I last wrote about George Zimmerman on February 2, 2014, in The Trayvon Martin Case, Update 41: Paintings and Plaudits. As regular readers know, in the meantime, several other cases have sucked all of the air out of the social justice/politically correct universe, and apart from the occasional snarky story about the continuing troubles of George Zimmerman, troubles the media is in large part responsible for causing, not much has been heard. This update will bring you up to date.
February 10, 2013: Mark O’Mara After Zimmerman
The JAX Daily Record posted an interesting article about Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O’Mara:
Here’s what most people know about Mark O’Mara: He’s the attorney who got George Zimmerman acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin.
They don’t know how he got the case, how he fought to have evidence turned over and how four minutes of silence were key to the not guilty verdict.
They also don’t know:
He’s the son of Irish Catholic parents, including a father who was a New York City firefighter.
He didn’t last long as a young prosecutor after telling a public defender that his teenage defendant had been coerced by police into confessing to killing her baby.
He built a successful practice by being such a workaholic that he married late in his 40s and never had children.
And he’s so grateful for the support from his wife of nearly 10 years that it will bring him to tears.
I know exactly what O’Mara means. Thinking of the steadiness, kindness and support of Mrs. Manor usually brings me to tears. Like many lawyers, O’Mara’s first job was as an assistant prosecutor, but it didn’t last long:
O’Mara was assigned the case of a 16-year-old girl charged in the death of her baby. Her family didn’t know about the pregnancy and when the baby was born, she hid the infant under the bed and the baby died.
‘The police pretty much talked her into confessing and sort of wanted my stamp of approval,’ O’Mara said.
It wasn’t right, he said, because the police should have contacted the
parents of the girl, who was mentally challenged.
After he told the public defender what happened, it ultimately led to the girl being sentenced as a juvenile instead of for the original second-degree murder charge.
The office felt O’Mara turned on police, he said, and the writing was on the wall that his remaining time there would be short.
‘I’d come in at 8:31 and they’d say I was late,’ O’Mara said.
He left the state attorney’s office and started his practice, which was pretty much evenly split between criminal defense and family law.
O’Mara’s workaholic characteristics and a series of bigger cases helped build his profile in Central Florida, as did serving as a local television news legal expert in the Casey Anthony murder trial.
In some lives, a chance occurrence changes everything:
O’Mara got a call from an attorney asking him about replacing the lawyers representing Zimmerman.
O’Mara believed the attorneys were taking the wrong approach. They were aggressive, antagonistic and starting to blame 17-year-old Martin for his death, O’Mara said. [skip]
He talked to Zimmerman for about an hour as the suspect was on his way to Jacksonville, where he was arrested.
Seeing Zimmerman for the first time was surprising, O’Mara said, recalling the 90-minute visit with his client in jail. ‘I’d only seen what the media had put out there,’ which he described as ‘bulldog’ Zimmerman compared to the photograph of Martin when he was 12 or 13.
‘When I walked into that jail cell and looked at the guy, I actually thought for a split second I was in the wrong room,’ he said.
Zimmerman was 5-foot-8 and weighed about 175 pounds. ‘To me, he almost looked diminutive,’ O’Mara said.
As I’ve repeatedly reported, Angela Corey, the special prosecutor, and her deputies, unethically tried to avoid giving the defense important evidence:
O’Mara complained in court then and voiced his displeasure again last week over what he called “sandbagging” when it came to prosecutors in the Zimmerman case turning over evidence during discovery.
The first battle came over a black-and-white photograph taken of Zimmerman the night of Martin’s death. The photo showed something near Zimmerman’s mouth but it wasn’t clear what it was.
The defense team, which also included attorney Don West, asked prosecutors for a color version. When they didn’t get one, they asked again.
Two and a half to three months later, the defense received what O’Mara called a ‘pastel’ version of the photo — the result of a color photo being copied on a photocopying machine. It still wasn’t clear what was on Zimmerman’s face.
Ultimately, O’Mara said, they had to have a hearing on the issue before getting the digital color version. It was clear at that point there was blood on Zimmerman’s face from injuries sustained when he and Martin fought. ‘It showed the guy was beat to hell,’ he said.
O’Mara said the defense also never got the full Florida Department of Law Enforcement file from prosecutors and had to get permission from the judge to go to FDLE and review the information.
The prosecution also did its best to hide exculpatory evidence from Martin’s cell phone, and evidence about his calling patterns before his death, but Corey’s IT director, Ben Kruidbos, blew the whistle and was fired for his honesty. His lawsuit against Corey is still pending.
O’Mara said he was confident going into trial because he thought the evidence against Zimmerman was weak, and, he said, ‘The state presented less of a cohesive prosecution than I thought they were going to.
The article describes how O’Mara decided to use the four minute gap to demonstrate that Trayvon Martin, rather than simply going home as the prosecution claimed he was desperate to do, chose to wait to ambush Zimmerman. I wrote about that brilliant tactic while covering the trial.
And after the Zimmerman case?
O’Mara and his practice have benefited from the international exposure the case received.
The practice is getting more and better cases, and he’s adding staff.
He’s a CNN analyst, where he’s talked about cases ranging from Michael Dunn to the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman to cyberbullying.
O’Mara’s added trial consulting work to his practice and he and [fellow defense attorney Don] West have started Justice Outreach, which is aimed at improving the justice system.
And he gets plenty of speaking engagement invitations.
He wishes the best for the man whose case brought him the perils and rewards of this fame. He believes Zimmerman was damaged by the way his case was handled by prosecutors and by the media. ‘George became a focus point for a racist event that really wasn’t,’ O’Mara said.
He’s certain Zimmerman will never have a normal life, despite the acquittal.
And he knows there’s still a lot of anger directed toward Zimmerman, and to a lesser degree, to himself.
‘What did I do?’ he said. ‘I represented a guy that was innocent.
Particularly as a police officer, I never had a great deal of respect for defense attorneys. In fact, I didn’t have a great deal of respect for prosecutors, though I got along well with both in general and even had a number of friends among their ranks. However in the Zimmerman case, as I often wrote, Mark O’Mara and Don West upheld the highest ethical standards of their profession and made an inherently corrupt justice system do the same.
O’Mara is correct. It’s highly doubtful Zimmerman will ever have anything approaching a normal life, as the articles that follow suggest.
July 13, 2013: The Social Justice Argument
The social justice version of the case–huge, hulking racist white-Hispanic murderer George Zimmerman ruthlessly hunted down and in cold blood, murdered helpless little Rhodes scholar Trayvon Martin, an innocent, Skittle-eating, tea-drinking, hoodie-wearing child whose only wish in the world was to get home on a rainy night–has become fixed in the public consciousness. It matters not that it is entirely false and completely at odds with the evidence in the case. Truth and evidence don’t matter. Martin was black and Zimmerman was sort of white, so he should have been convicted and sentenced to death. So implied one Jelani Cobb, who happens to be a black man, in The New Yorker.
The not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial came down moments after I left a screening of “Fruitvale Station,” a film about the police-shooting death of Oscar Grant four years ago in Oakland. Much of the audience sat quietly sobbing as the closing credits rolled, moved by the narrative of a young black man, unarmed and senselessly gone. Words were not needed to express a common understanding: to Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, the seventeen-year-old he shot, fit the description; for black America, the circumstances of his death did.
The truth doesn’t matter if the narrative fits, or can be stretched to fit.
The familiarity dulled the sharp edges of the tragedy. The decision the six jurors reached on Saturday evening will inspire anger, frustration, and despair, but little surprise, and this is the most deeply saddening aspect of the entire affair. From the outset— throughout the forty-four days it took for there to be an arrest, and then in the sixteen months it took to for the case to come to trial—there was a nagging suspicion that it would culminate in disappointment. Call this historical profiling.
The most damning element here is not that George Zimmerman was found not guilty: it’s the bitter knowledge that Trayvon Martin was found guilty. During his cross examination of Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, the defense attorney Mark O’Mara asked if she was avoiding the idea that her son had done something to cause his own death. During closing arguments, the defense informed the jury that Martin was armed because he weaponized a sidewalk and used it to bludgeon Zimmerman. During his post-verdict press conference, O’Mara said that, were his client black, he would never have been charged.
There is, of course, nothing unusual about not making an immediate arrest in a murder case. Careful police officers take their time. Cobb neglects to mention that the original prosecutor refused to file charges, and that his decision was vindicated at the eventual trial, and it took 44 days to make an arrest because the Governor and Attorney General appointed a corrupt prosecutor to charge and prosecute Zimmerman regardless of the evidence. The trial took 16 months to get underway because the prosecution unethically deprived the Defense of exculpatory evidence. Sorry Mr. Cobb, Martin was not found guilty, but the evidence made clear he caused his death and Zimmerman acted in lawful self-defense, a fact Sybrina Fulton was trying to avoid.
Martin did use a sidewalk as a weapon, another fact proved by the evidence, and that if their roles were switched, Martin would not have been charged is a certainty.
O’Mara’s statement echoed a criticism that began circulating long before Martin and Zimmerman encountered each other. Thousands of black boys die at the hands of other African Americans each year, but the black community, it holds, is concerned only when those deaths are caused by whites. [skip] The added quotient of outrage in cases like this one stems not from the belief that a white murderer is somehow worse than a black one but from the knowledge that race determines whether fear, history, and public sentiment offer that killer a usable alibi.
Where, Mr. Cobb, is the outrage at thousands of black on black deaths? Has Eric Holder done anything about them? Has President Obama? Jesse Jackson? Al Sharpton? In contemporary America, race doesn’t offer anyone an alibi, only the evidence does. In fact, with a less able defense team, race would have ensured George Zimmerman was convicted regardless of the evidence.
Trayvon Martin’s death is an American tragedy, but it will mainly be understood as an African-American one. That it occurred in a country that elected and reëlected a black President doesn’t diminish the despair this verdict inspires, it intensifies it. The fact that such a thing can happen at a moment of unparalleled political empowerment tells us that events like these are a hard, unchanging element of our landscape.
Correct, if by “our landscape,” Cobb means that one may use deadly force to save their life against an unprovoked attack by someone repeatedly beating one’s head against a concrete sidewalk. A fact of that landscape Cobb apparently doesn’t want to confront is that self-defense is no less available to black people and to those of any other race.
We can understand the verdict to mean validation for the idea that the actions Zimmerman took that night were those of a reasonable man, that the conclusions he drew were sound, and that a black teen-ager can be considered armed any time he is walking down a paved street.
Like so many others, Cobb ignores that not carrying a weapon does not immunize an attacker from injury, death and criminal liability when they ruthless attack an innocent.
There’s fear that the verdict will embolden vigilantes, but that need not be the concern: history has already done that. You don’t have to recall specifics of everything that has transpired in Florida over the past two hundred years to recognize this. The details of Rosewood, the black town terrorized and burned to the ground in 1923, and of Groveland and the black men falsely accused of rape and murdered there in 1949, can remain obscure and retain sway over our present concerns. Names—like Claude Neal, lynched in 1934, and Harry and Harriette Moore, N.A.A.C.P. organizers in Mims County, killed by a firebomb in 1951—can be overlooked. What cannot be forgotten, however, is that there were no consequences for those actions.
Perhaps history does not repeat itself exactly, but it is certainly prone to extended paraphrases. Long before the jury announced its decision, many people had seen what the outcome would be, had known that it would be a strange echo of the words Zimmerman uttered that rainy night in central Florida: they always get away.
Cobb’s examples are at least 62 years old, an artifact of an era long gone and unlamented by Americans that have long embraced the accomplishments of a Civil Rights movement that won its battles. Americans judge everyone on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, and those few that do not are rightly ostracized for their idiocy, an idiocy Cobb tries to prolong.
It is easy to keep alive an emotional social justice narrative, but difficult, time consuming, and demanding of considerable knowledge and patience, to truthfully report on a case like this.
November 11, 2013: The Beginning Of Just Desserts
Spike Lee has been sued by an elderly couple in Florida, whose address he incorrectly identified as the home of Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman, according to court documents obtained by the Smoking Gun.
The suit claims the ‘Do the Right Thing’ director tweeted out the Florida address along with George Zimmerman’s name in March 2012 to his 240,000-plus Twitter followers.
‘While defendant intended to post the home address of George Zimmerman, he actually posted the address of plaintiffs Elaine McClain and David McClain,’ the complaint reads.
‘I don’t give a f— what you think kill that Bitch,’ Lee wrote. ‘HERE GO HIS ADDRESS, LET THE HUNGER GAMES BEGIN.
Lee should lose this case on the basis of bad grammar alone. Perhaps he’ll give a f- when he’s facing a massive judgment.
July 26, 2014: Appealing
In June, 2014, the case filed on Zimmerman’s behalf against NBC was dismissed by Judge Debra Nelson who, considering her blatant bias against Zimmerman, should have never been allowed to be anywhere near the case. As I explained in Update 18 of the Martin series, NBC actually admitted editing audiotape to make Zimmerman appear to be a racist, and fired several of their employees, and eventually, the head of the news division. Mediate.com reports:
Last month a Florida judge dismissed George Zimmerman‘s libel suit against NBC Universal, over that unfairly edited audio of Zimmerman’s 911 call. But Zimmerman has now officially appealed that dismissal, indicating he not done fighting NBC yet. The judge ruled last month that Zimmerman could not prove actual malice against NBC.
The edited audio NBC aired of Zimmerman’s call gave the impression he brought up the fact that Trayvon Martin was black, instead of the 911 operator asking for such details.
Zimmerman officially filed a notice of appeal on Tuesday with the Seminole County Clerk of Courts.
As of this article, there has been no ruling on the appeal, but there is no question of MBC’s malicious behavior and the harm it has done to Zimmerman.
September 09, 2014: This Is What They Teach In Law School?!
Andrew Branca, a friend of this scruffy little blog, writing at Legal Insurrection, wrote about a University of Law School Class that reads like an Onion Parody:
A JD student at the University of Miami School of Law–and a long-time fan of “The Law of Self Defense”–contacted me recently to share a notice he’d received from the school. It seems for the Fall 2014 semester they will be offering a ‘short course’ (good for one credit) with a focus on the Trayvon Martin case, entitled ‘Legal Advocacy, Media and the Pursuit of Social Justice.
The first note of interest is that the course is being ‘taught’ by none other than Jasmine Rand, an attorney with the firm of Crump & Park. Benjamin Crump, of course, was the public legal face of the Martin family, as he is currently the public legal face of the Mike Brown family in the Ferguson shooting. Attorney Rand herself ‘leads the firm’s Civil Rights Department. Her evolving practice focuses on civil rights, wrongful death, civil rape, and catastrophic personal injury.’
Ms. Rand is perhaps most memorable for her appearance on the Greta Van Susteren show on Fox News in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman was, of course, unanimously acquitted by the jury of all charges after mere hours of deliberations. In the course of her four minutes or so of air time Ms. Rand expressed her view that the jury in that trial had not delivered ‘justice.’ When asked if it was not her duty as a lawyer to accept a duly empaneled jury’s verdict, Ms. Rand responded that she has a greater duty than being a lawyer, and that was to be a ‘social engineer.
Well of course! What’s the law for if not to allow one to ignore it to impose whatever personal or political ideas one pleases on the ignorant masses?
Indeed, what little involvement Crump & Park may have had in the months leading up to that prosecution almost certainly made the State’s efforts to achieve a conviction more difficult–e.g., Rachel Jeantel’s ‘cursive’ note and the orchestrated playing of the 911 tape for Martin’s parents contrary to investigator’s wishes.
Quite so, and as Branca notes, a class taught by O’Mara and West explaining trial strategy, ethics, etc. would surely be useful to those learning the law. He also suggests having the prosecutors participate would be valuable, but I would find that true only to the point that they serve as an example of what ethical lawyers do not do.
Alas, that is not what this course is to offer. Its focus will instead be far less substantive: social justice, generally, and a great many specifics never actually relevant to the trial. Among these are:
‘federal civil rights violations’–none were ever found, despite tremendous resources devoted by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
‘Stand Your Ground’–never at any point relevant in either the physical confrontation nor the criminal trial
‘international human rights standards–oofah
Double oofah. And this is what I consistently alleged throughout my coverage of the case:
At it’s heart, of course, the Zimmerman trial was simply a very straightforward and traditional case of an aggressor committing a vicious aggravated assault upon an entirely innocent victim, that victim lawfully defending themselves with a legally carried pistol, and the aggressor dying as a result of that lawful act of self-defense.
So what else would be featured in this class?
There’s not much room for ‘social justice’ there, however, so instead in this course ‘. . . students will engage in non-traditional legal analysis, exploring the literature on the sociological intersection of race and the law, and examine and reflect on complementary forms of advocacy, such as the use of the media as a tool of advocacy . . . ‘ (emphasis added) [skip]
But wait, there’s more: ‘The course will highlight . . . the ability of music to communicate messages that impact legal reform.
I don’t suppose that sort of “music” would have had anything to do with Bach or Mozart? Somehow I suspect “rap” would have been the genre, which isn’t actually music, but is probably best categorized as accompanied poetry. But then, Rand’s class had nothing to do with the law, so why not?
October 01, 2014: Picking At The Never-Healing Racial Scab
The Justice Department is not expected to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, according to three law enforcement officials, despite allegations that the killing was racially motivated.
The federal investigation of Zimmerman was opened two years ago by the department’s civil rights division, but officials said there is insufficient evidence to bring federal charges. The investigation technically remains open, but it is all but certain the department will close it.
It’s about time–or not?
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department said the investigation ‘is active and ongoing.
Mark O’Mara spoke to the DOJ investigation, which consisted of taking some 40 witness statements:
I was watching the whole case pretty closely for two years, and they didn’t do anything except take those 40 statements,’ O’Mara said. The statements ‘suggested that George acted in very non-racist ways. He took a black girl to the prom. His best buddy was a black guy. He mentored two black kids. He sought justice for a black homeless man beaten up by a white cop’s son.’
‘To those who have seen civil rights investigations and civil rights violations,’ he said, ‘it looked as though the Department of Justice was just placating pressure that existed by suggesting there was an ongoing investigation.’
The difficulty in bringing charges in the Martin case highlights the challenges for investigators in federal criminal civil rights cases. Under federal law for hate crimes, prosecutors would have to show not just that Zimmerman followed Martin because of his race but also that he shot the youth intentionally because he was African American.
Horwitz presents this as though it were an example of injustice. It’s rather a shame that we can’t just execute people like Zimmerman without all that annoying “due process” stuff. She’s presenting the very basis and purpose of the applicable law as if it’s somehow racist.
At a news conference last month to announce an investigation into the Ferguson police department, Holder was asked about the lingering civil rights probe into the Martin homicide.
‘That investigation’s ongoing,’ he told reporters. ‘There are active steps that we are still in the process of taking. There are witnesses who we want to speak to as a result of some recent developments.
This is nonsense. O’Mara is correct; this is a charade perpetrated for the political benefit of President Obama and AG Holder. The evidence–rather, the utter lack of evidence–is clear.
102414: Pandering And Keeping The Racial Pot Stirred
A radio ad from a super PAC run by former aides to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is tying the death of Trayvon Martin to GOP Senate candidate Thom Tillis.
The ad, a recording of which was posted online, says ‘Tillis even led the effort to pass the type of stand your ground laws that caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.’
The ad was recorded from a live airing by North Carolina-based blogger Sister Toldjah.
Florida’s stand your ground law had no bearing whatsoever in the Martin case. This would be what we in English education call a “lie.”
October 30, 2014: The Never-Ending DOJ Zimmerman Investigation
The Orlando Sentinel newspaper today reported that the Department of Justice has assembled a Federal Grand jury to meet next week to hear testimony about whether George Zimmerman violated Trayvon Martin’s civil rights on the night that Zimmerman ultimately killed Martin in self-defense. [skip]
There is little indication that any new credible information has appeared. The only witness on record as being scheduled to appear before the Grand Jury is Frank Taaffe. Taaffe styles himself as a ‘friend’ of Zimmerman’s, a claim for which there seems little actual support. Taaffe also seems to be an anxious attention seeker, having somehow extended his 15 minutes of fame in the aftermath of Zimmerman’s trial to the current day. The Orlando Sentinel piece reports that Taafe:
‘believes Zimmerman was motivated by race the night he followed then shot Trayvon in 2012. Taaffe cites a phone conversation he had with Zimmerman in the days following the shooting but before Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.’
That purported phone conversation revealing grounds for a federal civil rights prosecution would have occurred in early 2012. The credibility of Taaffe’s claim is considerably reduced by the fact that for some reason he never thought to mention this call to anybody until two years later, in early 2014. Indeed, Taaffe was among those interviewed by the aforementioned FBI agents in the aftermath of the shooting, and yet never thought to make mention of this incriminating phone conversation with Zimmerman.
In fact, Taffe’s claim is even less believable because he has admitted that the call was received without any caller ID information, and he could not be sure it was actually Zimmerman making it. LI suggested motives for the announcement:
The timing of this announcement must also be seen in light of the upcoming election, which polling suggests will be an utter political catastrophe for Democrats. One reason for this is that the turnout among black voters–who typically vote ~95% for Democrats–is expected to be very low compared to the Presidential elections of 2008 and 2012 when Obama was on the ticket. Might this sudden announcement of a Grand Jury targeting Zimmerman for civil rights violations be an effort to show the black community that Democrats are attempting to do something positive for this traditional Democrat constituency?
Interestingly, with the Grand Jury scheduled for next Wednesday, the day after the election, there will be no opportunity to evaluate the seriousness of this Grand Jury hearing until voting has been completed. Convenient timing, for some.
Convenient indeed, in that as this article is published, the grand jury, if indeed it did meet and/or consider any actual evidence, has had nothing whatever to say about it, and no charges have been filed against Zimmerman. The only real question here is whether the Obama Administration will continue to milk this particular dead cow until Barack Obama leaves office.
January 10, 2015: Wreckage
I’ve often noted that George Zimmerman’s life was destroyed by the false and entirely politically motivated charges lodged against him. Aided by a more than willing media, unethical, barely human prosecutors depicted Zimmerman as a racist brute and turned him into the most hated man in America. He lost the ability to get an education, his job, his wife, and probably, any possibility of future employment or any semblance of a normal life. There are unquestionably many people that would still be delighted to murder him if they had the chance, and this will almost certainly be the case for the rest of Zimmerman’s life.
How many people, facing what he faced, would be able to simply pick up their lives and go on as though nothing happened? That Zimmerman’s life has descended into the plot of a bad novel is hardly surprising, but it remains tragic. Fox News reports:
Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been charged with aggravated assault and domestic violence with a weapon.
MyFox Tampa Bay said the 31-year-old former neighborhood watchman appeared before a judge Saturday morning. The judge set bond at $5,000 and ordered Zimmerman to surrender his firearms and to have no contact with the victim in the case.
He was released around 12:30 p.m. after spending several hours in jail, authorities said.
Zimmerman’s attorney Don West told the Orlando Sentinel that his client was charged after allegedly throwing a bottle of wine at his girlfriend several days ago.
In West, Zimmerman will surely have excellent representation. Notice that of the litany of “brushes with the law” even Fox News reports, most amounted to nothing, and no charges were filed. The only actual charges were all minor traffic violations.
Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law:
— He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after his then-girlfriend said he pointed a gun at her face during an argument, smashed her coffee table and pushed her out of the house they shared. Samantha Scheibe decided not to cooperate with detectives and prosecutors didn’t pursue the case.
— Zimmerman was accused by his estranged wife of smashing an iPad during an argument at the home they had shared. Shellie Zimmerman initially told a dispatcher her husband had a gun, though she later said he was unarmed.
No charges were ever filed because of a lack of evidence. The dispute occurred days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers.
— Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic violations since his acquittal.
The Sentinel reported that at a gun show in September, Zimmerman told the paper he was homeless and jobless and that legal bills had left him deeply in debt.
That Zimmerman is so deeply in debt he’ll never be able to pay his legal bills is a certainty unless his suit against NBC is reinstated–as it should be–and he prevails. I only hope he lives long enough to have a chance at putting some kind of life back together.
The story of George Zimmerman is an object lesson for any that carry a concealed weapon. Zimmerman’s defense of his life was fully in accord with the law. One can argue that he might have done this or that different in a tactical sense, but nothing he did that night was illegal or indicative of bad will. In saving his life with a single round from his legally carried handgun, he destroyed it.
Carrying a concealed handgun imposes, as I’ve often written, great responsibility. One must be more aware than the average person, and must go out of their way to avoid dangerous places, people and situations. Need I say it’s a smart idea to avoid bars like the plague?
Yet Zimmerman did nothing illegal, and his life was reduced to a shambles because he had the bad luck to shoot the wrong criminal at the wrong time and in the wrong state. All of the political factors that could have been against anyone aligned against him, and in that, he was nothing special; it could happen to anyone, or at least anyone who is not black shooting a black criminal. Race was involved, but not as the social justice crowd suggests.
The false narrative of Trayvon Martin will never vanish, and will serve the selfish purposes of race hustlers for as long as there are people willing and able to benefit by it. In the meantime, I will continue to do what I can to present the facts in the hope they will someday truly matter, even outside a courtroom.
One lesson remains: do everything humanly possible to avoid shooting anyone, ever.