Texas gun group hires vigilante killer

Texas Gun Rights, a political advocacy group, has hired Kyle Rittenhouse (photo, left) to be their outreach director (story here).

Rittenhouse was 17 years old when he traveled from Illinois with an illegally possessed an AR-15 style rifle to a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that erupted following a police shooting of a black man in August 2020.

In Kenosha Rittenhouse shot three people, two fatally, neither of them armed. Police and other gun-toting civilians were present but no one else fired shots or found it necessary to defend themselves. Rittenhouse was prosecuted for murder, but acquitted by a jury sympathetic to his self-defense claims (read details here).

Now 21 years old and living in Texas, Rittenhouse has struggled to find a way in life. Military recruiters rejected him. He enrolled in a community college, but didn’t attend any classes. He hasn’t been employed at a regular job or picked up a vocation. He drifted into the rightwing speaking circuit, and sought to trade on his notoriety in various ways.

Now old enough to shave, Rittenhouse is a hero to rightwing militants. The violent Proud Boys group made him a mascot. The group that just hired him probably hopes his notoriety will give their recruiting a boost as they compete with other Texas gun groups for members and donations. It gives him something to do — for now.

I’m thinking that, long term, he probably should learn a trade and disappear into the working class. I don’t think staying high-profile, even for a limited time, will ever help him live anything resembling a normal life. And eventually the political scene will get tired of him.

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