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Ion Meyn: What does Kyle Rittenhouse’s verdict mean for carrying open guns in Wisconsin | Column

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Obviously, being chased by someone wielding a plastic bag doesn’t give you the privilege of killing that person. What wasn’t obvious, at least until Rittenhouse’s acquittal, is that if you carry a gun you can actually kill someone who runs into you with a plastic bag. Rittenhouse was right when he told Fox News host Tucker Carlson his case was a Second Amendment win. The Second Amendment now apparently favors the use of lethal force for an armed person that an unarmed person cannot use under the exact same circumstances.

A civilian with a gun can no longer sincerely pretend it is for self-defense. By law, his decision to carry a gun increases your vulnerability as it lowers the value of your life. A person with a firearm can reasonably assume that aggressive movements towards them signal your intention to use their weapon against them. The likelihood of violence is increased.

During a demonstration, confrontations between unarmed demonstrators and armed civilians are common. If an unarmed protester does not comply with an armed civilian’s order to stop, can he shoot? Presumably.

What changes to Wisconsin law might help restore sanity? The state could add a provision to its law on self-defense so that carrying a firearm cannot justify a defendant’s reasonable belief of imminent harm. In the courtroom, an accused could not assert that his fear of harm was informed by the possibility of the victim using the accused’s weapon against him. The jury might consider the suitability of the accused’s firearm if, during the encounter, the victim took control of the accused’s firearm.


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