I hope Kyle Rittenhouse suffers for his foolhardy decision

I hate guns, but I like the Kyle Rittenhouse story.
I hate guns because too many of them are in the hands of irresponsible people like Kyle Rittenhouse, people who lack the proper judgment to use something so dangerous.
At this point, readers on the left nod in agreement. However, you can reserve the right to make a judgment. You probably won't appreciate everything I have to say from here.
I like the Kyle Rittenhouse story because it's nuanced. It is not an easy task and there are important lessons to be learned from it. The nuance is valuable in teaching young people that not everything is clear.
The Kyle Rittenhouse shot were not victims
My boys, teenage boys and early twenties, were drawn to the Rittenhouse story because it was about a man about their age, and no doubt because it was a weapon.
They watched the video and thought "Kyle" was innocent.
So did a jury made up of seven women and five men. The evidence at the trial indicated that Rittenhouse had the right to be in Kenosha with a rifle on the night of August 25, 2020 that he had no problem showing up in a city in Wisconsin if he lived in Illinois.
Kenosha is a short hop from his home in Antioch, Illinois. His father, grandmother and other relatives live in Kenosha. Kenosha is at home just like Antioch.
The evidence proved that the men Rittenhouse shot were assailants. They attacked him; one even aimed a gun at his head. That gave him the right to react with violence.
The people he shot were not victims. They weren't great people. Maybe that's why they attacked him. But Rittenhouse couldn't have known her assorted criminal record, and that couldn't have been part of his decision-making.
You were a participant in a riot. They were playing a high stakes game when they attacked with the intention of injuring or possibly killing someone with a gun. They licensed Kyle Rittenhouse to shoot her. They are complicit in their own shootings.
Rittenhouse was acquitted legally, not morally
Kyle Rittenhouse cries as he testifies
In the end, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted. Legally.
Morally that was not the case.
Kyle Rittenhouse is not confirmed. I told my boys that.
Had he done the right thing, the responsible thing, two men would be alive and another would not face a life with a badly mutilated arm.
Rittenhouse was stupid to be in Kenosha with a rifle on the night the city burned. Anyone of you parents who read this and have doubts about this must ask themselves this question, "If my child came up to me and told me he was going to carry a gun into a riot, what would I say?"
If he had been my son I would have told him there was no way you were going near a riot, let alone with a gun.
Rittenhouse exhibited extremely poor judgment, as teenagers usually do.
Perhaps no one understands this better than Kyle Rittenhouse now.
If you believe his tears on the witness stand, and I do, he is traumatized by the memory of killing and maiming these men. He now knows the enormous stress of spending months behind bars not knowing whether he would spend the next few decades in prison.
His daring decision means that he will likely never be able to live in Antioch or Kenosha again and will not be able to go public without disguise in the years to come. His life will be in danger for the foreseeable future.
He has led to a world of anger with his bad choices, and although he was ultimately found not guilty, he paid a price and will continue to pay it.
America's gun problem threatens us all
We have a gun problem in America. There are an estimated 300 million people across the country, and too many are in the hands of ignorant and insane people. It's a constant threat to Americans.
I'm not afraid of responsible gun owners who know better than me how dangerous these guns are. They take care of gun safety. In fact, they take it very seriously. They pose no threat to any of us.
Kyle Rittenhouse wasn't one of them.
He might be skilled with firearms, but he wasn't smart enough to keep himself and his gun out of trouble. He didn't deserve to have or own a gun.
A jury of his colleagues acquitted him. But two people are dead and one is severely disabled because he made a terrible decision.
I think he will suffer from it for years. He deserves this special punishment.
I want my boys to know.
Phil Boas is the editorial editor of The Arizona Republic. He can be reached at 602-444-8292 or phil.boas@arizonarepublic.com.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Kyle Rittenhouse went armed in a riot. He should suffer for that

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