Throughout the summer of 2020, the United States was wracked by civil unrest, unlike anything we had witnessed since the mid-1960s when the anti-war movement and militant elements of the Civil Rights Movement created a perfect storm of riots bordering on outright insurrection on campuses and in city streets. The two periods have more than a superficial resemblance. In both cases, social unrest, based on real or imagined grievances, was translated into street protests. In both cases, a hyper-violent fringe element attempted to create havoc to draw law enforcement into open conflict with the demonstrators. If you’ve studied communist National Liberation Movements and Maoist revolutionary doctrine, this is not a shock. It is very basic stuff. You send your guys into a legitimate protest. You commit arson. You loot stores. The worst elements in the protest join in. You attack cops and provoke confrontations. Ideally, a bunch of civilians are dead on the ground when it is over, and the next protest crowds are larger and angrier. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Even though we were widely assured that the protests were mostly peaceful, there was scant evidence that was the case. Nearly everywhere the Black Lives Matter protesters showed up, businesses were burned and looted. When the pudgy hormone-befuddled Antifa “black bloc” types showed up, the violence was even more extreme.
Most of the more severe demonstrations took place in Democrat-dominated cities located in Democrat-dominated states. The civil power looked on approvingly as riot and mayhem became the order of the day. As an acquaintance of mine who studies the supplanting of civil authorities by the drug cartels in Mexico noted, there are ominous parallels.
1) The state enters into tacit alliance with, or acquiesces to, a criminal enterprise.
2) The state vacates the security space versus the criminal enterprise.
3) Bereft of the protection of the state — no police, no prosecutions, no military — the citizenry arms and defends itself.
4) If the citizenry is unsuccessful at defending itself, the state stays silent.
5) If the citizenry is successful at defending itself, the state intervenes to crush it.
6) The criminal enterprise resumes operations.
If you’re keeping track, Kyle Rittenhouse exercising the right of self-defense on August 25, 2020, falls squarely on 3) in the progression. His acquittal was an unforeseen outcome to 5). And what is underway right now is a fairly broad effort by our elites to make self-defense a right that can only be exercised by the personal security details of the very rich. This essay is by Barbara McQuade. She’s a far-left lawyer who shamelessly peddled the Russia Hoax and, at least in her online persona, strikes one as a bit of a lackwit. That doesn’t mean other highly placed lackwits don’t read her and quote her; they do. So we are well-advised to pay attention when she writes an article titled The Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict Makes Us All Less Safe.
And now cynical politicians will use this verdict to exploit division in our country. They will ignore the narrow lens through which jurors view a case and proclaim this verdict to be a larger message to society that we should embrace vigilante justice. Political opportunists will use this case for race-baiting and fear-mongering to advance their own political agendas. They will cite this case to promote irresponsible use of assault weapons under the banner of the Second Amendment. And when people with no law enforcement training, experience or oversight feel liberated to take the law into their own hands, we are all less safe.
That larger fight is one for another day. However, there is another struggle brewing that could come to a head should the Biden bunch, progressive Democrats, and neutered law enforcement agencies continue to coddle and assist violent street protests.
The first data point is that everyone realizes that riots after August 25, 2020, and definitely those after November 19, 2021, will not be the same. Via Politico:
The Kyle Rittenhouse case, while not overtly about race, lay bare the imbalances and imperfections of the judicial system. But it also did something else, legal scholars say: It fundamentally changed the culture of protest.
Rittenhouse’s acquittal, scholars say, sends a signal to those who want to take up arms to defend property or attend politically or racially charged events: There is legal ground for you to use your weapon. Just claim fear.
Those protections though likely will not extend to everyone.
“I don’t have to tell you this, there is no set of circumstances, no reading of the law, no rendering of the imagination, in which a Black person could get away with this,” said Cornell William Brooks, former president and CEO of the NAACP, who now teaches at Harvard University.
I rate this as half-correct and half-baked.
As government continues to ally itself with BLM and Antifa rioters, more and more citizens will step up to defend their property and use firearms to do so. This is as it should be. If government and law enforcement elect not to fulfill their obligations, citizens must act in their stead. The half-baked part of this is that it does not change the “culture of protest.” If you are in a public space protesting, armed citizenry on private property presents no threat to your right to protest. Your right to arson and pillage might be a tad bit constrained. Cornell Brooks tosses out the popular claim that Black people do not have a right to self-defense, and like everyone else making that stupid claim, provides no evidence to back it up.
But the larger point, that a rule change that brings fatalities to rioters can alter a protest culture, is easily provable.
The New York Times offers To Paramilitary Groups, Rittenhouse Verdict Means Vindication.
In 2020, this strain of armed vigilantism was reactivated by the struggles of mostly Democratic state and local governments and law enforcement in responding to rioting and prolonged unrest in several major cities after Mr. Floyd’s death. And it was fanned by conservative media figures and Republican politicians, who encouraged their audiences and supporters to see the failure to preserve order as part and parcel of the Democratic agenda.
“I’m really concerned about the gun fetish, and those who really buy into the ‘good guy with a gun’ scenario,” Anthony Kennedy, an alderman in Kenosha, said after the verdict. “Those people who see the breakdown of society, think they need to be armed — this just validates their worldview. And that’s bad for all of us.”
Mr. Rittenhouse’s trial was an important test of how the legal system would address one of the signature developments that emerged amid the violent fracturing of American politics in 2020: the presence of armed counterprotesters at racial justice demonstrations, both peaceful and otherwise. In some cases, the armed groups and individuals were openly opposed to, and antagonistic toward, demonstrators. In others, they presented themselves as a volunteer security presence for private or government buildings, or even as neutral peacekeepers, though they were rarely welcomed as such by demonstrators.
Just for reference, this is the behavior these clowns are defending.
The Daily Beast hit the same angle with a typical Daily Beast headline that shows the writer doesn’t understand very much of anything…including cause and effect. This is Kyle Rittenhouse Just Killed Our Right to Peacefully Protest.
Through Stand Your Ground Laws, Castle Laws and the like, they’ve worked to transform us from a responsible citizenry where people retreated or avoided these situations when at all possible to a country where as long as you’re white, there’s no culpability as long as you can claim to have had an iota of an inkling that perhaps someone might have harmed you had you not shot them first. Right-wing media, Donald Trump, and a thousand baby Trumps have finished the job the NRA started. And so we’re here.
And the signal this trial sends—much like the trial of George Zimmerman and those of numerous cops who shot first and asked questions later in recent years including the shooting of Jacob Blake seven times in the back, which led to the protest where Rittenhouse decided his presence was necessary—is that lives matter. White lives, that is.
We’ve now lost our guaranteed First Amendment right to peacefully assemble to a half-cocked, cocaine-cowboy version of the Second Amendment. Mix that together with a witch’s brew of right-wing propaganda and white power, and the result is that any time you march for your rights you have to accept that any dimestore Kyle Rittenhouse can point a weapon of war at you and pull the trigger.
The same point is made here as in the earlier quotes. He sees burning cities as a legitimate protest tool and fears that armed citizens protecting private property will curb the ability of street thugs to burn and rob. Again, no one’s right to peacefully assemble and protest is constrained, but the ante is raised if you decide to riot.
All these developments are not lost on the dim bulbs in Antifa. Andy Ngo collected some of the better stuff.
#Antifa accounts in Portland & beyond are terrified over the #Rittenhouse acquittal because they’re afraid others will shoot them dead during an attack & have a legal argument for self-defense. They’re urging comrades to get guns immediately so they can kill before being killed. pic.twitter.com/H7dz2Bm1rc
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 23, 2021
As I see it, the Rittenhouse verdict has the potential to completely change the cost-benefit equation of the business model for the Democrat-Rioter Complex. More people, particularly business owners, will acquaint themselves with the law of self-defense and use it when rioting season picks up again in three or four months. More people will start showing up for political rallies armed. If the Supreme Court does the right thing and demolishes New York’s fascist gun control law (see New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen), I know I will be armed at any political rally I attend.
Antifa and the thug contingent that follows any BLM demonstration will have to decide if the looting is worth the risk, and they will have to work through the risks and advantages of arming themselves. I suspect that the pathetic creatures that trick themselves out in “black bloc” gear will elect not to arm because ultimately, they rely upon the police they claim to hate to avoid ass-whippings.
The governments that tolerate and encourage this nonsense, like Portland and Seattle, are going to have to decide if they want law and order based on their police departments or if they want law and order served up by armed citizens.