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The Outsized Meaning of the Rittenhouse Verdict | The New Yorker 

Rittenhouse did not have formal firearms training, yet Wisconsin’s law allowed him to openly carry a semi-automatic rifle, the type of weapon that is colloquially known as an AR-15. The “AR” stands not for “assault rifle,” as some believe, but rather for ArmaLite Rifle; ArmaLite was the company that manufactured the weapon in the nineteen-fifties, as the Pentagon sought a lightweight alternative to the M14 infantry rifle. As C. J. Chivers explains in “The Gun,” Colt’s firearms division bought the rights to the AR-15 in 1959 and field-tested it in the Vietnam War, promoting its “devastating” ability to penetrate almost anything. Chivers writes that “five to seven soldiers armed with AR-15s produced more firepower and were more dangerous than eleven soldiers provided with M-14s.” When the patent expired, gun manufacturers mass-produced derivatives. Once the federal assault-weapons ban expired, in 2004, they became the most popular rifles in America. Rittenhouse was armed with Smith & Wesson’s version of the AR-15, which Chivers describes as “small, dark, lean, and synthetically futuristic.” Rittenhouse testified that he wanted an “AR” because he thought it “looked cool.”

JR > La société américaine est malade de sa polarisation, de ses armes et de sa violence, voilà ce que signifie ce verdict.

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