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Kyle Rittenhouse — paragon of the far right, who killed two Black Lives Matter protesters with an assault-style rifle in 2020 and was acquitted of charges — is, by all appearances, angling to become a political power player in Texas. The Texas Tribune reports that Rittenhouse, who moved to the state last year, is founding a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring “the Second Amendment is preserved through education and legal assistance.” And he’s not doing it alone: The directors of “The Rittenhouse Foundation” include the president of Texas Gun Rights and the treasurer of a PAC that funds far-right candidates in the state; its legal representative is an attorney for a number of well-funded ultraconservative groups.

These backers are prominent political figures, and their involvement signals that Rittenhouse’s influence in the state is growing — at least for now. Since his move to Texas, Rittenhouse has made headlines for appearing at a secessionist rally and endorsing pro-gun candidates. And his “foray into Texas politics,” the Tribune reports, “comes as Republicans continue efforts to reach out to younger Americans who are increasingly supportive of liberal policies.”

While Rittenhouse tries to ascend in Texas, his legacy hasn’t faded in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the site of the 2020 killings. As The Trace and The Wisconsin Examiner reported last September, Rittenhouse’s acquittal deepened Kenosha residents’ concerns about the city’s treatment of Black people, repression by police, and the role of guns. The shootings started a debate that, years later, still hadn’t ended: “Is this our future,” asked Kenosha County supervisor John Franco. “A dystopian world where every man and woman will have to be armed in order to protect themselves from the potential of deadly violence?”

“All rights come with responsibilities,” he added. “No right is absolute.”

What to Know Today

Gunmakers have produced more firearms for the U.S. market in recent years than ever before. According to recently unearthed ATF figures, 22.5 million guns hit the U.S. market in 2021 — the most ever in a single year. [The Trace

American history is rife with racist, anti-immigrant, misogynistic, and other demeaning, marginalizing laws — and since the Bruen decision, which implemented a “history and tradition” test for Second Amendment cases, they’ve gained renewed relevance in the legal system. It begs an important question: What should the courts do with these long-dead laws? [Stanford Law Review

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier has urged “patience, prayers, and perseverance” as teams search for the remains of people killed in the country’s deadliest wildfire in over a century. It’s a message he’s used before: Pelletier was a Las Vegas police captain in 2017, when a shooter carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. [The San Diego Union-Tribune

Michigan Democrats are pursuing legislation to tighten restrictions on accused and convicted domestic abusers’ access to guns. Lawmakers plan to introduce two bills next month that would ban people convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, or who are subject to a personal protection order, from buying or possessing firearms for eight years. [Bridge Michigan

Emergency room doctors are well-equipped to treat situations that require immediate attention, like gunshot wounds and heart attacks. But they’re not set up to handle mental health crises. As young people overwhelm ERs with psychiatric concerns, influential medical groups are pleading for local communities to provide pediatric mental health services before urgent care is needed. [NBC

Shoot Basketballs Not People, a violence intervention group in Philadelphia, hopes to “use basketball as a vehicle” to help young people heal from trauma that often stems from the city’s gun violence crisis. A new documentary features the organization’s work, and shares the stories of people who have lost loved ones to firearm-related violence — and, in the process, highlights Philly’s vibrancy, resiliency, and strong sense of community. [YES! Magazine

California’s youth gun homicide rate dropped 50 percent between 2006 and 2022, despite increases during the pandemic, according to the first report from the state’s new Office of Gun Violence Prevention. During the same period, that rate rose by 48 percent in Texas and by 23 percent in Florida. [CalMatters/California Department of Justice]

Data Point

Half a million — the approximate number of children with mental or behavioral issues who are evaluated in emergency departments each year. That number increased over the past decade. [NBC]