In an ironic twist of fate, George Zimmerman was spotted acting as a watchman for a gun shop even as the civil rights movement is pushing for so-called Trayvon Martin gun control laws to become the major focus of continued efforts by groups like the NAACP. But should gun control laws and gun rights even be considered a racial issue?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, when it comes to Florida's gun control laws, some are now claiming the Stand Your Ground laws allows felons to arms themselves with guns for self defense although technically it's still illegal for felons to possess the same gun in the first place. Ever since the George Zimmerman trial it's been claimed that gun control has become a civil rights issue, and some in the African American community feel betrayed by the U.S. justice system based upon the verdict of not guilty. The fight in the courts and in the legislature led the NAACP to create a list of so-called Trayvon Martin gun control laws.
At first it was being reported that George Zimmerman might actually have a security job for the store called Pompano Pat's, which sells motorcycles, guns, and ammunition. Thieves had stolen rifles and mini bikes from the store earlier this month, and police officers realized Zimmerman's truck was parked behind the business. When police questioned Zimmerman, they were told he was on the property with his dog "in order to keep an eye out."
Pat Johnson, the owner of the store, also confirmed Zimmerman was not an employee but was on watch as a friend:
"George is a personal friend. My store was robbed recently and George was just keeping an eye on things as a friend."It's not known whether George Zimmerman was armed while guarding the store. To some, it's been considered outrageous that Zimmerman is legally allowed to carry a weapon after shooting Trayvon Martin.
Writing for the Washington Post, Charles E. Cobb Jr. makes the point that the incident should not be made a racial issue considering the history of the civil rights movement:
"Suppose Trayvon Martin had pulled out a gun and shot George Zimmerman? Or perhaps, stabbed and killed him, since at 17 years old he was too young to legally possess a concealed firearm.... I will not elaborate on the Martin killing here, but his death is a handy starting point for any discussion about gun rights. Bluntly speaking, the manner in which stand your ground was used and defended in this case seems fueled by prejudice.... [T]he debate over guns has been driven by fear and race in a manner that both obscures and removes the very old tradition of black people standing their ground.... Even Martin Luther King Jr., whose Montgomery, Ala., parsonage one observer described as 'an arsenal' during the 1955-56 bus boycott in that city recognized the legitimacy of armed self-defense. As he wrote in 1967, 'The right to defend one's home and one's person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law.'"But on the other side of the debate, we have the NAACP saying the civil rights movement should focus on these goals:
- Ending racial profiling;
- Repealing stand your ground type laws;
- Creating law enforcement accountability through effective police oversight;
- Improving training and best practices for community watch groups; and
- Mandating law enforcement data collection on homicide cases involving people of color.