I would like to ask Kyle Rittenhouse’s attorney, Mark Richards, to clarify his view of what constitutes legal murder in the United States. For argument, let’s say that I feel the urge to kill someone, an annoying neighbor, a politician, or perhaps someone who cut me off in traffic. Mr. Richards, what approach should I take so I can kill this person without any penalty? According to the verdict that Richards gloated over Thursday, there is no penalty for an underage boy to buy an assault weapon, travel to a nearby state, and kill two people without provocation. This act was OK because he claimed he was afraid that he might be harmed by the unarmed men he shot? If my victim (sorry, Judge Bruce Schroeder ruled that people who are shot to death are not “victims”) is confined to a wheelchair, can I still claim I was fearful for my life?  Do I have to use an assault rifle, or can I stab them to death? Do I need to travel 100 miles from my home? Obviously, if I wanted to kill anyone who is not white, this in itself is all the defense I need (there are hundreds of precedents). If I am not underage, but an adult, can I still kill anyone I want without penalty? Before I actually kill anyone, I would like Mark Richards to explain clearly what I need to do to get away with murder.

This discussion may appear frivolous, but it is not. I think we all know why Cryin’ Kyle got off scot-free. He used an assault rifle, the weapon of choice of cowards. With a gun, you do not need to get close to your victim. You do not have to see their eyes as you extinguish their life. It is much harder to kill with a knife — you have to get in close, and you will likely get bloody. Americans love guns because they can commit mayhem at a distance while keeping their hands clean. Since 2001, America has become a Nation of Cowards. The Bush-Cheney regime stoked fear of terrorism to take away the rights and dignity of Americans. The absurdity of our cowardice is evident by the fact that we still are willing to take off our shoes at airports because of one comically-failed “shoe-bomber.” The Republican Party’s target for fear-mongering skips over domestic terrorists, who are the main cause of terrorist attacks, because they include a number of Republicans in Congress. The GOP now simply declares anyone who opposes them or anything they stand for (guns and tax-breaks for the rich, mainly) to be the enemy. To protect your right to have a gun, you are free to take that gun, wander around and shoot anyone you suspect might be a Democrat, immigrant, scientist, non-Christian, or non-white. You then claim you feared for your life, and bingo, your murder becomes legal.

Tom DeCoursey
Oak Park

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