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Kyle Rittenhouse 'brought a gun to a fistfight, and he was too cowardly to use his own fists to fight his way out,' prosecutor argues

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'Everybody takes a beating sometimes, right?'

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @greg_price11

One of the prosecutors in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial, Assistant District Attorney James Kraus, argued Monday that the defendant "brought a gun to a fistfight, and he was too cowardly to use his own fists to fight his way out."

What are the details?

The prosecution's general argument was that Rittenhouse — who was 17 years old in August 2020 when he went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, and joined other armed individuals to protect property from rioters — should have used hand-to-hand combat to fight off a mob of adults who were threatening his life, chasing him, and physically assaulting him.

Kraus, in a rebuttal against the closing argument of Rittenhouse's defense, echoed a statement from lead prosecutor Thomas Binger that it was unfair of Rittenhouse to bring a gun to protect himself against the angry mob when his fists alone would have sufficed.

"Why do you get to immediately just start shooting?" Kraus asked the jury. "As Mr. Binger said, he brought a gun to a fistfight, and he was too cowardly to use his own fists to fight his way out. He has to start shooting."

Binger had previously argued — in reference to 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum chasing and threatening the life of Rittenhouse before the defendant fatally shot him — "but let's assume for a minute, yeah, Joseph Rosenbaum is chasing after the defendant 'cause he wants to do some physical harm to him. [Rosenbaum is] an unarmed man. This is a bar fight. This is a fistfight. This is a fight that maybe many of you have been involved in. Two people. Hand to hand. We're throwing punches, we're pushing, we're shoving, we're whatever. But what you don't do is you don't bring a gun to a fistfight."

And yes, Binger actually did use a still image in court from the Patrick Swayze cult-classic movie "Road House" to illustrate his point:

Of course, the same can be said for Gaige Grosskreutz, who also brought a gun to this supposed "fistfight" and admitted to pointing it at Rittenhouse while the defendant was on the ground before Rittenhouse shot Grosskreutz in the arm.

'Everybody takes a beating sometimes, right?'

Kraus underscored the prosecution's argument that Rittenhouse was in no position to defend himself with a gun against the attacking mob by saying getting beaten up is no big deal.

"Everybody takes a beating sometimes, right?" Kraus casually floated to the jury. "Sometimes you get in a scuffle, and maybe you do get hurt a little bit. That doesn't mean you get to start plugging people with your full metal jacket AR-15 rounds."

How did folks react to the prosecution's arguments?

It wasn't pretty:

  • "It doesn't matter what Other Guy uses when he assaults you. He assaulted you. Use whatever you want," one commenter reacted. "Kyle is not proven to have gone there for a fight, regardless of if he was carrying. Carrying just means he knew that progressive protests/riots get violent."
  • "'Miss, he was raping you and you were afraid — I understand that. But he was just using his body. Why do you get to start shooting him?'" another user pointed out.
  • "Three or more thugs against one 17 year old doesn't sound like a fair fistfight unless you're a Marxist Antifa Thug bent on killing, maiming, and destroying," another commenter noted.
  • "How much of a beating, hits with a skateboard, kicks to the head, or bullets from a Glock do you have to take before defending yourself?" another user asked.
  • "The flip side of everybody takes a beating is everybody has the right to fight back," another commenter declared. "That said, if you think you are in danger of being beaten with enough force to cause serious injuries you don't have to accept that. You have every right to defend yourself with lethal force."
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