Nashville, TN – In the summer of 2020, amidst the turmoil of riots and protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse was thrust into a life-altering situation. At an event at country music star John Rich’s house, Kyle was grateful for the opportunity to share his authentic and complete story for only the second time in public since the trial. Rittenhouse acknowledges the importance of his survival and credits it to his self-defense on the fateful night of August 25th, 2020. As he addresses the crowd, he emphasizes the significance of the constitutional right to bear arms and the freedom to cross state lines, rights he utilized during those chaotic events.
Born and raised in a single-parent household, Rittenhouse wanted to ‘protect and serve.’ Finding inspiration from the mentors he encountered, Kyle sought ways to help others, so he became involved in the police and fire cadet programs. Kyle stated, “I knew that whatever I did for my future that I wanted it to be for a good cause.”
As the summer of 2020 unfolded, Rittenhouse was appalled by the devastation in his community. Motivated to aid his community, he joined efforts to clean up graffiti and repair the damage caused by the riots.
Rittenhouse’s involvement led him to a local used car dealership, where he offered his assistance in protecting the premises. He carried an AR-15-style rifle and intended to safeguard himself if needed. Throughout the night, Rittenhouse provided medical aid to those injured and extinguished fires threatening the area.
Unfortunately, amidst the chaos, he encountered violent encounters.
One of these encounters involved Joseph Rosenbaum, who had previously threatened Rittenhouse’s life. As Rittenhouse attempted to extinguish a fire near a truck, Rosenbaum pursued him, trying to grab his weapon. In fear for his life, Rittenhouse defended himself, which altered the course of events that night. Subsequently, Rittenhouse faced further threats and attacks from other individuals, too.
These harrowing experiences left Rittenhouse with no choice but to defend himself against those intent on causing him harm. The rapid succession of events within those minutes changed his life forever.
Rittenhouse described how the event unfolded, “A pistol was in his hand and he took a step towards me, firearm in his hand ready to go. I pointed my rifle in his direction and he backed up false surrendering, putting his arms up and then I lowered my rifle and then he pointed his gun directly at my head and I shot him once hitting him in the arm in which he was holding the gun.”
Following the final confrontation, Rittenhouse sought out the police to report the incidents. However, instead of receiving immediate aid as the police station was closed, he faced further obstacles and mistreatment.
The media has been inundated with stories of self-defense cases similar to Rittenhouse’s, illustrating the urgency to address these situations’ complexities. Rittenhouse highlights the issue of Daniel Perry, who, like himself, was forced to defend his life but, unlike Kyle, Perry found himself convicted. Rittenhouse calls for support in rectifying these injustices, urging the public to take action and advocate for fairness.
In these uncertain times, Rittenhouse emphasizes protecting the right to self-defense. He argues that politicians should focus on addressing rising crime rates, mental health concerns, and enforcing existing gun control laws rather than advocating for stricter regulations. Rittenhouse firmly believes in the sanctity of self-defense, acknowledging that it saved his life and countless others.
Kyle Rittenhouse concluded, reflecting on the unimaginable fear and panic he experienced that night. The path forward, he asserts, lies in open dialogue and a commitment to safeguarding the rights that enable individuals to protect themselves from harm. He hopes that by sharing his story, the importance of self-defense and the need for empathy and understanding in these complex situations will resonate with others.
Indivisible with John Stubbins host, John Stubbins, introduces Kyle Rittenhouse.
He was acquitted and found innocent in a court of law.
Second, he is a very polite young man.
The first time we met, he shook my hand and simple said, “Good afternoon, Sir.”