Kyle Rittenhouse, acquitted of killing two people, continues feuding with a Texas lawmaker who wants to raise the age to buy AR-15 rifles.

Drama Ignites on Twitter

Rittenhouse targeted Rep. Justin Holland on Twitter, attacking his perfect NRA rating and stance on restricting AR-15 access. This is despite Holland claiming not to know Rittenhouse and blocking him on the social media platform. Rittenhouse seized upon recent comments by Holland supporting limiting teenage access to semi-automatic rifles to spark renewed criticism.

Source: Flickr

Holland wants to raise the age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Texas after Rittenhouse himself used an AR-15 illegally at age 17 to shoot three people, killing two. As a gun rights activist since his acquittal, Rittenhouse strongly disagrees with putting any limits on access to such weapons for those aged 18 and over who can serve in the military.

Who is Kyle Rittenhouse?

When asked about Rittenhouse on a podcast, Holland simply replied “Who is Kyle Rittenhouse?” feigning complete ignorance of the very controversial public figure.

Source: Instagram

Rittenhouse implied Holland was “scared” to publicly oppose him and “playing dumb” to avoid the issue by posting a screenshot showing he was blocked by the lawmaker on Twitter. This exchange further elevated tensions between the two on opposing sides of the gun rights debate.

Explaining the AR-15 Proposal

In a recent campaign video, Holland explains he isn’t anti-gun rights but believes there should be an open conversation in Texas about whether the legal age to purchase rapid-fire assault rifles like the AR-15 should be raised to 21.

Source: Flickr/Ed Schipul

Holland argues that if handguns and cigarettes already have age limits in place, then perhaps lawmakers and the public can reasonably discuss limiting 18-year-olds from buying semi-automatic rifles often used in horrific mass shootings. For Holland, this is common sense.

Fatally Shot Two at 17

When he was only 17 himself, Rittenhouse traveled across state lines armed with an illegal AR-15-style rifle to civil rights protests in Wisconsin. Ultimately he fatally shot two unarmed protesters and injured a third during violent clashes with demonstrators.

Source: Flickr/DonkeyHotey

Rittenhouse argued self-defense at trial and was acquitted of homicide and other charges in 2021. He immediately became a right-wing hero and vocal gun advocate, appearing at rallies nationwide despite having illegally used a rapid-fire rifle to take two lives when he was still a minor.

What Started It?

Earlier this month, Rittenhouse attacked Holland’s past perfect rating from the NRA gun lobby along with his current bid as a Texas state representative to raise the minimum age for legally purchasing AR-15 rifles to 21 instead of 18. For this, Holland blocked the confrontational Rittenhouse on Twitter.

Source: Flickr/Rod Waddington

But when Holland claimed under questioning not to even know who Rittenhouse was, he forcefully rebutted such willful ignorance – reigniting tensions between the two men occupying opposing sides of the heated gun rights debate in America.

Lawmaker Stands Firm

Despite the repeated barrage of attacks from Rittenhouse online, Holland maintains his position that there should at least be room for further discussion around passing sensible laws keeping lethal AR-15 rifles out of the hands of impulsive, troubled 18-year-olds.

Source: Flickr/VCU Capital News Service

With tragic school shootings targeting children on the rise annually, the Texas state representative argues that increased public safety and protecting kids should reasonably come before upholding the technical right of teenagers to purchase military-grade assault weapons.

Poster Boy for Gun Rights

Immediately after his high-profile trial ended in acquittal, Rittenhouse was lifted as a “poster boy” for extreme right-wing gun rights advocacy groups nationwide. He now loudly and firmly opposes essentially any new legal limits or age restrictions on owning or purchasing the AR-15 rifles he unlawfully wielded to kill two people when he was 17.

Source: Flickr/Fibonacci Blue

Rittenhouse also attacks proposed reforms by arguing that if 18-year-olds can enlist and serve in the U.S. military, they should therefore legally be allowed to purchase and own any firearm they want as civilian adults. He vilifies anyone against this notion as being an “enemy” of fundamental gun rights.

Sparring Politically

These two continue to spar publicly – Holland argues reasonable limits and further policy conversations are needed around deadly AR-15 assault rifles while Rittenhouse attacks any such proposed restrictions as unconstitutional infringements on gun rights.

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With Holland having preemptively blocked the confrontational Rittenhouse on Twitter, he uses his rapidly growing platform to repeatedly call out and criticize the Texas lawmaker’s record whenever Holland claims ignorance or refuses to engage. This endless loop fans the flames of public feud.

Nation Watches Drama Unfold

As heated nationwide debates continue unabated regarding balancing fundamental gun rights with improving public safety, this spat between a state lawmaker and a viral activist encapsulates the vast divide.

Source: Flickr/Steven Miller

If Holland succeeds in getting his age limit bid on AR-15 sales passed into Texas state law, many ask: where and when does such restriction end? But conversely, if no legal action is ever taken, will high-profile mass shootings subsequently continue unabated? These two men stand on extreme opposites of the great gun debate as their drama plays out under a large public spotlight.

No End in Sight

Rittenhouse has already vowed to continue his vocal social media attacks portraying Representative Holland as being staunchly anti-gun rights every single time he proposes any sort of further reform legislation around access to AR-15 rifles in the wake of horrific shootings. Meanwhile, the Texas lawmaker plans to keep Rittenhouse indefinitely blocked online even as he continues promoting change.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

With neither high-profile man willing to budge or even consider seeing the opposing perspective in this tense debate, their bitter feud seems destined to carry on indefinitely in full public view – keeping the political divide over gun control bitterly entrenched for all to observe with no end in sight.