Gun Control Advocates Politicizing Trayvon Martin Shooting
There’s nothing worse than exploiting a tragedy for political gain. We saw in January of 2011 when Gabby Giffords was shot by a mentally unstable man. Before the blood was dry, many Democrats and liberals as well as many in the media were quick to blame conservatives, particularly Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck for their “heated rhetoric.” It was the “toxic political environment” that led Jared Loughner to shoot Gabby Giffords.
Except it wasn’t. Not even close.
Still, it didn’t stop the usual suspects from going ahead and making such claims anyway. Who led the charge?
Why none other than the hacks over at Media Matters. Remember, the organization which bills itself as a “watchdog” group that exists to monitor the conservative media. Of course, that is a facade. Media Matters is a political advocacy organization that basically acts as a mouthpiece for the Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee.
Here’s Eric Boehlert, January 10 2011:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords appears be the latest victim of anti-government violence that has taken hold in America since 2009.
Joe Strupp of Media Matters:
One of the victims of the Arizona shooting today criticized the violent rhetoric employed by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Fox News.
Eric Fuller, a 63-year-old Navy veteran who was shot in the knee and received fragments in the back last Saturday, said the rhetoric of Sarah Palin and others can impact “demented” people like suspect Jared Loughner.
And of course, there was the letter Media Matters founder David Brock sent to former NewsCorp CEO Rupert Murdoch:
Beck and Palin are two of Fox’s most recognizable figures. Before this heartbreaking tragedy in Arizona, you were either unwilling or unable to rein in their violent rhetoric. But now, in the wake of the killings, your network must take a stand.
As we soon learned, the tragic shooting had absolutely nothing to do with politics. Loughner is clearly a disturbed individual who had an obsession with Rep. Giffords but again, it was not political.
To this day, not a single person from Media Matters has apologized for smearing conservatives and particularly Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin for leveling the blame at them for that tragedy.
Now a new tragedy as struck and Media Matters is once again, leading the charge, making this case out to be something it is not.
The shooting of Trayvon Martin is an incredibly sad story. The young man was visiting a family friend, watching the NBA All-Star game. At half time he went to a local store and purchased a package of Skittles and a can of iced tea. He never made it back to the house as he was gunned down by George Zimmerman. Starting on the 19th, Media Matters has posted eight items dealing with the shooting and all of them attack the castle doctrine law and attacking the NRA’s support of it. Their implication is clear. Just as they attempted to blame conservatives for Gabby Gifford’s shooting, their goal here is to smear gun rights advocates, particularly the NRA for Trayvon Martin’s murder.
Initially, the police did not arrest Zimmerman because of his claim of self defense. There were after all, no eyewitnesses and the only other person who had a story to tell was Martin, and he was dead. Early reports state the police refused to arrest Zimmerman because they claimed under “stand your ground” his claim of self-defense was valid.
“Stand your ground” is part of Florida’s castle doctrine law was passed in 2005. Up until that point, a person who reasonably believed they were going to be harmed (outside of their own home), under the law, first had to “retreat.” Therefore, if you were taking a walk and somebody approached you with a knife and said, “Give me your wallet or you’re dead”, your responsibility under the law was to first run away. Only after you were chased down could you use deadly force.
The law changed that and it’s a perfectly reasonable law. It states:
This Florida law provides any citizen with the right to use deadly force, who is “not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be.”
In addition, the person who you believe is threatening you, must be in the process of committing another felony in order for that to happen. I’m not an attorney but it doesn’t take much to see that not even Clarence Darrow would bother taking up this defense.
Zimmerman’s own 911 phone call tosses his lame self-defense excuse right out the window. Below is George Zimmerman’s 911 call. There are two areas of the clip that are very important to listen to. The first is at the 2:05 mark where Zimmerman says, “Shit, he’s running.” Notice he doesn’t say Martin is running towards him. In fact, he tells the dispatcher that Martin was running “down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.”
At 2:19, you can hear Zimmerman breathing heavier along with some wind noise hitting his phone which prompts the dispatcher at 2:23 to ask, “Are you following him?” to which Zimmerman replies, “Yeah” to which the dispatcher says, “Ok, we don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman replies, “Ok.”
As soon as Zimmerman said, “He’s running” and clearly indicated Martin was running away from him and decided to pursue, Zimmerman became the aggressor. He was then told by the dispatcher not to follow Martin. Zimmerman did so anyway and then told police after the shooting that he was walking to his car when he was confronted by Martin. The 911 call proves this was nonsense.
There is other evidence as well, including voice analysis that will be done to determine who it was that was shouting “Help” in the background of another 911 call. Zimmerman claims he was the one screaming for help, but what I heard does not sound like the voice of a 28 year old man.
By focusing on “stand your ground”, the real issue over this incident is being missed and that is what appears to be at the very least, shoddy police work in this case or at worst, outright negligence on the part of the Sanford Police Department. Even Al Sharpton, who is a strong advocate for gun control said on MSNBC the other morning, “This case has nothing to do with stand your ground.”
In addition, there is the possibility that Zimmerman’s actions may have been provoked by race. If you listen to the call, it sounds to me at the 2:21-2:22 mark, Zimmerman says, “Fucking coons.” News reports have said Zimmerman has called 911, 46 times since January 2011. I’m 41 years old and made one 911 call and that was to report a car accident. Zimmerman appears to be the “wanna-be cop” who thinks he’s much tougher than he is simply because he’s carrying a gun.
Trayvon Martin’s death is a horrible thing to have happen. No parent should have to bury their child. I hope that justice prevails in this case and that Martin’s family can find some kind of comfort in that.
However, this is not a time to start whining about a gun law you don’t agree with and attempting to exploit the shooting of a 17 year old young man for political purposes.