Larry Pratt, the executive director of Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America, offered a rare defense of the man who killed Trayvon Martin, saying George Zimmerman was acting in self defense when he shot the Florida teen. As the facts of the case have emerged, everyone from President Obama to RIck Santorum and Rep. Allen West (R-FL) have condemned the killing.
But appearing on Current TV’s “The Young Turks” with Cenk Uygur Friday, Pratt said Zimmerman and the police acted properly. “Martin passed from becoming a victim to becoming an aggressor” during an alleged altercation, he said. Pratt’s said his view of the facts are based on a single eye witness interviewed by an Orlando news station. “[Martin] should have run away,” Pratt explained, saying Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws are irrelevant, because “we’re talking about fighting off an assailant.”
“Once Martin had neutralized the threat, that’s when he should have taken off to get out of there. He doubled down, and he started to really beat the tar out of the guy,” Pratt said. Martin “gave up his rights,” Pratt added.
Gun Owners of America is a major firearms group several clicks to the right of the NRA, but nonetheless attracts significant support from mainstream conservatives.