…Vox offered the perspective that “America’s self-defense laws are incredibly permissive, making it difficult to convict someone in a violent situation who claims to fear for their life.” A New York Magazine article similarly asserted that there is an “anarchy latent in America’s … expansive self-defense rights,” and that America’s “increasingly permissive self-defense laws” have opened “up a vast zone of permissible killing.”
True, there is ample room for determined debate over the proper contours of U.S. self-defense and gun laws. In fact, the Rittenhouse case initiated calls to make it unlawful for a minor like Rittenhouse to openly carry a rifle except when hunting. But when it comes to the supposed comparative “looseness” of U.S. self-defense laws, what is being reported does not reflect reality.
On closer inspection, it turns out that U.S. self-defense law in critical ways is more restrictive than the laws found in England and Germany, two countries often described as having more “humane” and “civilized” criminal justice approaches than the U.S.
— Eugene Volokh in Comparing U.S., English, and German Law