Crime Opinion

Right-wing role models and guns are killing America

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Teenager Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted after killing two people with an assault rifle (Screenshot via YouTube)

America has gone soft on eradicating right-wing extremism, resulting in a nation of gun violence and senseless death, writes Philip Farruggio.

PINK FLOYD'S song Eclipse from the 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon ends with:

“There is no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact, it's all dark.”

So it is with the USA, the republic that is supposed to stand for true democracy, rotted to the core by this flavor of neo-Nazi fascism. How many times do we have to stand by while unarmed men and women, mostly of colour but not always, are gunned down by either police of vigilante ingrained citizens?

What is worse, and what makes this all a vignette reflective of what the average German viewed during the reign of the Hitler cabal, is how so many of my fellow Americans cheer this darkness on.

For me, it all started with the George Zimmerman trial after he shot and killed young Trayvon Martin in 2012. Zimmerman, acting as a neighbourhood watch person and carrying a concealed weapon, followed Martin one night as Martin was walking through the area where his mother lived. Martin was unarmed, unless you count the bag of Skittles candy and can of ice tea he was carrying.

When the kid realised that Zimmerman was following him, after Zimmerman was  told earlier by real cops not to do such a thing, they had a scuffle. Perhaps the kid got the best of chubby, out of shape George and wound up on top of him on the ground. Zimmerman reached around his back and shot the kid dead.

He said he feared for his life when later interviewed. The idiot District Attorney then charged him with first degree murder, a charge anyone, even a layman, realised would never stand and Zimmerman was acquitted. The members of the jury explained later that they were not allowed to convict him of manslaughter, which is what it was, because of the way our law works.

Zimmerman then became a folk hero for millions of fools who believe the “stand your ground” bullshit law on the books in Florida. Things like that helped the then (super right-wing) Congressman Ron DeSantis get elected as Governor down the road.

Now we have the Kyle Rittenhouse debacle. Here we have a 17-year-old kid (at the time) who most likely had the emotional capacity of a 12-year-old, marching into Dodge from another locale (actually another city in another state 20 minutes by car) carrying an AR-15 assault rifle.

This writer doesn't know squat about guns, but upon watching a Sopranos episode recently, I saw what Tony and Bobby did with Bobby's AR-15 in the backyard. Just watching the machine gun go off and how it ripped apart the foliage startled me. And this is what this foolish kid had strapped to him as he and other vigilantes strolled the streets of Kenosha.

It was past curfew, yet the great Kenosha Police allowed them to continue, even giving them water. The kid lied about being hired by property owners to protect their building, yet the jury didn't mind that fact. Yes, to me, as much as I disdain this young man and the right-wing element he travelled with, one could surmise that his kill shots were from self defence.

Alas, the jury did have other lesser charges they could have convicted him on. The most obvious one was reckless endangerment. Just walking through those streets with that powerful weapon, along with other vigilantes, would terrorise any unarmed person he came upon. Thus, the jury could have at least made some compromise to what occurred later that evening. To let this kid go completely free is absurd.

The real quandary is how did this immature young man become indoctrinated with such far right-wing ideas? This writer reflects back when I was 17, the summer before I was to begin college. My mind was on things important to most 17-year-old guys — sports and girls. I worked a part time job that summer and spent my leisure hours playing ball and looking to meet girls.

The friends from my neighbourhood had those same ideas. I wasn't yet into politics, though the Vietnam disgrace was becoming more heated in 1967. (Two years later, I would finally “grow up” and smell the coffee, how bitter a brew it was at the time). We had scores of protests and demonstrations all over the New York area that summer of '67, but many of us at that age just were not tuned into that... yet.

Here we have this 17-year-old feeling it was his “civic duty” to go into a situation like the one in Kenosha, arriving with others older than him, all strapped with machine guns. It is really not brave at all to be strolling through the streets, after the cops already put somewhat of a lid on any street violence (which there was very little of anyway) knowing that you have the big gun and others are unarmed.

Who were his role models? Was it people like Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity to name a few, who hide behind the White supremacist banner from their safety zone, egging on the fools parade? 

The Biden Administration, through the Attorney General, has failed many of us who want to see justice for the 6 January insurrection riot. We have seen the video of Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Mo Brooks, to name but a few, who in my eyes incited the riot, with no charges brought against them.

Now we have a group of men carrying loaded AR-15 killing machines who should be charged by the Federal Government with domestic terrorism. Their very presence, in a locale they did not live in, walking through those streets with those guns, is to me a form of terrorism. The Kenosha cops who celebrated their arrival with gifts of drinking water should be charged with abetting terrorism. How dare they allow such behavior when it is them, our police, who have the duty to provide safety — especially from vigilantes?

Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on It's the Empire, Stupid. He is also frequently posted on Nation of Change and

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