COMPASS: Post-Rittenhouse verdict, the left comes for self-defense

November 22nd, 2021

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

The House and Senate are officially out of town for Thanksgiving. They start the December deadline slog when they return next week.

The big news last week was the full acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two people and wounding a third during last summer’s riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The facts hammered home during the trial — that Rittenhouse was pursued and attacked by the two men he killed, and that the third pointed a loaded gun at him and advanced prior to Rittenhouse firing — demonstrated just how far the media narrative of this incident was removed from how it actually played out. Multiple news outlets characterized the shootings as racially motivated, despite the fact that Rittenhouse and the three men he shot were all white. Media commentary continues to grossly misrepresent Wisconsin self-defense and firearm laws.

Townhall’s Julio Rosas got it right when he noted “if you are in shock over the verdict, get better news sources.”

Despite whatever anger Joe Biden might express about the jury’s verdict, the 12 jurors in this trial chose justice over threats against the jury, and corrupt media narratives which were aided by social media giants who were still banning accounts who spoke in Rittenhouse’s defense. Together, these 12 jurors bravely chose facts, law, and justice over the mob.

In doing so, they displayed more courage than nearly all of our politicians and every single one of our media elite. Once again, we are reminded that the best of America resides not in our coastal power centers, our ivory towers, or even here in our nation’s capital. The best of America resides in the inherent fairness, righteousness, and bravery of her citizens.

But it’s worth focusing on where the left goes next. Because they don’t intend to let this jury verdict be the last word. Hours after the verdict was handed down, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler (D-NY) was calling it “a miscarriage of justice” and calling for federal review of the verdict by Merrick Garland’s heavily politcized Department of Justice.

The media narrative has turned toward decrying “gun laws” and the ability of a 17 year old to carry an “assault rifle,” and openly conflating the right to self-defense with “vigilantism.” In other words, they’re saying it out loud: they’re coming for your guns, for your right to defend your family, and ultimately, for your sovereignty.

In early November, the Supreme Court heard arguments in New York Rifle & Pistol Association Inc v. Bruen. The question before the court is whether New York’s concealed carry permit regime — which requires the petitioner to show a “genuine, specific need” to concealed carry a firearm for self defense, and vests the ability to judge that need in a state bureaucrat — violates the Second Amendment.

During the argument, it became abundantly clear how the left views the Second Amendment, that is, a constitutional entitlement which grants each of us an unambiguous right to carry by virtue of our citizenship.

JUSTICE ALITO: Could I explore what that means for ordinary law-abiding citizens who feel they need to carry a firearm for self-defense? So I want you to think about people like this, people who work late at night in Manhattan, it might be somebody who cleans offices, it might be a doorman at an apartment, it might be a nurse or an orderly, it might be somebody who washes dishes. None of these people has a criminal record. They’re all law-abiding citizens. They get off work around midnight, maybe even after midnight. They have to commute home by subway, maybe by bus. When they arrive at the subway station or the bus stop, they have to walk some distance through a high-crime area, and they apply for a license, and they say: Look, nobody has told — has said I am going to mug you next Thursday. However, there have been a lot of muggings in this area, and I am scared to death. They do not get licenses, is that right?

MS. UNDERWOOD [NY State Solicitor General]: That is in general right, yes. If there’s nothing particular to them, that’s right.

JUSTICE ALITO: How is that consistent with the core right to self-defense, which is protected by the Second Amendment?

MS. UNDERWOOD: Because the core right to self-defense doesn’t — as — as this Court said, doesn’t allow for all to — to be armed for all possible confrontations in all places.

JUSTICE ALITO: No, it doesn’t, but does it mean that there is the right to self-defense for celebrities and state judges and retired police officers but pretty much not for the kind of ordinary people who have a real, felt need to carry a gun to protect themselves?

The exchange goes on, with Solicitor Underwood hemming and hawing that the presence of a crowded subway somehow moots the right of ordinary people to self-defense, and Alito pointing out that there are thousands of people in New York City with illegal firearms who take the subway and pose a risk to unarmed travelers every day.

It’s an illuminating exchange which demonstrates just how conditional and stratified the left wants to make a constitutionally entitled right. They don’t want a country where constitutionally protected liberty means an individual doesn’t have to pass a test to exercise their rights, they want compliance to a political agenda. Under their vision, the right to self-defense would be left only to the rich and the politically favored who can afford private security. That describes a privilege. It does not describe a constitutional right.

If we have learned anything at all from the tragedy of global authoritarianism, it is that a weak, defenseless, and compliant public is a necessary first ingredient. The left wants to take your right to self-defense as part of a larger agenda to bend you to their political will. Do not let them.

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