Rittenhouse killed two people and bragged about it. Colleges shouldn't host him to speak.


I am a proud graduate of Western Kentucky University.

I earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees from WKU and continue to support WKU students who need internships relating to my career.

I have attended many events at WKU over the years, both as a student and resident of Bowling Green. I have also participated in events on campus, such as the March for Our Lives event in 2018.

And I have never been one to criticize an event or speaker that WKU has hosted, until I learned that Kyle Rittenhouse would be bringing his “Rittenhouse Recap” to campus.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in freedom of speech. I do not, however, condone a person bragging about killing people, even if it is in “self-defense,” and WKU should not have allowed such an event to take place on our campus.

University of Memphis students chant as they gathered on campus to protest the appearance of Kyle Rittenhouse speaking on “the lies of Black Lives Matter” and the second amendment at the Memphis chapter Turning Point USA’s event at the campus on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 in Memphis, Tenn.University of Memphis students chant as they gathered on campus to protest the appearance of Kyle Rittenhouse speaking on “the lies of Black Lives Matter” and the second amendment at the Memphis chapter Turning Point USA’s event at the campus on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 in Memphis, Tenn.

University of Memphis students chant as they gathered on campus to protest the appearance of Kyle Rittenhouse speaking on “the lies of Black Lives Matter” and the second amendment at the Memphis chapter Turning Point USA’s event at the campus on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 in Memphis, Tenn.

Campus administrators have made statements that they could not prevent the event from taking place at WKU, and that just because the event is happening on campus does not mean that they support the ideals and views of the speaker.

I question this decision and statement.

How will Trump pay New York bond? Trump is for sale. All it costs is $454 million.

Events must be approved to occur in campus buildings, meaning that events can be denied. This event should have been denied.

Rittenhouse has no place on college campuses

Kyle Rittenhouse speaks to a group of about 40 attendees on July 19, 2023, at Pottawattomie Park in Grand Haven Township, Mich.Kyle Rittenhouse speaks to a group of about 40 attendees on July 19, 2023, at Pottawattomie Park in Grand Haven Township, Mich.

Kyle Rittenhouse speaks to a group of about 40 attendees on July 19, 2023, at Pottawattomie Park in Grand Haven Township, Mich.

I can only imagine how some students and faculty/staff members must feel knowing that Kyle Rittenhouse will be in town, let alone on the WKU campus. Some will surely disagree and say that this young man has the right to talk about what he did in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020. They might use terms like “self-defense” and “constitutional rights,” yet fail to see the bigger picture: People died because Rittenhouse shot them.

The men who died were protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was paralyzed after being shot in the back by police officers several times. The protesters lost their lives.

Rittenhouse was acquitted of the charges brought against him for these deaths – something that many people across this country disagreed with. Now, groups like Turning Point USA are using Rittenhouse like a spokesmodel, and it seems to me that they are glorifying the act of killing someone, so long as it is under the pretense of “self-defense.”

When Kyle Rittenhouse travelled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, he was only 17 years old and armed with an AR-15 style rifle.

Per the report from NBC News, someone else “purchased the rifle for Rittenhouse at a hardware store in Rusk County in May of that year. At 17, Rittenhouse was too young to legally purchase the weapon …” and “In August 2020, Rittenhouse used the rifle to kill two people and wound a third during protests in Kenosha.”

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By coming to Kentucky and bragging about the Kenosha killings, we are allowing our residents to think that we approve of Rittenhouse’s behavior and actions. We should never promote violence, especially not gun violence.

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As someone active in the gun violence prevention movement, I can tell you that we have enough gun violence in Kentucky and the country as it is.

My oldest child survived a gunshot wound.

People can, and should, be allowed to defend themselves, but should they use it as a platform and go around bragging about killing someone to the public? No. They should not.

And if they do, they should not be allowed to do so on college campuses.

Haley Rinehart is a Bowling Green resident, WKU grad, mother and gun violence prevention advocate. This column originally appeared in the Louisville Courier Journal.

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This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Rittenhouse killed two people. He shouldn’t be bragging about it





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