“This weekend, Melissa Harris-Perry did a segment on how "guns are the only recurring theme in all shootings." (Video and transcript at link.) It is a great segment, and I encourage you to watch/read it, if you have the opportunity.
One of the observations MHP made, given that tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of George Zimmerman having killed Trayvon Martin, is that if George Zimmerman had not been carrying a gun, Trayon Martin would probably still be alive.
Gun proponents like to say things like "guns don't kill people" and make specious arguments about how people would just carry knives if guns were taken away, but these are deeply dishonest claims.
The truth is, guns empower lots of people to do violence they wouldn't otherwise do. George Zimmerman was not going to get out of his car and stalk Trayvon Martin with a pocketknife. We need to be honest about that.
Gun proponents know damn well that guns and knives are not the same, and not just for the damage they are capable of doing. "Guns aren't the problem!" they bellow. "If you take away guns, people will just use knives!" As if there isn't something different, something special, about guns.
But of course there is. No one knows that better than they do. That's why they fight so determinedly not to give them up.”
The FBI announced today that George Zimmerman could be charged with a federal hate crime, a charge that would mean Zimmerman could face the death penalty if convicted. The FBI made the announcement shortly after Zimmerman’s lawyers received the list of witnesses and evidence materials, which included never before seen accounts of the shooting from witnesses, new footage and new 911 call recordings.
State Prosecutors made the case that Zimmerman, who admitted to fatally shooting 17 year old Trayvon Martin, profiled and stalked the youth prior to a confrontation, which lead to Martin’s death, something that has prompted the FBI to investigate the possibility of raising the charge from second degree murder to a federal hate crime.
“After all this is over, you’re going to be able to have a great life,” Shellie Zimmerman gushes in one April call. Zimmerman replies, “We will. … I’m excited.”
In the calls, Zimmerman gives Shellie detailed instructions about how to move money from one account to another, in what prosecutors say was an attempt to deceive the court into believing he was broke and setting a low bail figure. He makes many references to “Peter Pan,” an apparent code phrase for PayPal. The two appear confident that he will be exonerated—at one point Shellie calls him a “special and amazing role model.”
On the day Sanford police turned over the Trayvon Martin shooting investigation to prosecutors, they changed their final report at least four times over five hours and downgraded the charge they recommended from second-degree murder to manslaughter, newly released records show.
In the first version on March 13, lead Investigator Chris Serino and his bosses recommended that George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who killed Trayvon, be charged with murder. But they changed that about four hours later, according to paperwork released Tuesday by Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O’Mara.
Records reveal that Serino and his supervisors made several changes but only two major ones.
The first was the change in the charges.
The second was a strongly worded paragraph condemning Zimmerman’s actions, pointing out that there was no need for a confrontation with Trayvon.