Patterico's Pontifications

10/27/2021

Constitutional Vanguard: Why Did a Judge Say the People Kyle Rittenhouse Shot Cannot Be Called “Victims”? Part One

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:17 pm



The latest Constitutional Vanguard newsletter addresses the story you might have read yesterday in which the judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial said the shooting victims cannot be called, well, “victims” . . . but they can be called “rioters” or “looters.”

Evidence of bias? Maybe! But as I point out, such rulings are not that unusual.

I’m splitting this one up into two parts. Tonight, in Part One, I describe the issue, talk about the ways that judges can influence trials out of bias, and the institutional incentives that can cause judges to favor the defense in their rulings. Here’s a taste:

If a judge tells a prosecutor to pound sand, and that the court won’t be recessing the trial for the afternoon or for a day to allow the prosecution to get a critical witness to court, the prosecution has no recourse. None. The prosecution can’t appeal that decision. They can’t run off to the Court of Appeal and seek a writ. They are quite simply, as the saying goes, up a creek.

And so it is with most evidentiary rulings. If the judge makes a bad call and excludes clearly admissible evidence favoring the prosecution, the prosecution gets no appeal. If the prosecution loses the case as a result, that’s just too damn bad. Double jeopardy has kicked in and the defendant cannot be tried again. But the defendant can appeal all manner of rulings if there is a conviction, including exclusion of evidence, improper jury instructions . . . you name it.

I’m doing this one for the paid subscribers, mainly because it gives me a greater comfort level to write for a more loyal audience when I am writing about my profession. This will be especially so in Part Two, where I will tell some war stories about dumb/crazy rulings by judges . . . mostly from other people’s cases.

Access the post here. Subscribe here.

55 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: Why Did a Judge Say the People Kyle Rittenhouse Shot Cannot Be Called “Victims”? Part One”

  1. When I said “Perhaps Patterico might have some direct experience on this subject,” I wasn’t expecting such a complete answer. :)

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  2. I’m really looking forward to this series because I had questions. Thanks in advance for the answers.

    Dana (174549)

  3. PS, if you haven’t yet subscribed, you should. The newsletter is consistently insightful and well written. Don’t miss out.

    Dana (174549)

  4. If the choice is between a judicial bias toward the defense or the prosecution I’d prefer toward the defense. The prosecution already has some inherent bias built in.

    frosty (f27e97)

  5. Good series thank you.

    I’m probably in the minority in that I think this is the correct decision and I think Rittenhouse probably committed criminal acts that night. Especially with the use of force while trying to evade the scene.

    Time123 (f95a66)

  6. @5 Do you think prosecutors should be able to describe anything he did as fleeing the scene? I think that’s got a lot of the same problems as “victims”.

    Not to mention I don’t think it’s factually accurate.

    frosty (f27e97)

  7. Frosty, no, similar logic would apply to that as applied to the decision in the OP. I agree that our system properly biased toward the rights of the accused.

    Time123 (f95a66)

  8. He who fights and runs away stops being the initial aggressor and has the right to defend himself from child molesters, looters, and arsonists who chase him.

    If I have anything against the kid, besides being too young to go around shooting at people, it’s his looks. If that’s not the face of a guy who will grow up to be a jail guard at the Lubyanka prison, I don’t know what is.

    nk (1d9030)

  9. And, yeah, that’s another thing that will not be mentioned at trial. That one of the “victims” was a convicted child molester who served his full 10-year sentence (from which I infer he was considered non-rehabilitatable). Not unless Rittenhouse knew that at the time. A rule of evidence which has never made sense to me.

    nk (1d9030)

  10. I hope they describe at least one as ‘burning dumpster transport specialist’

    Obudman (97e6be)

  11. If a judge tells a prosecutor to pound sand, and that the court won’t be recessing the trial for the afternoon or for a day to allow the prosecution to get a critical witness to court, the prosecution has no recourse. None. The prosecution can’t appeal that decision. They can’t run off to the Court of Appeal and seek a writ. They are quite simply, as the saying goes, up a creek.

    But, since the judge can say nothing about the order that the witnesses testify in, then unless the prosecutor has run out of witnesses, he can call another witness, or keep someone on the stand longer. If he needs to be personally involved with the other witness, he can get a deputy to question the substitute witness (whom he might ordinarily never have bothered to call) I don’t think a judge can tell a prosecutor to finish with the witness, although he can maybe stop a line of questioning, or complain that the prosecutor is going into unnecessary things, without actually trying to stop him. So this is not often an unresolvable practical problem although it probably would be best not to be too explicit about what he’s doing.

    nk (1d9030) — 10/28/2021 @ 6:49 am

    That one of the “victims” was a convicted child molester who served his full 10-year sentence (from which I infer he was considered non-rehabilitatable). Not unless Rittenhouse knew that at the time. A rule of evidence which has never made sense to me.

    It makes sense especially in a case like this. The fact that he was a child molester doesn’t make it more likely that he was acting threateningly. In other kinds of cases the concealed fact may matter, or be too intertwined. And they shouldn’t try too hard to carve facts away – it’s not really that prejudicial or that much of a motivation to jury nullification.

    What is relevant was that the people shot were part of a violent crowd or associated with it, and were threatening Rittenhouse. The judge allowed it.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  12. nk’s sneaky and pathetic attempts at ‘negging’ the hero of the hour really do need to be addressed:

    “If I have anything against the kid, besides being too young to go around shooting at people, it’s his looks. If that’s not the face of a guy who will grow up to be a jail guard at the Lubyanka prison, I don’t know what is.”

    What it is is straight-up racism on your part, naturally. This isn’t who we are!

    Old enough to be shooting foreign enemies, old enough to be shooting domestic Democrat militia and jailing the lawyers who always seem to leap at the chance to offer “pro bono” services to people who inevitably end up being either career criminal proxies for doing DNC dirty work or teenagers directly related to Democrat politicians getting the leftist equivalent of ROTC.

    The smile on the face of the man who crushed those dreams of easy money and social status from LARPing as a “revolutionary” and the anguish on the faces those whose previous expectations of getting away with deadly mayhem were absolutely humiliated by a man whose aim and brain was better than theirs will always be comforting to the righteous and disturbing to the wicked. Consider the salutary follow-on social effects!

    Yard Encorcor (fa8a44)

  13. Our esteemed host pointed out that “the judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial said the shooting victims cannot be called, well, ‘victims’ . . . but they can be called ‘rioters’ or ‘looters.'” That’s because the men shot in self-defense by Mr Rittenhouse were looters and rioters. The judge has ruled that the truth must be told.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (61384a)

  14. Well, this did it. I had resisted paying for Pat’s detailed opinions because, well, I don’t like to pay for opinions — there never seems to be a shortage of free ones. But it was time to make an exception to that, given the experience he has on this kind of topic.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. The only other venue I pay for to get a particular opinion series is the WSJ (at a steep discount) to get Peggy Noonan’s work.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. If the choice is between a judicial bias toward the defense or the prosecution I’d prefer toward the defense. The prosecution already has some inherent bias built in.

    Such as an investigative capacity that few private individuals can match, and juries who know that something is up with you, since otherwise you wouldn’t be charged.

    Not to mention federal court, where they can freeze all your assets before trial, presumption of innocence be damned, limiting your legal representation to someone they choose.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. The prosecution should not be able to call those Rittenhouse shot “victims”, at least until they have made a reasonable case that they were such. If they can do so, well, that’s their whole case. But they shouldn’t be able to start there. If the jury is convinced they were “victims”, they must find for the State.

    Rittenhouse’s argument is self-defense. As such, the question of whether the people he shot were looters or arsonists or just passers-by isn’t really germane. What he needs to show is that they attacked, or threaten to attack, him and he was in fear of his life. It may help him somewhat to show they were engaging in illegal acts, but he is NOT claiming he was attempting to stop such (it may not have been lawful to do so), so calling them “looters” doesn’t materially help his case. The jury can still find for the State even if these folks were torching buildings wholesale.

    And of course, if the defense continually calls them perps, which is really not the issue, and the jury isn’t convinced, it may weaken the jury’s trust in the self-defense claims that are actually germane.

    So, the judge is right and allowing the defense more latitude is as much a trap as a blessing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. Question: Did the judge limit these terms in the opening statements, or just in the trial itself?

    I can see a prosecutor saying “We will show that ….” and call the dead and wounded parties “victims” in their opening statement, and that is no more prejudicial than the charges themselves. In the presentation of their case, however, they need to have foundation before they can use the term.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. To be clear, I haven’t judged one way or the other whether Rittenhouse is guilty of “first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional reckless homicide,” because I’ll defer to judge and jury.
    He is guilty of illegal possession of the firearm, him being a minor and the gun not being his, and the person who lent him the gun is guilty, assuming there’s a crime for that.
    Although his mom isn’t criminally liable, she’s responsible for letting her minor-aged kid go to this protest/riot.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  20. Although his mom isn’t criminally liable, she’s responsible for letting her minor-aged kid go to this protest/riot.

    A lot of that going around, it seems.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. 13, did they die/suffer wounds after 1.:previously being identified as damaging property and 2. in possession of pilfered goods? By being present and acting in an aggressive manner they certainly meet the threshold of rioters, but only if they damage property are they vandals and only if they stole property are they looters.

    That being said, the defendant certainly has a _ _ _ chable face and I’m going back and forth between 2 possible options for the first 3 letters of that one.

    urbanleftbehind (f460f5)

  22. OTOH, Rittenhouse actually wore masks willingly at several pretrial proceedings, so he might get some points there (his mom is some kind of nurse or DA/NA).

    urbanleftbehind (f460f5)

  23. The fact that there was lawlessness going on (not quite looting while he was there) created a lower threshhold of fear for Rittenhouse

    I think ir is something like he shot one person because he was in shock and then shot more because he was in fear of what they would do to him. Neither he nor any of the older people with him knew what they doing there, The looting had already taken place.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  24. The fact that there was lawlessness going on (not quite looting while he was there) created a lower threshhold of fear for Rittenhouse

    This is true, but Rittenhouse chose to cross a state line and show up at this protest/riot, illegally armed.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  25. But that has nothing to do with the murder or manslaughter case against him. Unless you want to call it a felony murder with the underlying crime being gun possession.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  26. Rittenhouse answered a call for volunteers to prevent looting by guarding commercial establishments with guns (that was not organized by anyone connected with any of the businesses located there)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  27. “That being said, the defendant certainly has a _ _ _ chable face and I’m going back and forth between 2 possible options for the first 3 letters of that one.”

    Chance of urbanleftbehind having ever been brave enough to throw or take a punch in meatspace: near zero.

    I just love how all the liberals here keep taking time aside to show their own gross and ignorant prejudices against facial structure(it’s not RACIAL it’s FACIAL structure!) Lawyers get to be as racist as they want as long as they apply the right terms to it!

    Urbanleftbehind his own objectivity:

    “did they die/suffer wounds after 1.:previously being identified as damaging property and 2. in possession of pilfered goods? By being present and acting in an aggressive manner they certainly meet the threshold of rioters, but only if they damage property are they vandals and only if they stole property are they looters.”

    Are we all about respecting their specific criminal pronouns, counsel?

    “Rittenhouse chose to cross a state line and show up at this protest/riot, illegally armed.”

    There is no such thing as ‘illegally armed’ in any area where the Constitution holds. Whatever weird-ass provincial prejudices inspired you to make such a statement?

    I haven’t judged one way or the other whether Rittenhouse is guilty of “first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide and attempted first-degree intentional reckless homicide,” because I’ll defer to judge and jury.”

    What a whiny, weak cop-out that flees from the preponderance of all available evidence. You absolutely would not have “deferred to the judge and jury” if they had let off Derek Chauvin and I certainly won’t defer to any judge and jury that somehow finds this man guilty of anything you evil lefty prosecutors try to pin on him to placate your criminal Party patrons.

    “He is guilty of illegal possession of the firearm, him being a minor and the gun not being his, and the person who lent him the gun is guilty, assuming there’s a crime for that.

    What a revealing and reprehensible statement you make without a trace of shame! Volunteer private security, one of the oldest professions besides yours (which is best described as a prostitute speaking ‘okay boss’ to power) is a criminal offense! These arguments have neither imagination, nor history, nor precedent on their side.

    I expect your ilk’s usual jury intimidation tactics to go with the fact that all of a sudden everything about the presiding judge is being published as FRONT PAGE BREAKING NEWS. May your corrupt attorney’s guild be burned on the pyre of history along with the news media.

    Posting Baliff (705fd4)

  28. There is no such thing as ‘illegally armed’ in any area where the Constitution holds. Whatever weird-ass provincial prejudices inspired you to make such a statement?

    Wisconsin law, Socko. Hyperpartisans conveniently forget the “well-regulated” part of the First Amendment.
    As for my reserving judgment, I saw the video and it wasn’t clear to me the necessity to use lethal force. Rittenhouse put himself in this situation, and no one in law enforcement deputized him. If it’s clear to you, so what, the jury or the judge will decide.
    As for Chauvin, I saw enough video to conclude that Chauvin took Floyd’s life, and that it was 2nd degree murder. Turns out I pretty much nailed it.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  29. There is no such thing as ‘illegally armed’ in any area where the Constitution holds.

    He was a minor (17) in possession of a firearm, which is against Wisconsin law, where you must be at least 18 to openly carry a firearm. There is an exception for 16- and 17-year-olds to carry shotguns and rifles for hunting purposes. But Rittenhouse wasn’t in Kenosha to hunt.

    If, however, you are a Second Amendment absolutist, then even convicted criminals have a 2A right to possess firearms.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  30. You should never argue with a crazy mind (mmm)
    You oughta know by now

    Comrades, what you have in the VPN is a “person” who has been banned from this site countless times, under countless pseudonyms, and keeps coming back like a dog to its own vomit. Someone with no pride. Someone with no self-respect. Someone without the sense or sensibility God gave pigs. When it lifts its nose from its vomit to bark at someone, please just ignore it. Don’t give it the attention it wants.

    nk (1d9030)

  31. Well regulated means trained. Nothing more, nothing less. That means you know how to use a gun so you don’t murder people by accident like a certain leftist celebrity.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  32. “Wisconsin law, Socko. Hyperpartisans conveniently forget the “well-regulated” part of the First Amendment.”

    If that wilful misinterpretation of the word ‘well-regulated’ in historical context is the extent of your justification, then any law based on it should be studiously ignored as it probably wasn’t made for the benefit of your or society at large. We don’t submit to the judgment of children and first-year history students, even if they stamp their little feet and yell about how words mean only what they think they mean.

    “As for my reserving judgment, I saw the video and it wasn’t clear to me the necessity to use lethal force.”

    You sound like a man with a distinct lack of imagination, which would strongly benefit from being put directly in situations similar to Kyle’s on a daily basis in the prison yard.

    “Rittenhouse put himself in this situation,”

    RITTENHOUSE ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE AMBUSHED BY VIOLENT FELONS WHEN LEAVING A HOT ZONE AND SHOULD THEREFORE BE TRIED FOR MURDER

    “and no one in law enforcement deputized him.”

    YOU CAN’T DEFEND YOUR OWN PROPERTY AGAINST HIGHLY PREDICTABLE ORGANIZED VIOLENCE UNLESS THE POLICE GIVE YOU SPECIFIC WRITTEN PERMISSION FIRST yeah, go to hell, the gap between you and traditional jurisprudence is decades apart.

    “If it’s clear to you, so what, the jury or the judge will decide.”

    I AM SO CONFIDENT IN MY LEGAL ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION THAT I’M LEAVING MY FUTURE OPINION ENTIRELY UP TO THE JURY WHILE I MOUTH ANCIENT LIBERAL TALKING POINTS THAT I’D NEVER TAKE SERIOUSLY IF THEY AFFECTED ME OR MY FAMILY

    The word you’re looking for is ‘cope’, loser!

    “If, however, you are a Second Amendment absolutist, then even convicted criminals have a 2A right to possess firearms.”

    In dangerous areas and states of emergency, like, say, the rioting promoted by the Democrats and their lawyers last year, why yes, I actually would. I might even deputize some that were actually trustworthy. Self-defense is generally a right fundamental enough to trump enforcing the letter of every local statute, especially the ones put in place by urban Democrat machines.

    “Don’t give it the attention it wants.”

    Why should anyone listen to a confirmed racist like you, nk? In any case all I’m seeing is someone paying you and your liberal peers the compliment of taking your opinions seriously and exploring what real-world conclusions they would lead to! And you act offended! Do you just make those silly arguments as a way to make yourself feel good?

    Full Personage (5f4a5d)

  33. Hyperpartisans conveniently forget the “well-regulated” part of the First Amendment.

    We’ll find out more about this next week.

    https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/new-york-state-rifle-pistol-association-inc-v-bruen/

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  34. Rittenhouse put himself in this situation, and no one in law enforcement deputized him. If it’s clear to you, so what, the jury or the judge will decide

    I really don’t get this, Paul. Where in the law does it say that a short dress is an invitation to rape one is responsible for a situation getting out of hand simply by making a risky choice? The only thing that matters are 1) Did Rittenhouse cause the confrontation through felonious activity, and 2) if not, would another person in that situation have a reasonable fear of injury or death?

    “Being is a stupid place” (the other people involved did no better) does not waive one’s rights to self defense.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  35. There are VPN blocking plugins for WordPress. Just sayin’

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. If, however, you are a Second Amendment absolutist, then even convicted criminals have a 2A right to possess firearms.

    God forbid you argue there are grey areas.

    This is an old argument. Guy burgles an apartment, is shot by resident. Resident did not have a permit for the gun, gets arrested. But he is generally not charged with manslaughter.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. Of course, I live in a state where there are no frigging permits, so long as I don’t CCW.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. Well regulated means trained. Nothing more, nothing less.

    How does that work when it’s an out-of-state minor with a borrowed AR-15, Rob?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  39. How does that work when it’s an out-of-state minor with a borrowed AR-15, Rob?

    How is a shooting not in self-defense if the person is only 17 and not 18 when he defends himself? There may be other issues regarding other laws, but this is the question at hand.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  40. Where in the law does it say that a short dress is an invitation to rape one is responsible for a situation getting out of hand simply by making a risky choice?

    I just think there’s more to the story than the defense position that it was simply self-defense, hence my reserving judgment.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  41. I just think there’s more to the story than the defense position that it was simply self-defense, hence my reserving judgment.

    Understood. But I also think that there is more to the story that what the prosecutors allege. I’m guessing that there was some political pressure to bring these charges and I’d rather see it dealt with by rules of evidence rather than on, say, Twitter.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. 17 year olds at the time of our founding were fighting the British and defending society.

    Based on Rittenhouse’s accuracy, I’d say he was trained.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  43. Jesse James was sixteen and from Missouri when he rode into Lawrence, Kansas with Quantrill, too.

    nk (1d9030)

  44. They were after Jayhawkers (a/k/a Redlegs) who were murderers, rapists, looters, and arsonists (yes, they really were). Afterwards, Jesse went on to become a peaceful farmer, and an upstanding, law-abiding citizen, and a credit to his community and to his country.

    nk (1d9030)

  45. What some comrades who believe the horsesh!t they were fed in civics class don’t understand is that the robber barons who govern us with our consent, and their thugs armed and unarmed, are very protective of their monopoly on theft and violence. Kyle Rittenhouse is being prosecuted for the same reason as a pickpocket, mugger or bank robber. Only the government is permitted to steal or kill.

    nk (1d9030)

  46. #47

    And, mostly, you want our robber barons to be protective. Because the alternative is what gets described in early political philosophy as “the state of nature” where life is “nasty, brutish and short”.

    In our system, at least you can choose your robber barons and set them against each other so that they don’t get too much power. Wasn’t that the genius of the constitution? Keep the power dispersed?

    Appalled (1a17de)

  47. I agree, Appalled.

    nk (1d9030)

  48. @48 A good way to keep power dispersed is to make sure everyone can arm themselves. A “well regulated militia” doesn’t mean “well funded internal military police force”.

    frosty (f27e97)

  49. I appreciate the backpedaling but can’t let up, as nk’s now doing the “Malthusean Marxist” bit:

    “What some comrades who believe the horsesh!t they were fed in civics class don’t understand is that the robber barons who govern us with our consent, and their thugs armed and unarmed, are very protective of their monopoly on theft and violence.”

    NK(presumably standing for “North Korea”,) having humiliated himself and his associations with very bad arguments, reverts to being a simple classroom commie, moving from ‘well, historical jurisprudence and procedure suggests bad results here’ to puerile ALL HEIRARCHY IS HATE ALL PROPERTY IS RAPE sloganeering without even bothering to put on the clown mask in between.

    As is common among Marxist collegians who fail to touch grass or experience non-collegiate humans on a daily basis, he has no conception of what ‘common experience’ might motivate ‘common reasoning’ or ‘common practice’, and therefore sees all legal proceedings as mere power exercises between cartoon class villains, which is a great outlook if you want to never learn anything from history or experience.

    “Kyle Rittenhouse is being prosecuted for the same reason as a pickpocket, mugger or bank robber.”

    Absolutely not.
    Pickpockets, muggers, and bank robbers are criminals, which Democrat lawyers, judges, and prosecutors will show lenience and indulgence to in the hopes of getting their cooperation later as patsies, election workers, unofficial financiers, and bagmen.

    Kyle Rittenhouse is being prosecuted under your vile philosophy of “guilty, assuming there’s a crime for that” for embarrassing the Left by flawlessly performing a traditionally masculine and heroic act of self and property defense against your typical criminal clients in public and never apologizing for it.

    He is being prosecuted under any and all justification, in short, because he is NOT A CRIMINAL!

    As amply demonstrated over and over independently in this thread by all lefty and lefty-adjacent posters, the leftist motivations for hating him are entirely emotional, not logical. They are stamping their feet, they’re crying on the floor, they’re reading apology letters they don’t believe stiffly and unconvincingly.

    “Only the government is permitted to steal or kill.”

    Permitted by whom, exactly?

    As is typical when lefties start trying to first principle, you’ve left off the most important term: “Collectively”. America does, in fact, have a very strong tradition of formally distributing individual power and responsibility to individuals, and all nations have laws governing self-defense, 99% of which are derived from moral traditions and codes much older than the nation with much more experience of interpersonal to collective violence.

    Now, if, like leftists, you are stupid, you are insane, or you have a diseased mind, getting your hands on the levers of power is of course going to be an anarchic and tyrannical experience for everyone concerned and your identification of where that power derives is going to be just as inchoate.

    But letting you get away with excuses like THIS IS JUST THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM, MAAAN when you and your representatives, clients, funders, and well-wishers inevitably screw it up? Hell no.

    Accoundtability Assessor (72825e)

  50. “The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

    “In addition to this there is the horrible—the really disquieting—prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.”

    “Sometimes I look at a Socialist—the intellectual, tract-writing type of Socialist, with his pullover, his fuzzy hair, and his Marxian quotation—and wonder what the devil his motive really is. It is often difficult to believe that it is a love of anybody, especially of the working class, from whom he is of all people the furthest removed. The underlying motive of many Socialists, I believe, is simply a hypertrophied sense of order. The present state of affairs offends them not because it causes misery, still less because it makes freedom impossible, but because it is untidy; what they desire, basically, is to reduce the world to something resembling a chessboard.

    “Though seldom giving much evidence of affection for the exploited, he is perfectly capable of displaying hatred—a sort of queer, theoretical, in vacua hatred—against the exploiters. Hence the grand old Socialist sport of denouncing the bourgeoisie. It is strange how easily almost any Socialist writer can lash himself into frenzies of rage against the class to which, by birth or by adoption, he himself invariably belongs.

    Orwell Dabs on You (91b0da)

  51. As is being argued at the time if you look at Wisconsin’s actual, poorly-written law on the subject…

    a 17 year old openly carrying a long gun (16+in. barrel, 26+in. total length) for legal non-hunting purposes is legal.

    A 17 year old openly or concealed carrying a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) (less than 16in. barrel, less than 26in. total length) would be a misdemeanor.

    (There’s also some verbiage about hunting which doesn’t come up here.)

    It appears that the legislative idea behind this (if there is one) is much like the prohibition on sawn-off shotguns – gangster youth shouldn’t be concealing cut down rifles under coats.

    Obviously there is also a host of federal regulation on Short Barreled Rifles that would have to be contended with, but there is also a Wisconsin law for it. In any case, Rittenhouse’s rifle has been confirmed as being of appropriate barrel and total length.

    For my two cents, when it comes to verbiage that the judge shouldn’t allow in the courtroom, he should forbid the prosecutor from calling the firearm used an ‘assault rifle’ (it isn’t fully-automatic which is a requirement to be called an assault rifle) or an ‘assault weapon’ (Wisconsin has no legal definition of Assault Weapon and with the federal Assault Weapons Ban having sunsetted, I believe there is no federal legal definition of assault weapon, only different states different versions).

    I did hear the prosecutor so refer to it in the initial hearings. I was triggered, I tell you!

    ingot9455 (b371f2)

  52. Jesse James was sixteen and from Missouri when he rode into Lawrence, Kansas with Quantrill, too.

    Audie Murphy was a minor when he won the Medal of Honor.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  53. “13, did they die/suffer wounds after 1.:previously being identified as damaging property and 2. in possession of pilfered goods? By being present and acting in an aggressive manner they certainly meet the threshold of rioters, but only if they damage property are they vandals and only if they stole property are they looters.”

    21 They had started a fire in a trashcan and had moved it to a gas station in an attempt to start a larger and more continuing fire when Rittenhouse put the trashcan fire out with a fire extinguisher. This is what angered the destructive mob against him and where they receive the appellation ‘arsonists’ in their attempt to burn and ‘vandals’ in their attempt to destroy property.

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