Anti-Gun Zealots Exploit Florida Tragedy
BY ALEX NEWMAN
SATURDAY, 24 MARCH 2012
Political opportunists of various persuasions — especially anti-Second Amendment zealots and race “hate” agitators — have rushed to exploit the now-infamous killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida by a Neighborhood Watch captain last month. And President Obama has jumped into the fray, too.
Activists and some officials are now taking aim at Florida’s gun-control regulations, especially the “Stand Your Ground” law allowing potential victims to respond to serious threats with deadly force if necessary. But according to experts, attorneys, and the legislation’s sponsors, the widely supported law should probably not even apply in this case based on the information available thus far.
On February 26, Martin, who is black, was walking through a gated residential complex at night after purchasing a bag of Skittles and some Iced Tea. On the way to his father’s house, he was allegedly confronted by local neighborhood patrol chief George Zimmerman, a Hispanic.
What exactly happened next remains the subject of dispute. But 911 tapes cited in media reports and other available evidence suggest Zimmerman — who was studying criminal justice at a local college — may have pursued the teenager after informing police that a black male covering his head with a hoodie was acting suspiciously.
Zimmerman was told not to intervene by police, who reportedly said they were on the way. He then allegedly used a derogatory term for blacks, according to some interpretations of the police audio tape, and claimed “they always get away.” His attorney and other experts denied that any racially charged statement was made.
Moments later, Martin — who was unarmed — was fatally shot in the chest. Zimmerman, who reportedly suffered some minor injuries during a scuffle, claimed he was acting in self-defense and was not immediately arrested by local law enforcement. But the teenage boy’s family and legions of activists across America say the shooting was a murder and should be prosecuted as such.