What Happened To Our Critical Thinking?

Thomas F Campenni
3 min readNov 24, 2021

Americans have lost the ability to think critically.

To many of us the talking heads have made it easy to just pick up the sound bite without us doing any independent reasoning. This became more apparent to me with the Rittenhouse trial. What did it say to us as a nation and as parents?

When the two deaths and one wounding occurred, Kyle Rittenhouse, the shooter, was 17 years old. He said when he testified at his trial that he owned an M&P 15 assault type rifle because it was cool. A seventeen-year old’s judgement led to a fateful decision to become involved in vigilante justice in a town and state in which he did not live.

The jury heard the evidence and applied it fairly. In this case, it was not the judge (who clearly is a bit odd), the attorneys, or the jury who did not do their duty. The fault lies with legislators who in the past decade in several states thought it would be great to curry to their base by enacting statutes that were dangerously inappropriate. The law the jury applied should never had been written.

The “stand your ground” doctrine was not meant to be applied in this manner. If someone brings a gun to a riot and is then confronted because he has a gun, being in fear of his life should not be justification to claim self-defense. Rittenhouse placed himself in the situation, and then because of the way the law is written is not responsible in any way for the deaths and mayhem that occurred because of his actions.

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Thomas F Campenni

Currently lives in Stuart Florida and former City Commissioner. His career has been as a commercial real estate owner, broker and manager in New York City.