George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch coordinator who shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense, caused a major stir by offering the gun he used in an auction on Thursday. That auction appeared to have been hijacked by fake accounts posting ridiculously high bids.
Early Friday, the bidding surpassed $65 million, led by a bidder using the screen name “Racist McShootFace,” the Associated Press reported. The site later showed the account had been deleted.
Gunbroker.com, the original site Zimmerman used to sell the gun, took the auction down, saying it wanted “no part in the listing on our website or in any of the publicity it is receiving.” United Gun Group reportedly tweeted that it would post Zimmerman’s ad on Thursday night. The site calls itself a “social market place for the firearms community.”
Even United Gun Group could not escape controversy, however. It appears the organization removed the original tweet and instead emphasized that it does not determine auctions itself, leaving that business up to its members.
Newsflash people, we do not post auctions. Our members are solely responsible for that.
— United Gun Group (@UnitedGunGroup) May 12, 2016
While Zimmerman’s statement in auctioning off the firearm proved needlessly offensive, this sort of controversy goes to show how bad race relations have become in this country. Organizations like Black Lives Matter will not leave the issue alone, even after Zimmerman had been acquitted, and the shooter’s anger continues to fan the flames. Police forces are demonized beyond whatever racism they allegedly foster, and the debate is driven by anger, not concern for our fellow men and women.
At some point, there must be reconciliation, but I doubt if anyone knows what that can look like.