Ross: The new definition of social distancing

Nov 16, 2021, 5:55 AM | Updated: 9:15 am
Rittenhouse, distancing...
Kyle Rittenhouse waits near his table during a break in his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)
(Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

The jury now has the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, who went to Kenosha strapped into a friend’s AR-15, and killed two people during last year’s riots. He is claiming self-defense.

And I listened closely to the closing argument of attorney Mark Richards – who is defending Rittenhouse against charges of reckless homicide – because I wanted to know what he thinks the ground rules should be if you happen to see someone carrying an AR-15 and then shooting a person with it.

And rule number one seems to be: Do NOT challenge the person, or yell at him, or harass him, or follow him. Because he may then see YOU as a threat, and shoot you in self-defense, which is what happened to Joseph Rosenbaum:

“My client does not have to take a beating from the hands of this mob or the hands of Mr. Rosenbaum,” Richards said. “Mr. Rosenbaum might be little, but he’s a pretty muscular guy. Some 30-some-year-old guy can take a 17-year-old kid nine times ‘til Tuesday.”

The defense attorney was especially annoyed to hear the prosecutor, Thomas Binger, calling his client an “active shooter” just because Rittenhouse killed Rosenbaum.

“There is no evidence whatsoever that he was an active shooter, other than Mr. Binger calling him that. And there’s no evidence that any of those other individuals who attacked him in the mob that night were attacking an active shooter,” Richards said. “He wasn’t shooting. And if they want to be the heroes, and they want to beat somebody, and do what they’re going to do to them, they’d better be right, and they weren’t. Kyle Rittenhouse shot Mr. Rosenbaum because he was attacking Kyle.”

“They’d better be right.”

Message received! In the world that this lawyer is describing, if you see someone gunned down, the safest thing is to assume it was self-defense. Because if you get all angry thinking that it’s reckless homicide and start chasing the guy, or you try to disarm him, he might feel threatened, and shoot you too in self-defense!

And conceivably, keep going until he finally feels safe, or until the ammo runs out.

In the world described by the defense, we would adopt a new kind of social distancing, where the safest distance between two people is defined by whoever has the gun. And if that’s what it takes to prevent this from happening again, so be it.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Tacoma police, South King County...
MyNorthwest Staff

South King County mayors demand action from state to end rash of violence

Multiple mayors in South King County are banding together to combat a violent trend after seven people were shot in four days. 
21 hours ago
KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: Focusing less on money and more on giving

What if we focused on giving more every day? And what if -- beyond money -- we gave more love, wisdom, and leadership?
21 hours ago
KIRO Radio staff

Mayfield: How scared of the omicron variant should we actually be?

The omicron variant is stranding travelers and rattling markets. It just sounds scary, but what if we're getting ahead of ourselves?
2 days ago
Wuhan, COVID, market...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine’s head of Virology: Live market ‘more likely the start’ of COVID

Scientists have been trying to trace the actual origins of the virus that causes COVID, to find if it came from a market, a lab, or somewhere else.
3 days ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Study determines the ideal time to sleep based on biological clock

Is there a specific time when you should be going to sleep? Mercer Island MD Dr. Gordon Gohen explains the results of a study from the United Kingdom.
4 days ago
downtown seattle...
Dave Ross

Ross: Seattle’s next mayor promises a drier downtown experience

Yes, people want to be safe downtown, but they would also like to be able to go from store to store in November and December without getting soaked.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Ross: The new definition of social distancing