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April 3, 2012

Lowering the Boom on the Martin Family

Here at "Things Pro-Gun Activists Say," we have spent a lot of time recently compiling disturbing comments that pro-gunners have made about Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17 year-old who was shot to death by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on the evening of February 26, 2012. Martin's crime? He went to the local convenience store to get a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. Zimmerman, who looked none the worse for wear after his "altercation" with Martin, has still not been arrested.

Recently, a new group emerged to raise money for George Zimmerman's legal team. Called "Legal Boom," this not-for-profit organization was founded by Christopher Kossmann and three other concealed handgun permit holders in the state of Florida. At its website, the group writes, "For all those wondering. Why? Because we want justice just as bad as you. But justice is a fair trial. Not bounties or death threats."

But a little more digging reveals the rationale for Legal Boom goes far beyond that. On its website, the group expresses an absolutist vision of gun ownership, stating, "The right to defend yourself and the people around you as a fundamental principle has no beginning and no end regardless of where you live." Kossmann almost made it clear to CNN that the group strongly supports the National Rifle Association's "Stand Your Ground" law, which is at the center of the Zimmerman case. The law removes an individual's duty to retreat from a confrontation if he can safely do so and allows him to meet force (i.e., a punch) with lethal force (gunfire). Speaking about the law, Kossmann told CNN, "The 'Stand Your Ground' law is there to defend people and their right to defend themselves and so this law really doesn't need to be changed because of one isolated incident. It's a good law ... The 'Stand Your Ground' law has been used for hundreds [of] justifiable homicides in the state of Florida and it should be continued to be used."

Asked by CNN anchor Carol Costello if it bothered him that Zimmerman might have killed Martin without engaging in a legitimate act of self-defense, Kossmann said, "It doesn't bother really bother me and the reason it doesn't it because we don't know." Kossmann then made the stunning admission that the "Stand Your Ground" law allows an aggressor to kill, stating, "There's a specific part under the justifiable use of force, under the use of force by an aggressor, that would allow somebody, even if they provoked the fight, to use deadly force against somebody provided they used every reasonable means to escape the danger and were still being assaulted and were in fear of imminent death or great bodily harm." Legal Boom expands on this on their website, writing, "If Martin assaulted Zimmerman after any pursuit was made Zimmerman could still use deadly force to end any assault that made him 'Reasonably believe that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.' Right wrong or indifferent this is the law and its intent was to protect everyone legally so that just because you’re a hot head you wouldn’t have to die for it in fear of what would legally happen to you if you defended yourself."

One of the group's founders even posted a blog at their website describing an incident in which he leveled his loaded handgun at a man's chest and nearly killed him. Why? Because he got into a verbal confrontation with a group of people on his block who felt he was speeding through the neighborhood. "I can say to you with the utmost confidence that this man was a hair pin away from being killed," the writer says, but then confesses, "the situation could have been easily avoided in the first place by not initiating a verbal exchange with the group."

Finally, despite Kossmann's assertion to CNN that Legal Boom does not condone personal attacks on Trayvon Martin, the group made a pretty searing attack on Travyon's grieving family on Twitter. Asked by a Twitter user how they would feel if someone raised money for a shooter that had killed their unarmed child, Legal Boom responded, "If someone shot one of our members children we would be just as blinded as others, our judgement would be clouded."

This is actually a common smear in the pro-gun community, this notion that people who care about gun violence (and particularly those who have been victims of it) are overly "emotional" and incapable of thinking about the gun issue rationally.

Overly emotional? Irrational? Ignorant of the facts about gun violence in America? Hmmmm...sounds like there might be more than a bit of projection going on there.

1 comment:

  1. Fanatic about their gunz, these individuals will go to any length to justify gun usage, even in cases like this one where the victim, a child, was unarmed.

    Here's a recent case where a young man was almost shot to death by a concealed carry holder in Florida because he was walking too fast behind the man, in a hurry to get to where he was going. Paranoid, the gun holder felt threatened and almost pulled the trigger. Had he shot, it would have been his word against a dead man's, just like in the Martin case. Doubtless "Legal Boom" would see no problem with such a shooting: