George Zimmerman, acquitted from charges in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, claims he has sold the handgun used in the incident for $250,000 in an online auction.
Zimmerman has referred to the handgun on auction as “an American Firearm icon,” though I can’t say I agree. The gun went on sale on Thursday, May 12 with a starting bid of $5,000, though the listing was shortly pulled from the website Gunbroker.com. Good on them for a smart public relations move. Zimmerman’s listing on UnitedGunGroup.com, however, was not removed, allowing him the $250,000 he claims the auction yielded.
Both listings had the exact same thorough description by Zimmerman, explaining why he believed it held historical relevance.
“Many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. It has been featured in several publications and in current university text books. Offers to purchase the firearm have been received; however, the offers were to use the gun in a fashion I did not feel comfortable with,” Zimmerman wrote.
The Smithsonian released a statement denying making any such request for the firearm after this listing went public. In looking at this passage, I can only assume that the buyers Zimmerman refused to sell to were intending to use the Kel-Tec PF-9 handgun for blatantly racist or hate-filled activities. Zimmerman at least has the intelligence to ensure he doesn’t outright endorse a hate group, but the next passage makes it clear that the sale is politically and personally charged.
“The firearm is fully functional as the attempts by the Department of Justice on behalf of B. Hussein Obama to render the firearm inoperable were thwarted by my phenomenal Defense Attorney,” Zimmerman wrote. “On this day, 5/11/2016 exactly one year after the shooting attempt to end my life by BLM sympathizer Matthew Apperson I am proud to announce that a portion of the proceeds will be used to: fight BLM violence against Law Enforcement officers, ensure the demise of Angela Corey’s persecution career and Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric.”
Zimmerman misspelling “prosecution” as “persecution” aside, this passage makes it seem as if he is bragging about himself. Additionally, one has to wonder just how much of a percentage Zimmerman is talking when he says “a portion” will go to his personal vendetta. With Clinton’s campaign contributions well over $250 million, I doubt any portion of his $250,000 will make a dent in her agenda. I also don’t know how he thinks he can end a prosecutor’s career or fight Black Lives Matter just by throwing money at them.
It is common practice for law enforcement to destroy firearms confiscated as evidence in crimes. I have no idea how Zimmerman’s attorney managed to prevent his handgun from meeting the same fate. Zimmerman has also narrowly avoided becoming a felon and losing his ability to own a firearm in separate cases of domestic violence with two girlfriends over two years. Both of the women involved unfortunately dropped the 2013 and 2015 cases. I truly wish that they had been strong enough to push on with it, as they could have prevented this most recent insult to the Martin family.
Zimmerman’s ridiculous luck aside, I still find it funny that someone would be dumb enough to buy this specific gun, which apparently sells for $245 new and for $250,000 used. I also find it absolutely disgusting that Zimmerman is profiting off of a murder. So often the firearm industry is criticized for making vast profits from wars and lives lost. How is this any different?
Zimmerman unfortunately had a right as an American to auction off his firearm, regardless of how horrifying it may be to any person with empathy for the Martin family. However, as Americans we have every right to voice our distaste with such an act, and I applaud Americans nationwide who oppose this man and the racial hate he endorses.
A man who retweets photos of the dead body of his victim, sells prints of Confederate flags at a “Muslim-Free” gun-shop and now auctions the weapon he murdered a young adult with is not a man I respect.