George Zimmerman wants his gun back.
And he’ll get it.
When asked by CNN’s Piers Morgan whether Zimmerman will keep the gun used to kill Trayvon Martin, Robert Zimmerman Jr., said: “I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t.”
As President Barack Obama appeals for calm, and as black Americans across the country continue to protest Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman is asking authorities to return the gun he used to shoot Martin so he can defend himself if necessary.
So is Zimmerman actually prepared to shoot someone else?
“I think he has more reason now than ever to think that people are trying to kill him because they express they’re trying to kill him, all the time, every day, on my Twitter feed, on the Internet,” said Robert Zimmerman, George’s brother.
The last thing this nation needs is Zimmerman packing a gun and perhaps trying to reclaim his self-described role as a neighborhood watch captain. The notion is unthinkable, yet it could happen very soon. Zimmerman was found not guilty and therefore he is entitled to retrieve the property that was confiscated by police during his arrest – which also includes his gun.
Zimmerman does have a choice: He could buy a new gun — or not carry a weapon at all.
“We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis,” Obama said in a statement. “We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”
The nation is polarized, as Obama acknowledged, and returning the gun Zimmerman used to shoot Trayvon Martin sends the wrong message to America and in no way honors the 17-year-old who Zimmerman claims he shot in self-defense. Yet, it’s legal.
But now, Zimmerman is on the defensive. He sometimes wears body armor, according to his attorney, and he fears for his life.
“He has to be very cautious and protective of his safety because there is still a fringe element who have said … that they will not listen to a verdict of not guilty,” said Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lawyer.
Friends say Zimmerman may also attend law school to represent other people who have been arrested for shooting someone in self-defense.
“I’d like to help other people like me,” Leanne Benjamin, a friend of Zimmerman’s, quoted him as telling her.
Meanwhile, civil rights leaders including Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Benjamin Jealous, head of the NACCP, are calling for the Department of Justice to prosecute Zimmerman for shooting the Florida teen on February 26, 2012.
“We will pursue civil rights charges with the Department of Justice, we will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state, and we will not rest until racial profiling in all its forms is outlawed,” Jealous said in a statement.
But Robert Zimmerman said black leaders should “cool their jets,” adding that “agitation doesn’t help us.”
“We welcomed, actually, that investigation through the FBI when they originally started investigating George,” Robert Zimmerman said on CNN. “They’ve investigated, I think, about three dozen of his closest friends and acquaintances. And there is not any inkling of racism.”
Thousands of Americans – black, white, and Hispanic — rallied last weekend in San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Baltimore, Detroit, New York and other cities. In New York, demonstrators marched across Manhattan and filled Times Square. “This is what democracy looks like,” they chanted.
“Two years ago, as the story of Trayvon Martin rose to national prominence, thousands of Americans across this country felt the pain of the Martin family,” Rep. Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “This weekend, when the not guilty verdict was delivered, we all felt it once again.”
“Trayvon was an innocent teenager who died because George Zimmerman chose to take the law into his own hands,” Fudge said. “Trayvon was neither on trial in this case, nor was he responsible for his own death, and it should never be assumed or accepted that he was.”
In Sanford, Florida, however, Zimmerman’s legal team remains defiant.
“Nothing can bring back Trayvon Martin,” O’Mara said in a press conference after the verdict. “But I’m not going to shy away from the fact that the evidence showed George Zimmerman did nothing wrong.”
And now, with Zimmerman free and feeling vindicated, he may soon be carrying his 9-mm semi-automatic handgun — again.