Lessons Learned From the Rittenhouse Case

Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty by a jury in Kenosha, but not everyone is pleased. (Screen snip, YouTube, PBS)

Kenosha/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse is a good thing. Loyal Ammoland readers can all agree on that. That being said, let’s not pretend that what happened was an ideal outcome. For that day in Kenosha, it was arguably one of the less tragic outcomes. Two people are dead, and regardless of their records, they still had families who loved them.

First of all, one thing needs to be said: Contrary to claims by many in the media, who spread a lot of nonsense before and during the trial, what happened in Kenosha was not a protest.

It. Was. A. Riot.

Don’t take my word for it, watch the videos of the buildings burning. In some cases, you may see purportedly reputable outlets claim that what was happening in Kenosha wasn’t what you were seeing.

Save those clips and show them to your friends and family when they ask why you don’t trust the media.

Now, what can we learn from this?

The Second Amendment Is A Fail-Safe

In the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, the Second Amendment was a fail-safe for the failures of the state and local governments to keep law and order. When seconds mattered, cops were minutes away when Rittenhouse was attacked. He is alive because he had access to the tool necessary to protect himself.

The entire purpose of a fail-safe is to keep a bad situation from spiraling completely out of control. When it comes to using our right to self-defense, it’s a bad situation. When things deteriorate to the point where lethal force has to be used, it is an ugly situation. Some on the Left are pointing to people who seem eager to break out the guns. Don’t give Bloomberg or others that sort of ammunition to use against us, and distance from those who do so.

Just Because It’s Legal Doesn’t Make It Smart

One thing should be very obvious: The middle of a riot is no place for a 17-year-old high school student. Contrary to the repeated lies from the media and others who insist (despite court testimony) that he went from Illinois armed for battle, Kyle Rittenhouse did not go out looking for trouble. He had family in Kenosha and was working as a lifeguard in Kenosha.

That said, he arguably made it easy for trouble to find him by going out to clean graffiti before order had been restored. When possible, one should do their best to avoid a situation where one might have to use lethal force in self-defense. There’s no law against going out to run errands or to try to help out in the middle of a riot, but it’s not the smartest move.

Even in a bad situation, the first choice should not be to start blazing away at the bad guy (or bad guys). Common sense can help people avoid most dangerous situations – and help you escape others.

Get Training And Practice

It is never enough to just have the tools for self-defense. You need to know how to use them and the laws governing them, including those surrounding self-defense. Reading the works of Massad Ayoob and taking personal protection courses (like those the NRA offers) are things that ought to be top priorities for those who choose to carry.

When the time comes to act in self-defense, there will be a lot of physical and mental reactions when the “fight or flight” reflex kicks in. At that point, you’re not going to rise to the occasion, you will default to the habits you picked up while practicing and training.

Preparation Isn’t Just Guns And Ammo

Kyle Rittenhouse may be a free man in the sense that he isn’t in jail, but he is facing massive legal fees just from his state case. We’re not even getting to a potential federal civil rights case or civil wrongful death suits. Rittenhouse was lucky in that the national attention his case got will defray the costs to some degree, but he may still be paying off his lawyers for decades.

If you seek pro bono help, you may end up getting what you pay for. USCCA offers insurance coverage for legal fees and a network for attorneys, but the Cuomo regime’s destruction of NRA Carry Guard has resulted in some USCCA services being unavailable for residents of New Jersey, New York, and Washington state (which again, should be an exhibit for why Letitia James’s jihad needs to be stopped).

Have Plans For The Aftermath

Proper previous planning is necessary for the aftermath of self-defense. In addition to the preparations listed above, you will need to be ready for a lot of things. You may be completely in the right legally and morally in the use of lethal force for self-defense, but it will still not be an easy path. Depending on the situation, you could face social stigmatization, media vilification, and a host of physical, mental, and emotional after-effects.

Have plans to deal with security for you and your family, addressing the legal aftermath (especially if your prosecutor is like Binger), dealing with your health (physical, emotional, and mental), and for your financial future (in case of professional repercussions and or the expenses you incur).

Local Elections Matter

Far too often, Second Amendment supporters look to Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, or to their state legislatures, governors, and state courts to resolve Second Amendment issues. They forget that local officials matter, too. The sheriff and top prosecutor wield outsized influence on the day-to-day exercise of our Second Amendment rights. Vote, and act accordingly.

Second Amendment supporters have much to learn from Kenosha. They also have lot of work to do, and that includes defeating anti-Second Amendment extremists at the federal, state, and local levels via the ballot box as soon as possible.

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.Harold Hutchison

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“the first choice should not be to start blazing away”

It wasn’t his first choice. By saying this, you’re playing into the narrative of the anti-gun media. Kyle’s first choice was to retreat by running away. In the process of retreating, he was kicked, stoned and hit with a skateboard. Only when his attackers were on him did he fire his weapon. When the attacks stopped, he stopped. This is not “blazing away”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Norm

Lessons learned? Hah! It took Kenosha for you to learn those things, Harold?




Lessons learned: 1. The media is not your friend. 2. Neither the “mob” nor the media care about the truth. 3. Most lawyers are still scum bags. 4. The Second Amendment is still in effect. 5. Your right to self defense is still in effect. 6. There are still enough sane people to form an impartial jury. 7. A white kid who shoots three white men, who were trying to hurt him, will still be accused of being a “white supremacist”. 8. Liberals, and their media, will still believe lies even when there is video evidence to the contrary. 9.… Read more »

Wild Bill

Well said and concise.


“Let’s go Brandon!”


Rittenhouse cared more about his community than those elected to protect his community who from their inaction showed that these elected officials chose to represent the interest of the rioters destroying private property in Kenosha. The only reason more private property wasn’t destroyed is some people found their inner Korean businessman.
P.S. Kyle didn’t carry a better tool for close quarters armed self defense, a 15+ capacity nine; because, that option wasn’t legally available to him. If he could have there probably would be 4 dead rioters with criminal records.


I wasn’t the first to say it but it is a good rule to live by. “Don’t go to stupid places, where stupid people are doing stupid things.”

Wild Bill

That could be anywhere. Recently an upscale store was looted by eighty violent thieves. Should I not go to Bloomingdales, Brookshires, or the hardware store because of what might happen? Should I not go to Minneapolis or Wisconsin?


I think he was saying don’t go into the middle of a riot.


Invoked the irrelevant and dismissive “shouldn’t have been there” talking point, implied people should wait until riots end before taking action, and somehow tied this back to the NRA and why we should rally behind them…

Please go away, Harold.


Excellent points and great info for all to remember. Let me add one for consideration. Do your intelligence prep of the battlefield. Not in some Stan somewhere but at home. Assess the political and ideological environment of you community, your city, county and state. If you live in a New Left Progressive Blue Utopia you cannot expect treatment untained by ideological baggage. And that is the case with this trial. The political classes in Kenosha do not respect your right to keep and bear nor do they respect your property and personal protection rights. Understand that going in. As our… Read more »


Defending yourself and family will be met with extreme propaganda from those in the media. There interest is not reporting the facts it is to bend the truth to serve the democratic machine. The difference is when I was 17 years old facing the draft to enter the Vietnam war I was spared as the draft ended. Defending our country and defending yourself are not they the same in the eyes of the judicial system? At 17 years of age I find it sad that this young teenager made a choice that will forever affect his life. I must ask… Read more »


“I must ask did Kyle make this choice on his own or was there some other pressure influencing him.” He made the choice because the “non-civilians” who were being paid to “respond first” followed orders to ride around in armored vehicles (while wearing body armor) and watched as violent criminals destroyed the businesses of “civilians.” The enforcers did pepper spray Kyle though, and a detective testified that he didn’t know (after watching the video) if Gaige Grosskreutz was chasing Kyle and that he didn’t know (after watching the video) if Maurice Freeland was trying to kick Kyle in the head.… Read more »


I see the three amigos are still diligently manning their couches.

The above items were not supposed to be discussed.


At least 5 amigos.


There are about a dozen, but three sit on their couches for 18 hours a day, every day, waiting for someone to disrespect the perceived authority of those who enforce never-ending gun control laws.

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

>20 but their socks are busy ‘lap dancing’ unless you drop an XL steamer in the enforcer punchbowl. Then they flak you on the way out.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

That may be a better estimate.

I don’t think they care about the damage they are doing to the remaining respect people have for law enforcement (as a group). They are so busy patting themselves on the back, they don’t consider why most “civilians” in the firearm rights community in LA don’t view Bubba an 3l120 as heroes.

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC
Arkansas Rob

One of your better pieces, Harold. Thanks.


The biggest lesson that should be learned from the Rittenhouse case, is no matter what happens to you, you do not shoot any Soros employed Democrat Brown Shirts. You stay out of their way and let them tear your town or city apart, and they rape, rob and murder its citizens.


If people would have stood up against these antifa pukes from the beginning, it would not be as bad as it is now.


Especially those who are PAID to stand up to criminals, who Just Followed Orders and munched donuts while civilian dreams died.


That was a pretty sad article Howard. Maybe you should think about working in a different profession. “Blazing away”? Really? Sad, just sad. CNN may be hiring soon, you should look into it.


You got a pretty mouth, Harold.
-Wayne LaPew

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r