Gold Medal Update: Outside Opinions on Kyle Rittenhouse nomination

Mikaile Ford (Kai), Staff Writer

Representative Taylor Greene has nominated Kyle Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old who shot and killed 2 people and injured one at a peaceful protest, to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

The recipients of this medal are awarded by the United States Congress as it is considered to be Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions. Those who have been awarded this Congressional Medal are respectable people such as the first president of the United States George Washington, Nelson Mandela, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.and Mother Teresa to name a few. Republican Representative Marjorie Greene believes the teen “protected the community of Kenosha, Wisconsin during a Black Lives Matter riot.” This act of heroism, she believes, deserves to be rewarded because his bravery was not necessary, but still exercised to protect a city he wasn’t even a resident of.

Kyle Rittenhouse flew from his home in Illinois to defend the city of Kenosha Wisconsin during what he recalls was a violent and dangerous protest. He claims he was harassed, attacked, and chased, and that he acted in self-defense. Though there is some controversy on the ruling of Rittenhouse’s trial, he was found not guilty. The likelihood of this bill being passed is fairly low, seeing that two-thirds of the house and Senate must co-sponsor it and seeing that both are currently dominated by the Democratic Party, it seems highly unlikely to go through and actually be considered to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. If it’s even passed in Congress, it would have to go through and be authorized by the President, who is also Democratic, and seeing that the Democrats still resent Rittenhouse’s actions in Kenosha, even though they’re respecting the jury’s decision, it seems like this notion for Rittenhouse to be rewarded for his actions will fall short.

Rittenhouse has been celebrated by many Republicans in Congress for defending the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and has been congratulated by many for using his Second Amendment right to bear arms in order to help defend the city. Many of the Republican Representatives said they’d be happy to have Rittenhouse intern in their congressional office but were worried awarding him the Gold Medal would give him a “big head during the internship”, as  Joe Valdez, spokesman for Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, said when asked about Republican Representative Marjorie Greene’s bill. Representative Marjorie Greene was one of the 21 House Republicans who voted against rewarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Policemen who served during the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. She believed the riot did not count as an “insurrection”, defined as a violent uprising against an authority or government. She later defends her bill to award Kyle Rittenhouse with this same award, by claiming he “deserves to be remembered as a hero who defended his community, protected businesses, and acted lawfully in the face of lawlessness.”

Capitol Officers reported feeling “disheartened” by this new bill that celebrated Kyle Rittenhouse’s heroism, while their bravery in defending the Capitol seemed to be ignored, as they continued to fight to preserve the truth. The Capitol riot, led by pro-Trumpers, resulted in the violent deaths of 5 officers. One officer, and former Air National Guard, was overpowered and beaten to death by rioters. He was struck in the head by a fire extinguisher, sprayed in the face with mace or bear spray, and beaten. He then returned to his office and collapsed. When taken to the hospital he succumbed to his injuries. Another committed suicide after fearing for his life during the Capitol attack. He was struck on the helmet by a metal pole and wasn’t the same after the riot. Living in constant pain, he was ordered back to work and shot himself on the way there. One Metropolitan Policeman was sent to enforce the curfew put in place after the mob, and the other who responded to emergency special operations to secure the Capitol both suicides happened 6 months after the Capitol riot.