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'Buy Firearms and Form Christian Militias': Far Right Reacts to Rittenhouse Verdict

Newsweek logo Newsweek 11/20/2021 Daniel Villarreal
Following the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting case, far-right groups have started reacting. Gab, the so-called free speech social network, reportedly sent out an email encouraging followers to "buy firearms and form Christian militias." In this photo, Rittenhouse speaks with his attorneys before the jury is relieved for the evening during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 18, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. © Sean Krajacic/Getty Following the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting case, far-right groups have started reacting. Gab, the so-called free speech social network, reportedly sent out an email encouraging followers to "buy firearms and form Christian militias." In this photo, Rittenhouse speaks with his attorneys before the jury is relieved for the evening during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 18, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Following the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting case, far-right groups and individuals have started reacting—some celebrating, others calling to take up arms.

For example, on Friday, Gab–the so-called free speech social network that is popular on the far-right–reportedly sent out an email encouraging followers to "buy firearms and form Christian militias," reported Alex Kaplan, a researcher with the watchdog group Media Matters.

A channel for the far-right group, the Proud Boys, on the group chat application Telegram included a commenter writing, "There's still a chance for this country," NPR reported. In another channel, a member wrote, "The left wont stop until their bodied get stacked up like cord wood."

Alex Newhouse, deputy director at the Middlebury Institute's Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism, told Insider, "Rittenhouse's acquittal has already been adopted as a justification for future violence. Many see it as a blank check to use violence at leftist protests, others see it as a spark in a coming civil or race war."

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A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of first-degree intentional homicide and other charges Friday in the deaths of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. Rittenhouse shot and killed the men in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020, during a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Rittenhouse was also found not guilty of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting of Gaige Grosskreutz. Rittenhouse said he shot the men in self-defense.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as developments continue.

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