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You are no longer safe, I’m no longer safe. If you think you’re safe, you’re ignorant. The ruling passed down last Friday in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial made a mockery of our entire legal system and set a precedent for a lawless and unregulated vigilante militia that now has an open permit to hunt the citizenry with extreme prejudice. That could put you, me or a loved one at the wrong end of an AR 15 from some unqualified member of the Mayonnaise Militia. The right to peaceably assemble died on Nov. 19, 2021, when the verdict was handed down. It opened the door for every pasty white 2nd amendment junkie to head down to the “assault riflemart,” strap up and shoot the 1st amendment right between the eyes.

For this new form of unpoliceable police to breathe life, it needs a Daddy and that Daddy’s name is Judge Bruce Schroeder. This man single handedly, it would seem, rewrote how we prosecute the pasty white. How many times in such a high-profile case has the jury not been sequestered? How many times have you seen a defendant pick his jurors from a hat like he’s picking the winner of a 50/50 raffle? I have to say, and maybe this is wrong, but any judge who has a Lee Greenwood tune as a ringer needs to be removed from any situation that has a modicum of oversite (all deference to Lee Greenwood, he wrote a song that resonates with people but some of those have twisted the meaning). This is the same guy that probably thinks giving teachers guns would help avoid school shootings. Here’s what avoids school shootings: not letting your child have a gun! It’s called parenting, and if you’re the parent that drives your child across state lines because he wants to help defend a business he’s never heard of, then you too should be on trial. But you wouldn’t need to worry too much, it sounds like you would be acquitted, and Donald Trump Jr. and the rest of the Hitler Youth will deliver a gold-plated assault rifle to you as a thank you.

We can go all the way back to 1991; 30 years ago white cops beat a black man. Then, after they acquitted those men a year later, Los Angeles burned. This whole Rittenhouse thing — white boy getting off against overwhelming evidence — isn’t a new concept. Rather, it’s an old and tired concept. So, we’ll protest, we’ll scream and yell, maybe riot in the name of justice, but it doesn’t change. Justice isn’t supposed to follow party lines, but it sure does seem that way. It acquits those that follow the current narrative and throws others in jail that also fit a narrative. Unfortunately, those that get tossed are often a few shades darker than Rittenhouse. It’s a trend that needs addressing, and (again unfortunately) it needs addressing with the same level of venom as those that oppose it. It’s going to take fighting fire with fire at this point.

If I walk into your home or on your property brandishing a gun and meaning you ill will, then you attack me and I in turn shoot you, how is that self-defense? It doesn’t even need to be property you own; if I’m acting in a threatening manner and you engage with me, I don’t think that’s self-defense. It’s murder! Cold blooded murder doled out by a guy that’s only had his driver’s license for a year, a guy that’s too stupid to understand that the consequences of his actions will follow him to his grave. But for now the right-wing gas bags will use him, and when he’s yesterday’s news, they’ll put him right beside Joe the Plumber.

Do I even need to mention how different this turns out if Rittenhouse is browner than Italian? I don’t think I will; I think I’ll save that for a different column. At the end of the day, this has become a political football and has driven this country into a deeper partisan divide. How do we recover from it? I fear we won’t. It’s open season on “ANTIFA,” which stands for anti-fascism, but oddly enough the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse is our Reichstag Fire and it’s establishing something we don’t want established … again!

Peter “Fish” Case is a man with an opinion. He offers up a weekly podcast discussion that can be heard at www.theearspoon.com. Questions, compliments and complaints can be sent to him at fish@theearspoon.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.