An Ohio gun group is soliciting donations to “provide [Trayvon Martin shooter George] Zimmerman, who has no current source of income, with the funds he needs to replace his firearm, holster, and other gear.” Citing a news report indicating that the U.S. Department of Justice asked police to “keep possession of all the evidence from George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial” — most likely so that they can use that evidence in conducting a federal investigation into the Martin shooting — the Buckeye Firearms Foundation spins a complex conspiracy theory built around the idea that Attorney General Eric Holder will use the Zimmerman investigation to somehow target other gun owners:
This move to prevent Mr. Zimmerman from claiming his property is an unacceptable abuse of power. And the threats of federal charges on civil rights grounds is little more than blatant pandering for political gain.
Moreover, based on statements he and others have made recently, Holder hopes to use this as the first step toward renewing this administration’s attack on gun rights. . . . George Zimmerman has every right to get his property back.
And if Eric Holder chooses to deny Mr. Zimmerman that right, Buckeye Firearms Foundation will remedy the matter by purchasing a NEW FIREARM for him, including a holster, flashlight, and any other gear he wants.
Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed Trayvon Martin while the teen-aged boy was wandering through Zimmerman’s neighborhood carrying an iced tea and a bag of Skittles. Zimmerman was later acquitted after the jury hearing his case was instructed that he “had the right to stand his ground” and use deadly force against Martin if he “reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” One of the six jurors that acquitted Zimmerman confirmed in an interview with CNN that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law played a role in her decision. In her words, “[b]ecause of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.”
Under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, prosecutors had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman was not engaged in such self-defense at the time that he shot Martin — meaning that the jury was required to let him off scot-free even if they were fairly certain that Zimmerman acted unlawfully, so long as they had reasonable lingering doubts regarding whether Zimmerman was actually the aggressor.
And now, an Ohio gun group wants to ensure that Zimmerman is armed once again — just in case he feels like he needs to stand his ground in the future.