For immediate release: November 19, 2021
I just learned that Kyle Rittenhouse, the armed teenager who shot three people, two fatally, at a demonstration for racial justice in Kenosha last year was found not guilty on all counts.
This verdict of not guilty is a horrifying miscarriage of justice and an indictment of our broken criminal justice system. A white teenager got his hands on a semi-automatic rifle, showed up to a demonstration for Black Lives, fatally shot two people and wounded another, and he wasn't held accountable.
And it's exactly what the NRA wants—a society where anyone can have a gun anywhere with no training and no questions asked, and where people feel emboldened to shoot anyone over the slightest provocation without fear of consequences.
This tragedy underscored what we already knew: allowing the open carry of firearms everywhere—especially at demonstrations—is dangerous and life threatening. In fact, demonstrations with a presence of armed groups and individuals, like those found in Kenosha in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, are nearly six times as likely to turn violent or destructive compared to unarmed demonstrations.
That's why we must continue to fight the gun lobby's extreme agenda and work to advance common sense gun safety policies that keep our communities safe.
The Rev. Robert Moore is Executive Director of the Princeton based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA). Ceasefire NJ is a Project under CFPA's umbrella.