The shooting death of Treyvon Martin by George Zimmerman has been exhaustively covered (often times without all the facts) by both the mainstream media as well as independent bloggers, so why would I want to weigh in on the subject when I could be reviewing firearms? Simply put, this case could ignite something much larger than a Zimmerman vs. Martin related trial.
Zimmerman’s innocence or guilt will be determined in court and will likely receive more media attention than anything else going on at the time. The side stories, which will be as sensationalized as everything else the media covers, will no doubt focus on racial issues and firearm laws.
The racial issues concerning this case have been debunked and NBC has already fired a staff member over the editing of 911 recordings that paint Zimmerman as a racist. This will result in an increased focus on firearms and the laws surrounding their use as the main culprit in Martin’s death. Bill Cosby as well as Bill Maher are two such high profile individuals who have already started advocating this theory.
During an interview on CNN, Cosby asked what Zimmerman was doing with a gun and who had taught him how to handle one. It’s already been covered by the press that Zimmerman was fully within his rights to be carrying the firearm he was and in the manner in which he was carrying it. Mr. Cosby fails to mention or recognize that the community Zimmerman was the community watch member for had over 400 calls to the police department in the last year including at least one prior shooting, which to me at least shows why Zimmerman might opt to carry a gun as a means of self-defense.
Maher made the statement on Dr. Drew’s HLN show that the Stand Your Ground law is “basically anyone who scares you, you can shoot law.” Such an assertion is absurd, to say the least, and destroys any professional credibility he might have once had at some point or another.
The comments of both of these gentlemen clearly underline the root issue relating to the broader discussion of firearms and the laws related to them. Specifically, they negatively sensationalize the issue by misrepresenting it due to a lack of specific knowledge or outright lies.
In time, we will find out if Martin was the victim of an overzealous neighborhood watch captain, or if Zimmerman was an assault victim who legally defended himself while protecting his community. We will also see if there comes to be another victim with this case; the law abiding citizens who defend their lives or the lives of others while outside of their home.