Letters to the Editor: The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict portends a violent future for America

Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wis., before he fatally shot two protesters on Aug. 25, 2020.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Vigilantes of all ages can take comfort in the verdict of not guilty on all counts in the Kyle Rittenhouse case.

While I do not doubt that this individual, who killed two people and injured another, was fearful for his safety when he pulled the trigger again and again in Kenosha, Wis., in August 2020, he chose to place himself in that situation and served to set up lethal conflict, diminishing a legitimate claim of self-defense as the prosecution alleged.

A child who is deemed in the eyes of the law to be so lacking in maturity that he was four years away from being able to legally consume alcohol at the time of the shootings gets off scot-free after taking to troubled streets with a lethal weapon. Bedlam predictably followed.

I imagine there is a future for Rittenhouse in right-wing politics or as a Fox News commentator.


Oren Spiegler, Peters Township, Penn.


To the editor: A participant in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was quoted as saying, “They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they are shooting the patriots,” referring to the Black Lives Matter protesters and a Capitol Police officer’s shooting of Ashli Babbitt, the only rioter fatally shot by law enforcement that day.

No one should be surprised by the sentiment behind the shocking quote. It neatly connects the dots linking the Capitol riot to the Rittenhouse acquittal, the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers and the House censure of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). They all involved violence or threats against the supposed “enemies” of the people.

Sadly, far too many Americans buy into this ethos of violence as a preferred means of problem solving, whether the problem is perceived or real. Unchecked, this worship of violence bodes ill for everyone.

Dienyih Chen, Redondo Beach


To the editor: Let there be no doubt that if Rittenhouse was Black, he would have been found guilty.

The worst thing adults can do is not hold others accountable for their actions. This is a miscarriage of justice, and the deaths of Rittenhouse’s victims have been declared insignificant.


All lives matter, and those who kill violate the rights of their victims and set a dangerous precedent.

Valerie Okorocha, Pasadena


To the editor: A jury of Rittenhouse’s peers has acquitted him. It is time for all of us to accept this verdict and move on from this tragic period and not foment an irreversible spiral of violence and retribution from which we may never recover.

We also need to understand that violence will never solve anything, and that those who go looking for trouble will ultimately find it, particularly in an era when guns are way too plentiful.

Michael Pravica, Henderson, Nev.


To the editor: Rittenhouse, the Jan. 6 insurrections and the El Paso Walmart shooter are all cut from the same cloth.

They’re irregulars, or what would’ve been called brownshirts in 1930s Germany. Rittenhouse is the clearest example because he took a gun to a protest full of people who didn’t agree with him, and he killed two people.

That’s what brownshirts do: They achieve political gains by unaccountable thuggery that uniformed officers would not get away with. They will take American democracy down and replace it with racist fascism if given the chance.

Branden Frankel, Arcadia