Firearms, Self Defense Expert Weighs In on Impact of Rittenhouse Trial Verdict

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A firearms and self-defense law expert is weighing in on the potential impact of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

Morgan Ballis, with Campus Safety Alliance, is hopeful the jury’s decision does not empower others to carry firearms and act out at future protests. In fact, he says, by arming himself, Kyle Rittenhouse “invited" the wrong kind of attention.

“Avoidance is the key to good self-defense. If he never would have shown up, if he never would have had that rifle, he would never be in the position that he’s in,” Ballis said.

Morgan Ballis is a firearm and self-defense instructor. He says Kyle Rittenhouse put himself in a highly volatile situation, that “forced” him to defend himself.

"He increased the likelihood of victimization by going to that event and he doubled that by carrying a firearm and essentially putting a target on his back. He made himself a target, made himself stand out," he said.

Ballis says the jury’s acquittal was 100% correct from a legal standpoint, under Wisconsin law.

While he says Rittenhouse, without a doubt, put himself in a position that invited trouble, the verdict rested on his legal claim to self-defense.

His attorney was able to convince the jury, it was Rittenhouse who was in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury. Ballis says the prosecution failed to prove he was the one who actually provoked the attack.

Had that happened, Rittenhouse would have lost his right to claim self-defense.

"They failed to convince the jury and provide the evidence necessary to prove Kyle Rittenhouse provoked the attack. So, if we look at those two considerations, the jury 100% got it right in this case," he said.

Ballis says it's not clear how the exact scenario would have played out in California as the state does not have an open carry law.

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