not a limitation on the Bill of Rights. If it was, there would be no protections for radio, television, or the internet.

Fact: In any given year, according to the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report, more people are murdered with blunt instruments — such as the skateboard used to hit Kyle Rittenhouse in the head — than with rifles of any kind, including the modern semi-auto rifle Rittenhouse carried in Kenosha.


Fact: Tens of millions of law-abiding Americans own and use modern semi-autos for all kinds of legitimate purposes, including hunting, competition, recreational shooting, and even self defense. For example, a 15-year-old Houston boy used his dad’s semi-auto rifle to stop two burglars who broke into their home while the parents were gone. The boy was home protecting his 12-year-old sister. As another example, a pregnant Florida woman opened fire with a modern semi-auto rifle on two home invaders who were pistol-whipping her husband. One of the thugs died and the other fled.

Fact: Typical modern semi-auto rifles use ammunition less powerful than ammunition used by millions of sportsmen in their hunting rifles for deer or elk.

Fact: Modern semi-auto rifles are ideal for women and disabled people because they are relatively easy to operate, and they have very little recoil compared to hunting rifles, shotguns, or magnum-caliber handguns.

While it is certainly arguable that Rittenhouse used poor judgment by even being on the streets in Kenosha, the gun-prohibition lobby is attempting to exploit this case to further its gun-ban agenda. That has been going on for many years, long before anyone ever heard of Kyle Rittenhouse. Anti-gunners don’t really care about the people he shot, only what he shot them with, and so long as it advances their narrative.

The Kenosha case should serve as a reminder that being in the middle of a riot — for that is what it was — can have consequences, sometimes deadly. It is always better for cooler heads to prevail. Burning, looting, vandalizing, and especially killing accomplish nothing and only serve to further divide the nation and its people.

The media should not be so eager to strip others of their rights. Once we get into that habit, nobody’s rights will be safe, including their own.

Alan Gottlieb is founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. Dave Workman is communications director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. They both live in Bellevue, Washington.


Related Topics: HUNTING
What to read next
From the column: "Race was a business when the Ku Klux Klan formed to suppress the Black vote in the 1890s. It was a business during slavery. The difference today is who runs this business. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have earned millions of dollars extorting companies with their campaigns of racial intimidation. Have they solved any problems? Or have they just turned a profit?"
From the column: "Unquestionably, as demonstrated by the vigilante lynching of Till in 1955 to the vigilante shooting of Arbery in 2020, too often the color of one’s skin continues to dominate."
From the column: "After 40 years of this beat-down on wages and benefits, with pro-business government policies, there doesn’t seem to be a will to turn back the clock."
From the column: "These cells are able to recharge faster than their lithium-ion cousins and have much better low-temperature performance, a significant factor in Duluth and the Northland."