Letters to the Editor: We’re letting the 2nd Amendment destroy us. The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict proves it

Revolution Club, LA holds a protest and march starting at Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles
Revolution Club, LA holds a protest and march starting at Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles over the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict on Nov. 20.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I was born and raised in England, and after many years in the U.S. I am still bewildered by how the 2nd Amendment has been manipulated by a powerful minority. (“Will Rittenhouse acquittal lead to more armed confrontations at protests?” Nov. 19)

The origins of this amendment, ratified in 1789, are clearly rooted in the desire to form state militias to frustrate any perceived overreach by a stronger federal government. The progenitor was the English Bill of Rights Act of 1689, which had a provision allowing the people to bear arms and possibly protect a newly formed Parliament against a misbehaving monarchy.

But somehow this original intent has morphed from allowing you to keep a slow-loading musket in your closet just in case a quickly formed militia is needed, to permitting a 17-year-old with an assault rifle slung around his neck to strut about a volatile riot area and shoot people he perceives as a threat.


I feel many in this country are so obsessed with guns and the 2nd Amendment that they cannot step back and see the mayhem they are causing.

Graham Martin, Woodland Hills


To the editor: Who’s to blame? I believe we are.

After all, we are the adults legally allowing people to carry assault weapons in public. Then-17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was simply following the lead of adults before he killed two people in Kenosha, Wis., in 2020.

I was surprised when I read that during the “wild west” era, the towns of Tombstone, Ariz., and Dodge City, Kan., had strict gun control rules in the 1880s. Someone like Rittenhouse would have had to hand over his gun.

I believe we are at fault for not requiring the same today. We are the adults.

Kathryn Anderson, Costa Mesa


To the editor: When it comes to chaos and anarchy, you can’t make value judgments about the different flavors. If you accept one flavor, you’re tacitly accepting all of it.

Progressive leaders and pundits who implicitly condoned wanton street violence in the name of social justice in 2020 now express outrage when the chaos pushes back.

Is it so surprising when the government fails to maintain social order that at least some private citizens will take up the mantle? This is the basic definition of anarchy: Figure it out for yourselves.

Chaos is omni-directional. It doesn’t care about your ideological or partisan priors. Embrace it all or reject it all.

Chris Romberg, El Dorado Hills, Calif.


To the editor: In the wake of Rittenhouse’s acquittal, any foreign government with regard for the safety of its own citizens could be forgiven for issuing a warning advising against traveling to the United States.

For anyone who cannot avoid traveling to the U.S., a follow-on warning should state this: “In the event you become lost, under no circumstances should you approach an American on the street to ask for directions. In some areas, Americans claiming a subjective belief that they are threatened by you are authorized by law to shoot you to death.”

David Van Iderstine, Los Angeles