No One Call The Caped Crusader!


Graphic Design: Trinidad Monteagudo Jackson


On August 25, 2020, four men walked into Kenosha, Wisconsin. One would walk out a killer, another would be injured, and two more would die in that fateful city. I will not comment on the judicial nature of this now (in)famous trialI am neither a lawyer nor a judge. However, I will not refrain from commenting on the profound social issues brought to light by this divisive case. Namely, I experience concern over a society that appears to think that vigilantism is not just acceptable, but heroic. To put it in Layman’s terms: I like Batman in the comic books, but not in the streets.


Mr. Rittenhouse was 17-years old when he killed two people and wounded another; though it wasn’t murder, Mr. Rittenhouse certainly didn’t try to avoid violence. He decided, of his own volition, to set down his homework so he could bring an AR-15 rifle (which, I might add, was used in the San Bernardino, Las Vegas, and Parkland shootings) to a chaotic protest outside of his state. While he said that he wanted to “protect” property, it seems as though he wanted to play cops and robbers. Yet, as much as Mr. Rittenhouse acted foolishly, there are specific societal ideals that deserve the most blame for this tragedy.


Before Mr. Rittenhouse ever came into contact with Mr. Rosenbaum, Mr. Huber, and Mr. Grosskreutz, he encountered police officers. These officers saw a youth walking around with a rifle, disobeying curfew, and did nothing. I, personally, prefer my police officers to be more attentive than a hall monitor. Additionally, on the macro level, I doubt our culture’s obsession with guns benefited the situation either. As is oft-quoted, Rittenhouse acquired the gun because it “looked cool.” Guns are no longer tools or dangerous weapons; instead, they are fun, shiny toys and ‘man-cards.’ I don’t write this to be anti-gun (I shoot recreationally on occasion), but I do write this to be anti-gun culture. Maybe Mr. Rittenhouse pulled the trigger, but the ball was already rolling.

The day that Mr. Rittenhouse was acquitted, the satirical newspaper The Onion ran this headline: “Kyle Rittenhouse Sentenced To 45 Years Of CPAC Appearances.” Four days later, Mr. Rittenhouse’s face appeared in the homes of all Fox News fanatics. As the country moves on from this saga, Mr. Rittenhouse will presumably do a conservative talk-show tour; his story will doubtlessly teach young (white) men across the country that they too can kill people without consequence. Our gun culture wars will chug along like the news cycle they fuel; DC will cast a new Batman and the news will cast a new Rittenhouse; two men will still be dead.