It probably isn’t breaking any new ground to report that being Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t easy. In the pervasive public and political climate that is the state of play in the third decade of the 21st century, an individual can’t fight for their life on the streets of Kenosha, then fight for it again in a court room — all of it captured on video, packaged by and for social media, mainstream news readers and the puditocracy — without becoming a political lightening rod.
And like it or not, a lightening rod is exactly what Kyle Rittenhouse is.
We won’t bore you by recounting what happened in Kenosha when he successfully fended off multiple attackers and then successfully made his case for armed self-defense in a court of law. If you’re here, you know all of that. And if you don’t, click here to start.
It’s been almost a year since Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. That, of course, outraged many with an axe to grind and didn’t stop others from pronouncing him a murderer (whatever the jury’s verdict or the law may say), a racist, a fascist, a white supremacist…all without the slightest evidence that he is or has ever been any of those things.
In the last year, Rittenhouse has been busy dealing with the aftermath of what happened to him that night as well as what was done to him by the press and by (some of) his own attorneys.
I met Kyle in Fort Collins, Colorado. The National Association for Gun Rights and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners had issued an open-ended invitation to him after the not guilty verdict, offering to bring him to the Centennial State to shoot some guns, hang out, and be among friends and supporters.
Those aren’t easy things to do when the majority of the population knows your face and has very strong opinions about you, both good and bad.
NAGR and RMGO had helped to support Rittenhouse and his family financially during his trial and with that all now well and truly in his rear-view mirror, Kyle flew to Colorado with his girlfriend and his advisor to be among people who saw what he did that night as a case of armed self-defense — if an extraordinarily high profile one — against multiple attackers after a number of attempts on his part to get away from them.
But as we found out for ourselves, even a simple evening with supporters at a private reception for an unassuming, remarkably even-keeled 19-year-old kid can turn into a political hot potato when Kyle Rittenhouse is at the center of it.
To give you an idea of what it’s like to be him, NAGR and RMGO reserved the back bar at a downtown Fort Collins watering hole called The Forge Publick House which describes itself as “…a great place to host your next event!” While a good time was had by all who attended, Kyle’s presence apparently upset a number of The Forge’s employees who weren’t working the event.
A little while after things began to wind down — and the tab for 40 to 50 people was well into the low four figures — one of the employees from the front walked into the back bar and screamed, “It’s time for all of you people to leave!” Staff and customers in the front of The Forge had been angrily posting on Reddit since they discovered who was in the back of the joint, emoting and signaling their outrage to the world that the establishment had been used to host someone who had been tried and found not guilty of a crime.
You can read part of it here (some of the 400+ comments are priceless) and The Forge made sure to express its abject shame and grovel before its college town clientele to proclaim regret that such an event had taken place on its premises.
It was all a sadly pathetic little temper tantrum. But it was also a pretty good indicator of what someone has to deal with on a daily basis when he’s attained — rightly or not — the level of notoriety Kyle Rittenhouse has. He simply can’t live the kind of life any normal 19-year-old has a right to expect.
Sad little displays like the one at The Forge are some of the least inconvenient things Rittenhouse is dealing with these days. More concerning is a wrongful death civil suit that’s been filed by the survivors of Anthony Huber, the convicted felon and multiple domestic abuser who Rittenhouse shot and killed after Huber struck him on the head with his skateboard.
The lawsuit names the Kenosha County Sheriff, the Kenosha Chief of Police, the city and county of Kenosha, nine officers who were there that night along with Rittenhouse.
The suit has been filed by Loevy & Loevy, a Chicago “civil rights” law firm that specializes in left wing causes such as suing cities to invalidate their curfew laws when they impinge on Antifa and other mostly peaceful rioters’ ability to maneuver.
People I’ve spoken with who have direct knowledge of the suit have reason to believe (though they can’t provide direct evidence) that the suit is being backed by at least one gun control organization. The motivation appears to be to make a conspicuous example of Rittenhouse.
They want to put the fear of God (and the American justice system) into the average person who owns and possibly carries a gun. They want them to see what’s happened and is still happening to the 19-year-old and decide that armed self-defense isn’t worth the risk of not only jail, but being financially ruined, even if what you did was a clear case of self-defense.
That may turn out to be an ideal commercial for legal services providers such as US LawShield and others, but it probably isn’t what Loevy & Loevy or its backers have in mind.
So Kyle Rittenhouse’s days of defending himself in court aren’t over. And a series of reports claiming he’d agreed to multi-million dollar settlement with producers of ‘The View’ were completely false. They were apparently planted by Kyle’s antagonists in order to get potential donors to his defense fund to close their wallets.
They’re not happy that a GiveSendGo account has been established to raise money for his legal defense. The good news is that he has excellent legal representation on his side for the civil fight in the huber suit, just as he (ultimately) did for the criminal trial.
He also has some of the same attorneys in his corner who represented people like Nick Sandman. They’ll be working to defend Rittenhouse’s name against media personalities and various outlets who, well, should have knowns better than to throw around baseless accusations.
We had a few minutes to talk to Kyle one-on-one. Given the pending litigation, there were some topics we were asked not to discuss.
If you’re one of those who watched the video of what Rittenhouse did to defend himself and were struck by the skill and control with which he acted against multiple attackers from multiple directions, it may surprise you to learn that the pistol drill below along with some other shooting Rittenhouse did while he was in Colorado was more practice and training than he had in his life prior to that night in August of 2020.
As is the case for most 19-year-olds, Rittenhouse’s plans for his future have changed over the last year-plus. He was enrolled at Arizona State University’s online program with the intent of working toward a nursing degree. When that become known and the university’s students made enough noise, ASU let it be known that Rittenhouse was “no longer enrolled” there despite being acquitted.
As he mentioned in the video above, his attention has now shifted toward a career in aviation which he’s pursuing at a school in Texas. In the mean time, keep your eye on the media for news of his attempts to defend his name against some of the most egregious slurs that have been flung his way by those who couldn’t manage to stomach the outcome of the case brought against him.
The truth of the matter is that, given the high profile he unintentionally attained and that others have thrust upon him, Kyle Rittenhouse may never be able to live what any of us would consider a “normal” life. That said, based on his intelligence, his good nature, and with the help of a lot of people who have been in his corner based on their knowledge of Kyle and the actions he justifiably took, he stands a decent chance of living a very good life indeed.