The Trayvon Martin case, and more particularly, George Zimmerman’s part in that case, have become a touch stone of the Media and cultural elite continuing narrative. The Zimmerman narrative is of a piece with the narrative they wish to impose on Americans in their never ending striving to fundamentally transform America into their vision of utopia.
A goal of that narrative is always the disarmament of Americans, for only a disarmed populace can be forced to accept that which is anathema to free people. Only with a disarmed populace can what they see as the inevitable march of progressive salvation be accelerated. Because George Zimmerman used a firearm to preserve his life, he is useful to them in the current gun control debate as an example of what the enlightened subject must not be.
This article focuses on that issue. I’ll post a general update article on Thursday, February 14; there have been many interesting developments since my last article in this continuing case.
Of course, for progressives, the debate never ends until their vision of government has a complete monopoly on the use of force and all subjects of that government have no effective means of self defense, and indeed, no right to self-defense, as the execrable Piers Morgan of CNN spouted to George Zimmerman’s brother:
You would accept, would you not, that if your brother had not gone out armed with a gun that day, Trayvon Martin would be celebrating his 18th birthday today. He’d be alive.
He did not accept that assertion. Consider too this from Dan Gross, president of The Brady Campaign, from The Nation.com:
The results of Florida’s relentless pandering to the NRA have been year after year of carnage. Since Florida enacted the NRA’s concealed weapons law more than two decades ago, Florida has led the nation in violent crime—consistently ranking in the top five every year for states with the worst violent crime rates in America. The shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is a heartbreaking tragedy. But it is not a surprise that it happened in Florida. This is what happens in the NRA’s armed utopia. George Zimmerman is the embodiment of the gun lobby and its dark vision for America.
George Zimmerman is the NRA.
Even before Mr. Obama’s reelection, Vice President Biden was beating the anti-gun war drums by invoking George Zimmerman’s use of a firearm in self-defense:
Democrats want to make gun control an issue in the upcoming November elections. With Obama telling gun control proponents last year to be patient, that ‘ it was probably always destined to be an issue. But the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida has opened up an opportunity for Democrats to more openly embrace it.
When asked about Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law on Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden warned: ‘As a consequence of the [gun control] laws, [people] unintendedly put themselves in harm’s way.’ Biden praised Florida’s governor for setting up a commission to review the state’s ‘Stand your ground’ law and reminded everyone that Obama had already called for everything, including gun laws, to be re-examined.
At the Christian Science Monitor, Jonathan Zimmerman inveighed not only against self-defense, but invoked race as well:
“But if you look at the social-media protests about the event, almost none of them target Florida’s gun law itself. Signed by nearly 1.5 million people, the most popular online petition simply calls for charges to be filed against George Zimmerman.
Ditto for the loud public demonstrations unleashed by the furor on the Net. In New York, a ‘Million Hoodie March’ echoed the petition’s demand for Zimmerman’s arrest. And in Florida, a protest urged state officials to withdraw his concealed weapons permit.
Got that? The problem isn’t that Florida lets people carry concealed weapons, or that it allows them to kill on questionable pretexts. Instead, it just let the wrong guy have a gun.
But we need to ask whether any private citizen should be carrying a concealed weapon, and whether ‘Stand Your Ground’ measures make people trigger-happy. And most of all, we need to think about the most common victims of our lax gun laws: African Americans.”
The New York Times has consistently reported and editorialized (but I repeat myself) against guns and self-defense. Their reporters attended the annual NRA convention in 2012, and wrote:
Eager to explain the benefits of carrying a concealed weapon, hikers discussed how they feared bandits more than bears on the trail. Aging men rattled off hypothetical situations requiring self-defense; the details varied, but all involved some version of a younger, more muscular aggressor.
Yet with the gun lobby gathering just days after George Zimmerman was arrested in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager in Florida, there was a new potency to such contingencies as many gun owners wait for more evidence about the killing to emerge.
As always, The Times did its best to depict gun owners as violent rubes, and apparently couldn’t find anyone under the age of 55 to interview. One woman summed up the worries about those concerned about freedom:
Still, Martha Gagliardi, 62, said she worried that any new evidence against Mr. Zimmerman could provide additional arguments to gun control advocates.
A member of the gun lobby for three decades who lives in upstate New York, Ms. Gagliardi said her Second Amendment right to bear arms had become an extremely personal issue, requiring no theorizing about imaginary attackers, ever since she was robbed at gunpoint years ago in the driveway of her home in Queens.
‘That’s when I moved,’ she said. ‘That’s when I got my gun license. I never want to feel that helpless again.
In January of 2012, Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, was interviewed by essence.com. Unsurprisingly, she argued for gun control:
When I hear the NRA’s recent comments on gun control I think they probably won’t understand until it hits their home. Only then will they say something about needing tougher gun control laws. Nobody wants to take the 2nd amendment from anyone, but I think we do need to revise the laws.
An integral part of the Progressive movement is the indoctrination of the young and impressionable. The “Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility TeachableMoment Classroom Lessons website” provides just that sort of indoctrination, clearly taking the position that legitimate self-defense and laws that recognize that doctrine are inherently unreasonable:
In the Trayvon Martin case, the ‘Stand Your Ground Law,’ coupled with George Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense, may prevent him from being convicted of murder.
By all means, read the entire lesson plan, which makes its intent and position unmistakably clear. And the Brady Campaign’s Gross continues to mislead the public, as reported by the Daily Caller:
One month after the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman still has his gun,’ said group president Dan Gross in a press release. The statement then goes on to blame the National Rifle Association for laws that allowed Zimmerman to keep his weapon even after the shooting.
The Daily Caller contacted the Brady Campaign, which eventually sent them a response, but did not, apparently, repeat that response in a widely distributed press release:
UPDATE: The Brady Campaign sent this statement to TheDC Monday evening: ‘It has now been reported that the Sanford Police Department is in possession of the gun that George Zimmerman used to shoot Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, however, still has his concealed carry license and he still has the ability to buy a gun and carry it into public spaces.
The right to self-defense, which is the issue that will ultimately decide this case, is rooted not only in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Bible, but in the DNA of man. As I have often observed on this site, if men do not have the unalienable right to preserve their existence, particulary against the unjust whims of government, what other right matters? If one’s life is forfeit to government without due process of law, if it may be taken without consequence by those young, large, strong and vicious enough to take it, what matters a right to free speech or to be safe against unreasonable search and seizure? It is the preservation of this right, and the most efficient and effective means to implement it when necessary, that should be at the forefront of the minds of free men and women. It should be their foremost concern when the preservation of freedom comes to mind, for it is inextricably bound up with the Second Amendment, which secures every other right of Americans.
It is ironic indeed that the Brady Campaign and others would seize on this case to promote gun control, for the high rates of crimes in our major cities and in some states is largely a black on black phenomenon, as the invaluable Heather McDonald has written, here, here and here (the latter two links making specific reference to the Martin case). It is, however, predictable, as gun control and race are two of the defining issues for Progressives (who for this case invented the new, evil race of “white-hispanic”), which is particularly ironic as the gun control movement in America has its roots in racism, as historian Clayton Cramer convincingly relates in “The Racist Roots of Gun Control.”
But to respond to Dan Gross, what is the “dark vision” for America of the “gun lobby?”
The “gun lobby,” particularly, the NRA, advocates for the Second Amendment, a fundamental American freedom, as recently affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Heller and McDonald decisions. In advocating for this fundamental right, it is at the forefront of preserving not only individual sovereignty, but the very foundations of our representative republic. It is the most powerful lobby in America because it fights for the animating principles of liberty and because it is supported by millions of Americans who still believe in those principles, not because of any “dark vision.”
If the goals of the NRA and the millions of Americans that support it are illegitimate, we are lost because all ultimately seek unalienable liberties given first by God and only recognized and affirmed by man.
Martha Gagliardi need not have worried that this case would ”…provide additional arguments to gun control advocates.” The same arguments never die and are continually recycled. Stand Your Ground laws do not, for a moment, prevent prosecutors from charging those who commit crimes, nor do they encourage the law abiding to commit crimes. They merely acknowledge the right of self-defense, the right of the innocent and law abiding to not only preserve their lives, but the lives of those they love, and to avoid ruinous and illegitimate criminal and civil actions against them for exercising that right.
No person of good will can fail to empathize with the anguish of Sybrina Fulton, and to pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding, for the loss of a child is a horror no parent should have to face. However, in determining public policy, in determining the limitations of government and the expanse of individual liberty, we cannot allow the empathy justly owed any one person for their loss to cause us to lose sight of the principles that underlie the liberties that make all we have possible. We grieve for the loss of one woman and for the grief of her family, but we uphold unalienable rights for all. In that understanding, we recognize that there are indeed well-heeled forces that do want to destroy the Second Amendment, forces sadly including the President and Vice President of the United States, the Department of Justice, and a substantial portion of the Congress.
As a teacher, I find the kind of partisan indoctrination urged by the Morningside Center to be not only unprofessional but despicable. It is one thing to speak, in proper venues such as a social studies class, about issues, fairly and fully covering both sides, while always teaching and appreciating the foundations of our democracy. It is quite another to promulgate such obviously biased propaganda, particularly cloaking it in the concepts of “social justice,” and “equality,” as a means of covering its true and anti-liberty intent.
In the many years I’ve followed the gun control debate (full disclosure: I am an NRA life member, as is Mrs. Manor, and we both hold several NRA instructor’s certifications) I’ve upon occasion thought the NRA intemperate, but I’ve never found it to lie. On the other hand, the Brady Campaign and other anti-liberty groups routinely mislead and outright lie, a good example being the suggestion by Gross that Zimmerman still has his handgun and the NRA is somehow to blame.
It is standard police procedure to take into custody any weapon that figures in any potential crime and to keep it in evidence until all legal proceedings are complete. It is also standard procedure to then return it to its owner, providing no law would prevent such return. There is nothing in this case to have suggested to anyone that Zimmerman’s handgun was returned to him, and any sentient being must know the case is far from over and the handgun is still an essential item of evidence. An organization that purports to be well informed about firearms issues should surely understand what I’ve just explained.
It is also unremarkable that Zimmerman should still have a concealed carry license, and the right to keep and bear arms. He has not been convicted of a crime, and thanks to the efforts of the media and progressives (but I repeat myself), he has greater need of that right than at any time in his life for their false and dangerous rhetoric and rabble-rousing have pasted a target on his back and on the backs of his family.
If, as the known evidence suggests, and as I believe to be inevitable, the rule of law still prevails in Florida, George Zimmerman will be exonerated. His self-defense claim, which even the prosecution’s investigator has admitted they have no evidence to disprove–and the burden of proof is rightfully theirs–will prevail and he will be released. There will be no trial for second degree murder, a charge the prosecution could not sustain even in its charging affidavit, and there will be no civil suit against Zimmerman.
If this comes to pass, George Zimmerman will continue to need his rights under the Second Amendment, and if the kinds of riots and civil unrest predicted by and sparked by his supporters and the media materialize, so will the rest of us.
Why does anyone need semi-automatic handguns and rifles and standard capacity magazines? Those seeking George Zimmerman’s blood provide the answer.