• Press Release

March For Our Lives Statement on Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict: “Young People Are Enraged”

New York, NY — Two people are dead, one injured. And yet, Kyle Rittenhouse will walk away without any consequences. This trial lays bare everything we’ve been talking about for years. It is so very clear that Kyle Rittenhouse embodies the very danger posed by a toxic mix of a white supremacist culture that values property over human life, and wide proliferation of high-powered guns with fewer limits than a drivers license. This deadly culture ensnared Kyle Rittenhouse and his three victims. One thing is clear: Young people are enraged watching this trial, and we refuse to accept this as our normal.

Why did he even have an AR-15 in the first place? “I thought it looked cool,” he testified. This tells us everything we need to know. This crime didn’t come out of nowhere. Dangerous vigilantes like him are encouraged when our leaders stoke white supremacy, and when it’s easier to get a gun than it is to get a driver’s license. There’s no world where a minor should be able to carry a high-powered firearm, period. And yet even on that charge the judge let him loose. Our jaws are dropped. Kyle Rittenhouse has been offered kiddy gloves, despite killing two people and injuring one.

Let’s be clear: firearms bring violence, they don’t ever stop it. This case proves it once again. We shouldn’t forget the very reason Kyle Rittenhouse was in Kenosha that day—because a young Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by the police over a traffic stop. People showed up to demand justice for Jacob Blake, and to express anger at what could have easily turned into yet another tragic death at the hands of the police. Kyle Rittenhouse came to exploit tragedy. He embodies the very danger posed by an armed white supremacist culture. Once again, from start to finish, adults have failed us. We can no longer afford this failure.