I have not followed the Rittenhouse case as closely as many, but I’m old – we’ve been there before. Remember the 70’s, the 80’s? Last year a hundred thousand Americans died of overdoses; theft is not prosecuted in some cities. Did we think our lives would be peaceful? Did we then, as we pulled out some of the pillars that held the roof over our society, protecting and ordering it? Some of those pillars were being reconstructed, but the last few years have seen their destruction, again and more thoroughly.
Rittenhouse, certainly out of self-defense, killed, but these deaths are not just the result of the actions of the men, apparently unhinged and certainly violent and predatory from long before Blake was shot, that attacked him. The fault also lies in those in charge, who have little humility in taking over our lives from cradle to grave, but shrug off their first responsibility – to nurture an ordered society, where the rights of citizens are protected and civility reigns. They seem to want to take our guns but they certainly don’t want to protect us. Our leaders have lost a sense of the priorities outlined in our unique, beautiful, and profound Constitution. However, it codifies and organizes responsibilities long seen as a government’s duty: to protect citizens from threats external (the federal) and internal (the state and city). They found a sensible format for fulfilling those duties – one with checks and balances. Our tradition, of course, has always included a healthy bit of personal responsibility, of self-protection. Rittenhouse is in that tradition. Those who did not do their duty are in no position to scoff at someone who tries to protect the home town of his father and grandmother.