George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch member who shot and killed and was then acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin, is auctioning off the gun he says was used in the shooting of the teen. Having recently gotten the gun back from the Department of Justice, George Zimmerman decided he wanted to put it up for sale rather than keep it as a memento. The man who has had cameras and legal troubles follow him since the killing, told a local news station he felt it was time to move on, and selling the gun would allow Zimmerman to do that.
According to Fox 51 in Orlando, George Zimmerman has set the opening price for the 9mm handgun at $5,000, but he is certainly hoping this “American Firearm Icon” can garner a bit more than that from some collector. The auction for the gun is scheduled to kick off on 11 a.m. Thursday morning. George Zimmerman has managed to make quite a bit of cash using online auctions before. Shortly after he was acquitted, he sold one of his paintings on eBay for more than $100,000.
Zimmerman also isn’t shy about attempting to stir up a certain kind of buyer when he’s selling his possessions online. When he listed his painting, he said a portion of the proceeds would go towards helping with the fight against “BLM [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers.” In what is especially interesting these days, George Zimmerman added the proceeds from that sale would go to help fight against Hillary Clinton’s anti-gun rhetoric. This time, Zimmerman described the incident with Trayvon Martin as part of the description of the item he was listing.
“The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin,” the caption on Gunbroker.com reads.
Buzzfeed points out George Zimmerman was asked whether he thought critics might see him listing a weapon that famously took a life in an auction as wrong. In response to those questions, Zimmerman said he “couldn’t care less.” He added those critics wouldn’t be the ones bidding on it. He also pointed to his freedom as an American who can do whatever he wants with his possessions.
George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin was a turning point in America for several different reasons. The incident between the neighborhood watch member and the 17-year-old kid who was walking through the neighborhood showed the dangers to some and the benefit to others of laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” statute. Some states took measures to make the laws more restrictive after George Zimmerman was acquitted and used that law as a defense. Different states saw George Zimmerman’s acquittal as proof the law worked.
Sadly, the killing of Trayvon Marting by George Zimmerman was also the beginning of what some have said is a swath of killing young black men. Some of the killings have been done by people like George Zimmerman, who claimed they were being attacked. Other, more high-profile shootings have been carried out by police. Some of these killings, like the one George Zimmerman carried out, have been of men and boys who turned out to be unarmed.
Hearing the news about the gun auction, Martin’s family was contacted to get their reaction. While Trayvon’s father would not directly address the sale, he did issue a statement through the Trayvon Martin Foundation. In part, the statement said the foundation was “laser focused” on furthering the mission to end senseless gun violence. Because of its laser focus, Tracy Martin wrote neither his family nor the Trayvon Martin foundation would make any comment on the actions of George Zimmerman.
[Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images]