The Wisconsin man acquitted of fatally shooting two men and injuring another in August 2020 advocated for gun rights Thursday.
Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 when he drove to Kenosha in a misguided bid to help secure local residents and businesses from expected lawless acts from BLM protestors. The initially peaceful protest soon turned violent with cars and buildings damaged, some looted and fires set.
Rittenhouse claimed he acted in self-defense and pleaded not guilty in his trial for shooting three men during one of those riots. The civil unrest followed news of a white police officer shooting Jacob Blake, a black man who became paralyzed after being shot seven times.
The Wisconsin teen reportedly fired an AR-15-style weapon eight times during the rioting. He fired four shots at Joseph Rosenbaum, who was unarmed. He fired two shots at an unknown person who kicked him. He fired one fatal shot at Anthony Huber after he hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard. He fired his last shot at Gaige Grosskreutz who was holding a gun, according to prosecutors.
After almost four days of deliberations, the jury unanimously acquitted Rittenhouse of the five charges lodged against him. He faced life in prison if he were convicted so it was understandable when he broke down in tears upon hearing the verdicts.
President Joe Biden called for stricter gun control measures in a Thursday evening speech in Washington, D.C.
“We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” declared President Biden. “And if we can’t ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21.” Biden also called for stronger background checks, passing safe storage laws and red-flag laws.
“Repeal the immunity that protects gun manufacturers from liability,” added Biden.
About three hours later, Rittenhouse issued a Twitter post that seemed a rebuttal to the president. “‘The right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,’ Joe,” commented Rittenhouse.
He explained, “I am alive today because I was able to protect myself,” in a follow-up post.
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