I hope that the most important thing that we take away from the Kenosha unrest is that making a decision about a situation in one or two sentences of a news headline is not the full picture. The media has been taking the Jacob Blake shooting and creating a narrative juxtaposing it to the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting.
When the facts of these two situations are evaluated they are not the same in many regards. They are the same in that they are both avoidable. First, both situations are still under investigation and developing. Kyle Rittenhouse is in custody with murder charges (among others) pending. Jacob Blake is in the hospital paralyzed and recovering from 7 gunshot wounds.
But let’s discuss the surrounding situations based on the information available. Jacob Blake has pending charges arising out of a sexual assault and domestic violence case. There seems to be a restraining order in relation to those charges. Jacob Blake showed up at the victims’ house, broke in, attempted to steal her car resulting in her calling the police. When the police showed up to arrest Jabob Blake with the outstanding warrant and apparently violated the restraining order. He then wouldn’t comply with the police was Tasered twice, and reached for a weapon whereupon he was shot. The circumstances surrounding this are avoidable. Kyle Rittenhouse at 17 decided to head into Kenosha, an already tense situation, with an AR15 that he wasn’t supposed to be carrying based on his age. He then stayed in the area late into the night, he wasn’t questioned about his weapon (though open carry laws mean that people were walking around legally carrying similar weapons), he kept moving with the crowds of protestors until there was a confrontation. What we know from the video is that a protester behind Kyle Rittenhouse fired a weapon and Kyle turned around and fired injuring a protestor. The crowd turned on Rittenhouse, he was knocked to the ground protestors attempted to disarm him and he killed two. He shouldn’t have had that weapon. He is too young to be trusted to make good decisions in a dangerous situation he put himself in. He made these decisions that ended the lives of two people, this doesn’t discount the decisions of the protestors who were attacking someone armed with an AR15 cause that seems like terrible decision making too. But the circumstances here were also avoidable.