The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012 was in every respect a tragedy. Martin was shot by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, who claimed the shooting was in self-defense; a Florida jury later found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in connection with the shooting.
Now Zimmerman is trying to sell the gun that fired the shots that killed Trayvon Martin. This morning he’ll put the weapon, a Kel-Tec PF9 9mm handgun, up for on-line auction on a gun sale website. He’s asking for a starting bid of $100,000 for the gun, which he describes as an “American firearm icon” in auction materials. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a brand-new Kel-Tec PF9 9mm handgun, by way of comparison, is $356.36. Whether Zimmerman will actually be able to sell the gun is anybody’s guess — an earlier attempt at an on-line auction was highjacked by obviously fraudulent bids.
A jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of a crime in shooting Trayvon Martin, and we’ll never know exactly what happened the night Martin was shot. But now we do know this: George Zimmerman is a cheap, classless person who is trying to cash in on his role in the death of a kid. It’s indecent, unforgivable, and grossly unfair to the family of Trayvon Martin, who have denounced the effort to sell the gun. When several other gun sale websites declined to auction the gun on ethical grounds, it tells you all you need to know.
It’s a free country, of course, and people buy and sell all manner of curiosities. But selling the gun used in the Trayvon Martin shooting for big bucks is a new low. It’s trafficking in death and blood money, and it’s wrong.