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WI – OPINION – Kenosha could spark an armed escalation if activists on the left embrace their right to wield guns

The shooting deaths of two protesters in Kenosha Tuesday night marked a disturbing escalation in the civilian use of firearms during social unrest. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, of nearby Antioch, Illinois, who told a reporter he was part of a volunteer effort to help police prevent a repeat of Monday night’s vandalism during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, is charged with first-degree homicide in connection with those deaths. Rittenhouse was breaking the law when he openly carried his firearm through the streets of Kenosha that night. But only because he was underage. The dozens of armed adult members of the civilian posse along with several protesters were totally within their rights in Wisconsin (and more than 40 other states) to openly carry their weapons, no matter how threatening or ominous it may feel. For decades, the political left has been arguing fecklessly against open-carry and other expansive gun rights. But even in the face of repeated schoolhouse slaughter and daily carnage in our homes and on our streets, these rights have been sustained and even expanded — not only by numerous court rulings but also by activism on the political right, where guns are seen as the tools of law-abiding, home- and property-defending patriots. The left can’t beat them. But what if they were to join them? What if, instead of showing up at the next protests armed with bottles of urine, umbrellas and fireworks, more of those demonstrating against police violence against African Americans came armed? What if in greater and greater number they took their cues from the heat-packin’ “Let me get a haircut!” anti-lockdown protesters who invaded the Michigan state capitol building in April and rallied at the Pennsylvania Capitol in May? What if leaders in the current social justice movement declared, “We believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gives us the right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self-defense”? Well, they tried that.  [full article]

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