November 19, 2021 

Tom Fazzini, West End Strategy Team, 202-505-1210

Gun Violence Prevention Experts Criticize Rittenhouse Verdict

EFSGV: “Extreme gun culture has rotted out our collective soul.”

WASHINGTON — Today, a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges. As a 17-year-old, Rittenhouse traveled from his home in Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin with an assault rifle and killed two men and wounded another during protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Gun violence prevention experts at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence criticized the verdict.

Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, said: 

“Today our hearts are with the families who have been denied justice. Extreme gun culture has rotted out our collective soul. Only in America can a 17-year old grab an assault weapon, travel across state lines, provoke a fight, kill two people and injure another and pay no consequences. Our fealty to firearms has managed to make sparing human life a sign of weakness. A society that values guns more than people will not survive.”  

Janel Cubbage, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Equity at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, said: 

“Kyle Rittenhouse’s intrusion upon the community of Kenosha exemplifies our country’s shameful acceptance of the expendability of Black lives and the lives of those who stand up for us. As law enforcement arrived on scene, they initially did not approach Rittenhouse — an example of how the race of the person who is holding a gun largely influences the perception of whether the gun is seen as a threatening weapon or simply an adornment. Men have long used guns to murder, intimidate, and stoke fear in an attempt to maintain social control and uphold oppressive structures. Rittenhouse’s acquittal upholds a pervasive legacy that allows the perpetuation of violence against those seeking equity and justice.”


About the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV) develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms. EFSGV uses a public health and equity lens to identify and implement evidence-based policy solutions and programs to reduce gun violence in all its forms and to make gun violence rare and abnormal. EFSGV is the gun violence prevention movement’s premier research intermediary and founder of the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, a group of academics and practitioners who collaborate to develop innovative recommendations for policymakers.