For me, this best encapsulates the subtext of the legal system that enabled the Rittenhouse verdict (boldface mine):
As the state wrapped up its case, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger told the jury, “You cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create.”
…But all too often, White men with guns do not see themselves as a danger. They cannot fathom that their actions are suspect. They cannot envision themselves as anything but patriotic and godly. Their moral certitude has been so deeply embedded into the collective mind-set that what they choose to protect, whether a nondescript auto center or a vulnerable human being, is quickly presumed to be valuable and worthy of protection…
The defendant seemed incapable of stepping outside of himself and considering how he might have appeared to others. On a chaotic and unnerving night, he wore no uniform to announce his affiliation or to make plain to whom he was accountable. He falsely identified himself as an emergency medical technician, according to Binger. He called himself an EMT, but one whose medical bag was a mere speck compared with the size of his gun. He was not a Kenosha business owner. He was a random guy with a gun. He was a loose cannon, a wild card. A danger in the eyes of others.
Rittenhouse possessed the gun with a privileged confidence. He carried the weapon secure in his belief that he wouldn’t be seen as a provocateur, but as a protector, as a savior. If he said it was so, then it would be. He arrived in Kenosha with the audacity of an action figure, but Superman rescued victims, babies and damsels. The man of steel wasn’t swooping in from the heavens to salvage a car shop…
But it’s also important to remember that Rittenhouse wept as he described the risk he perceived to his own life. He was crying over the danger that he saw in others. He wasn’t shedding tears over the danger that he posed.
Whenever a bunch of ammosexuals decide to parade around with their guns, the most charitable explanation is they don’t realize we see an unknown person with a deadly weapon, who too often seem to have anger management issues or else harbor dangerous fantasies. Of course, some of them want to intimidate people–that’s the fun part.
Regardless, there are too many people who view themselves as ‘a good guy with a gun’ when the rest of us do not. Our laws should reflect that.