There are so many disturbing aspects to the shooting deaths of two people Tuesday night during protests in Kenosha, Wis. — allegedly by a self-styled vigilante — that it’s hard to know where to start. How did this 17-year-old get an assault-style semiautomatic rifle? Why does anyone think it makes sense to allow anyone to own — let alone openly brandish on American streets — weapons designed for war? Was it just coincidence that these shootings, allegedly by a young man who saw it as his “job” to “protect” business and “help” people, occurred as the Republican National Convention gave center stage to reckless rhetoric about uncontrolled violent mobs taking over cities governed by Democrats?
No one can say with any certainty what impelled Kyle Rittenhouse,who has been charged with reckless and intentional homicide in connection with the events of Tuesday night as peaceful protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake turned chaotic. Multiple videos of the events analyzed by the New York Times show Rittenhouse, who had driven to Kenosha from his home in Antioch, Ill., carrying an assault-style weapon, being chased by a group and then appearing to fire his gun and hitting three people. Two men — Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36 — were killed, and a third man was shot in the arm but is expected to survive.