With Thanksgiving on the horizon, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility gun prohibition lobbying group apparently wants to ruin it for people by suggesting how to start arguments—which they define as “spirited dinner conversation”—with holiday visitors.
But their suggestions about conversations will be overshadowed by the acquittal Friday of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was found “not guilty” on all five charges brought against him in the aftermath of the violent protest last August during which Rittenhouse shot three people, killing two and wounding the third.
The intense trial lasted for a week, and jurors deliberated more than 20 hours over the course of more than three days. The 18-year-old Rittenhouse broke down in court as the verdict was announced, and loud protests sprinkled with vulgarities occurred outside.
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Emotions are obviously high, as illustrated by a statement from Shaadie Ali, interim executive director of the ACLU of Wisconsin:
“Despite Kyle Rittenhouse’s conscious decision to take the lives of two people protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake by police, he was not held responsible for his actions, something that is not surprising. But Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t the only one responsible for the deaths that night. The events in Kenosha stem from the deep roots of white supremacy in our society’s institutions. They underscore that the police do not protect communities of color in the same way they do white people.”
But Alan Gottlieb at the Second Amendment Foundation had a far different take: “Anyone who viewed the video evidence and listened to the testimony would easily conclude Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self-defense. Fortunately, this young man’s supporters were able to raise the funds necessary for mounting a first class defense. But this was a high-profile case, and ample financial resources became available. What about lower-profile cases where people with limited resources find themselves unable to afford adequate legal counsel.”
And U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin tweeted, “I believe justice has been served in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. I hope everyone can accept the verdict, remain peaceful, and let the community of Kenosha heal and rebuild.”
I believe justice has been served in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. I hope everyone can accept the verdict, remain peaceful, and let the community of Kenosha heal and rebuild.
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) November 19, 2021
Had he been convicted, Rittenhouse would have faced mandatory life in prison. But the jury of five men and seven women took their time deliberating, asking to see videos of the two shooting incidents in which Rittenhouse can be seen firing his semiautomatic rifle while trying to flee from violent protesters. Killed that night were Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, while a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, was wounded.
The trial outcome will almost certainly make more for conversation than the Alliance’s ten questions they want posed to dinner guests as icebreakers.
The Alliance teased its little quiz with this comment: “Thanksgiving is notorious for sparking, shall we say, spirited dinner conversation. And as much as we may prefer to avoid them, conversations with close family and friends can be one of the most effective ways to share information and change people’s minds. So we wanted to make sure that you head into the holiday season armed with the facts about gun violence.”
They offer ten questions with true/false opportunities to answer:
- Gun violence is a mental health issue.
- Gun safety laws are unconstitutional and infringe upon the Second Amendment
- Gun violence increased during the pandemic.
- Gun laws are not effective because criminals do not follow the law.
- The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
- The vast majority of Americans support commonsense gun laws.
- We don’t need new gun safety policies or programs, we just need to enforce the laws in the books.
- Someone experiencing suicidal thoughts will always find a way to complete suicide, whether with a gun or by other means.
- Arming survivors with a gun will protect them from domestic violence.
- Mass shootings receive the most attention, but a majority of gun deaths in the United States are suicide.
Just the thing to help one’s digestion after a big turkey or ham dinner.
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