George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, was the featured guest at a central Florida gun show this weekend, where he autographed photographs for customers. Organizers of the New Orlando Gun Show almost canceled the event because of backlash, but instead agreed to relocate Zimmerman’s signing to a smaller venue.
Zimmerman wanted to return a favor to The Arms Room, an Orlando gun store that supported him after he killed Martin. “The concept of being able to pay them back for what they did for me and seeing my supporters face to face was something I just couldn’t pass up,” Zimmerman told Fox 35. On Twitter, he described the controversy as “another company bowing to threats of being labeled racist.”
The only thing Zimmerman is famous for is killing an unarmed black teenager. And he is, in many ways, the poster child for Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. “I walk around armed; I walk around with a bullet proof vest; it’s not so much for my safety as it is so much for those around me,” he said. “I can be around my family and something might happen to them. There’s children around me, etc. Those threats… I have to be able to defend myself like any American.”
Since the trial, Zimmerman has remained in the headlines for two dropped charges of domestic violence and even agreeing to a later-canceled charity celebrity boxing match — on what would have been Martin’s birthday.