The USA Today editorial board is incoherent and/or has a reading comprehension problem and/or is lying. And they tell the lie that they believe an inanimate object can be guilty:
He said the weapon was a key reason he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum during the mayhem. “If I would have let Mr. Rosenbaum take my firearm from me, he would have used it and killed me with it,” Rittenhouse testified during the trial.
Demonstrators saw the shooting and chased after Rittenhouse in an apparent effort to disarm him. One of them was Anthony Huber armed only with a skateboard. Huber grabbed the barrel of the AR-15, and Rittenhouse shot him to death.
“The irony of the case is that Mr. Rittenhouse has become a cause célèbre among gun-rights advocates, even though, according to his own defense, it was his carrying of the rifle that put him in danger in the first place,” the Economist noted.
Rittenhouse said no such thing. And they quoted the testimony which refutes their claim! The key reason for all legal use of lethal force is the reasonable fear of imminent severe injury or death. Rittenhouse articulated this well, repeatedly, and the video supports his claims. Without the rifle Rosenbaum would still have been outraged at his dumpster fire, being pushed into a gas station, being put out with the fire extinguisher. And that outrage led to Rittenhouse being chased by Rosenbaum and others. And when they cornered him without the rifle they almost certainly would have caused him severe injury or death. Hence, the rifle cannot be the “key reason” justifying the use of deadly force.
They are also liars:
Such weapons were expressly designed for the battlefield, and that may be a good part of their appeal.
Wrong. Such weapons are expressly designed to be easy to shoot, maintain, carry, economical, and accurate. They are the most common rifle sold in the United States and no AR-15 style rifle has ever been issued to a military for battlefield use (the AR-15 is semi-auto, militaries all use select fire rifles).
The primacy of assault-style rifles in American society is not a Second Amendment issue. When the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia authored a Supreme Court ruling in 2008 underscoring the Second Amendment’s right to possess firearms, he said the freedom is “not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever.”
This must be a deliberate lie. Here is the complete quote from the 2008 Heller decision (emphasis added):
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.26
We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.”
I cannot imagine having read to middle of page 54 to pluck the “not unlimited” quote they did not read to the top of page 55 and see the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.”
Being the most popular rifle style sold in the United States the AR-15 qualifies as “in common use”. Hence, the AR-15 is protected by the Second Amendment.