Ethics Verdict On George Zimmerman’s Gun Auction: Ick, But Not Unethical

Only used once!

Only used once!

George Zimmerman is auctioning off the 9-millimeter pistol he used to shoot Trayvon Martin on a website called GunBroker.com.

Zimmerman wrote,

“I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012.”

George goes on to say that the proceeds will be used to “fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers” and to “ensure the demise of Angela Corey’s persecution career and Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric.”

Social media is going  nuts with hate, with many comments wishing that someone would buy the gun and shoot Zimmerman with it.

Now hear this:

There is absolutely nothing unethical in any way about Zimmerman selling his property, including the gun that he used to shoot Trayvon Martin.

The gun has historical and cultural significance. Despite its grisly past, someone may want to purchase it.  Booth’s derringer is exhibited at Ford’s Theater, and nobody has ever taken offense at someone purchasing and exhibiting the gun that killed a President and American icon.

The hysterical reaction to the auction is a response to the “Ick Factor,” and only that. It is certainly tasteless to place the gun up for sale. The act was predictably likely to upset and enrage many. But many of those many are outraged because they persist in regarding Zimmerman as a cold-blooded, racist killer, despite the absence of any evidence of either.  They and others like them unethically destroyed Zimmerman’s life in order to score racialist political points, without regard for due process or fairness. There is no reason why Zimmerman should consider their feelings at all, though it would constitute exemplary Christian ethics if he did.

More “ick”: Zimmerman is stupid to do this. He has been under unfair and constant scrutiny by media sharks and race-baiting furies, and the wise course would be to lay low, well, forever. The wise course would be for him to change his name, lose 50 pounds, have plastic surgery, and move to Mongolia.

Maybe the proceeds of the auction will pay for the surgery and the ticket. I hope so. Zimmerman was a fool and his reckless choices resulted in a young man’s tragic death. He is not a murderer, however, nor a racist, or wasn’t until black activists put a bounty on his head. He does not deserve a sentence of lifetime harassment.

As an aside, the Washington Post’s lead for this story (by Travis Andrews) was incompetent, obnoxious, and misleading:

“George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, then acquitted by a Florida jury on July 13, 2013. The case sparked a nationwide debate and protests over “stand your ground” laws and race relations in the United States.”

He was NOT charged with manslaughter. He was acquitted by a finding of self-defense, and if you are going to say he “shot and killed” Martin, you are obligated to note the reason for the acquittal. There was never any indication that race was a factor in the incident, and it was not an incident covered by “stand your ground” law.

The news media continues to paint Zimmerman as a villain when the evidence, the trial and the law clearly indicate otherwise.

As for Zimmerman’s pledge to “fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers” and to “ensure the demise of Angela Corey’s persecution career and Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric,” good for him. All three are legitimate, ethical, and praiseworthy objectives.

86 thoughts on “Ethics Verdict On George Zimmerman’s Gun Auction: Ick, But Not Unethical

  1. “The case sparked a nationwide debate and protests over “stand your ground” laws and race relations in the United States.””

    Which on it’s own was dumb. Zimmerman didn’t use stand your ground in his defence. SYG removes the duty to flee if reasonably able to do so before resorting to deadly force. No one argued that as Trayvon was on his chest and pounding his head into the pavement, that he had a duty to attempt to flee first, so SYG was moot.

    SYG was a manufactured debate by the media, hoisted on people to stupid to know why it was wrong to do so.

    These… lies. it’s what they are: Lies. Are paraded whenever there’s a gun killing. Look at Dylan Roof: Killed a bunch of people with a legally purchased handgun with a 10 capacity clip. Horrible tragedy. What gun control measure would have prevented that? Nothing. But Dylan Roof was used, by Obama no less, as justification for gun control.

    It’s just not true. It’s not. And if the gun control side can’t be bothered to have an honest conversation, why should the second amendment proponents meet them on their terms?

    • The Martin-Zimmerman TW morphed quickly into the Ferguson mess. Now the presumption of racism is a given, even when the shooter is a “white hispanic.” Zimmerman was surely a contributing architect of his own demise, but the media and political smearing he got, and the unethical prosecution lef by Corey, were per se unconscionable. Obama’s contribution was a big factor, too…and yet his enablers tried to justify it—calling a dead teen the equivalent of the President’s son as law enforcement was considering charges!

      After the brave jury’s acquittal–the prosecution literally had nothing; we know this because its own witnesses supported the defense—the progressive response was that the anger of black activists was “understandable.” in light of past events. Trying to imprison someone without evidence is NEVER “understandable.” it’s irrational and wrong. Yet read the reactions to Zimmerman selling his gun.

      • Or it sold immediately.

        Other thoughts. From what we know about Zimmerman’s background, and just extrapolating from the fact of his job description which would not call for a particularly high level of education, I am guessing that he had (considerable) help both conceiving and writing this ad. If he were in dire need of money, which I would guess he is, the gun might be his only asset. There would have been ways to sell privately — are ways, if yet unsold: notorious items are prime collectibles. Also, if he were to move to Mongolia — which I agree would be a good idea — he should keep the 50 pounds on.

  2. ” Zimmerman is stupid to do this. He has been under unfair and constant scrutiny by media sharks and race-baiting furies, and the wise course would be to lay low, well, forever. The wise course would be for him to change his name, lose 50 pounds, have plastic surgery, and move to Mongolia.”

    I’ll settle for the former. He must realize that he has to keep his nose clean and stay out of the public eye, possibly forever.

  3. Jack: “The gun has historical and cultural significance. Despite its grisly past, someone may want to purchase it. Booth’s derringer is exhibited at Ford’s Theater, and nobody has ever taken offense at someone purchasing and exhibiting the gun that killed a President and American icon.”

    Probably because Booth himself did not profit off of the sale? I find this analogy ridiculous. The derringer is displayed for historical value. Zimmerman’s auction mocks the value of life. Haven’t you said before that that is an unethical thing to do?

    • The gun itself doesn’t mock anyone or anything. I don’t even know what you think that means. The gun represents a central, influential cultural event of major historical significance. Does the Enola Gay “mock the value of life”?
      Obviously museums legitimately exhibit such artifacts, they have value, and they are sold. There is nothing special in this regard about this particular death.

    • I think I agree with Chris. I don’t have a problem with Booth’s gun being sold and displayed because Boothe himself did not go around advertising the gun as being the one that killed Lincoln, and then profiting off the subsequent sale.

      I don’t care if Zimmerman sold the gun. But trying to pump its value because you yourself used it to kill another person seems a bit unethical. If you are using the proceeds for a “good cause”, then just donate the gun itself somewhere, instead of taking your cut. His actions are purely profit based.

      • His actions are purely profit based? So what? The episode, the unethical press coverage and the national vilification even after he was acquitted on the evidence robbed him of most ways to make a livelihood.

        You are still just saying it’s icky. I agree. But saying he gets to make a profit does not argue that it’s unethical.

        • The profit doesn’t make it unethical. The fact that he is highlighting the fact that the gun was used to kill someone to increase the profit from that item is what makes it unethical.

          It is the equivalent of OJ’s If I Did It to me. Perfectly legal, and both unethical and icky, even under the (unlikely) event that OJ actually was innocent.

          • No, OJ’s book was essentially mocking the justice system, knowing he can’t be tried again. it is intentionally provocative and meant to enrage. Selling personal property is a neutral act, and anyone not involved in the transaction has no standing to object or care.

              • You’re still operating on the premise that he did something wrong.

                If you’ve ever watched Zimmerman give an interview, you’d know he’s an idiot. Not evil, just kinda simple. He was patrolling his neighbourhood, because there had been reports of vandalism (Which go figure, stopped after Martin was killed), he saw someone he didn’t know, he called 911, he continued to follow the person he didn’t know (Yes, even after the 911 operator said, and I quote “we don’t need you to do that”), we were told by Martin’s friend who talked to him on the phone that he was aware that Zimmerman was following him, and that he told his friend that he was going to confront him. We’re not sure who threw the first punch, but we do know that at the end of the confrontation, Martin was straddling Zimmerman and knocking his head into the street pavement, when Zimmerman got out his gun and fired. We know that because of ballistics, and the damage to the back of Zimmerman’s skull.

                It was a shitty situation, but Zimmerman didn’t, and doesn’t deserve your, or the rest of Liberal America’s hate. No evidence was ever submitted that
                Zimmerman is a racist, aside from the race of the participants, No evidence was ever submitted that Zimmerman provoked the conflict. No evidence was ever submitted that he had planned to kill Martin.

                Involuntary manslaughter would have been a hard bar to hurdle, murder should never have been on the table. People like you ruined his life. People too stupid or uninterested to objectively look at the facts, people too eager to point to yet another (bad) example of systemic racism, or the dangers of guns. You don’t get to bitch at him now for using the only thing he has left to get by.

                • Excellent summary. Do people realize how pathetic the case against Zimmerman was? The prosecution’s star witness told us under oath that Martin thought George was gay and a “cracker”, which show more evidence of Martin’s racism and bigotry than any testimony against Zimmerman. Then the prosecutor’s investigator, asked point blank on cross, said that his findings supported Zimmerman’s account. The judge shouldn’t have allowed the case to even go to the jury.

                • I don’t understand you.

                  He was patrolling his neighborhood? Why does this not bother you? I don’t want people walking around and peeping out windows looking for trouble. It’s like a dystopian story where everyone must be careful to always conform in every way or else trouble finds them. Vandalism or no, it’s not like he was watching his own backyard which might be weird and paranoid but of no issue to anyone who stays out of that backyard.

                  he saw someone he didn’t know, he called 911, he continued to follow the person he didn’t know

                  What the fuckity fuck? I, you or Treyvon Martin should be able to walk down any street in America without having 911 called becuse walking down the street is not illegal. A best care scenario, one I’ve been in, is that the cops stop him and ask some questions.

                  Before you even think that’s not so bad, it is. It’s horrid being stopped when you’re just walking home from the store. A cop stops me and I fear for my life, not just my freedom, and I’m white.

                  It’s about 9:30 pm here right now. It’s raining. Suppose I have headache and I’m out of aspirin, or I’m just out of milk, or I need a skittle fix, or I’m just feeling stir crazy so I throw on a pair of jeans and a hoodie. Completely normal for this weather for anyone of either sex from age 12 to age 50, yes? Does anyone along the way between here and the closest 7-11 (about a half mile) have any business calling 91 because they saw me go by and don’t recognize me? If a cop stops me it’s a civil right’s violation because there’ll be no way to reasonably think I’m committing have just committed or am about to commit a crime, I’d just be walking. But I’d be stopped anyway, and have ID demanded of me so they could make a record, and I’d be asked questions about where I was going and why though ti’s no one’s business but my own, and I’d be treated with suspicion and held in place in the rain till the cop was good and ready to either let me go or slap on cuffs, and no complaint or lawsuit would go anywhere given the current deference given to police. And would you feel sympathy for me for having to go through that? Of course not, you don’t like me, you think I’m an ass you think I deserve your hate.

                  He called 911, fuck that guy. He deserves my hate.

                  And then he followed.

                  I know how I’d feel about a strange guy following me around. First I’d worry about rape and second about robbery. I’d try to lose him or I’d try to get to a well lit place with witnesses. Run, seek safety. But that’s me, that’s a combination of my personality and social training. Suppose I had the personality, socialization that Zimmerman has, that you also posit they Treyvon had. Danger, robber, stalker, raper, make it go away forever, make it stop forever, fight, kill.

                  We’re not sure who threw the first punch, but we do know that at the end of the confrontation, Martin was straddling Zimmerman and knocking his head into the street pavement

                  And that I can’t approve of. Though with a strange guy following me around I’d be scared, I’d try to get away. He didn’t.

                  when Zimmerman got out his gun and fired

                  But you must know I’d don’t approve of this either. Maybe if they didn’t give concealed carry permits to idiots then he would have had that gun strapped to his hip and no fight would have happened.*

                  *I don’t approve of letting idiots have guns at all but I’ve pretty much lost that fight. C’est la vie.

                  • First, You’re all wet on this, and should back off. Your bias is showing.
                    Don’t litigate Zimmerman’s actions. He’s an asshole. He acted like one. That doesn’t make him a murderer, a racist, or worthy of a national hate fest.

                    Second, you don’t know the facts. “I, you or Treyvon Martin should be able to walk down any street in America without having 911 called becuse walking down the street is not illegal. A best care scenario, one I’ve been in, is that the cops stop him and ask some questions.” is beside the point. This wasn’t a street. It was a private, gated community. There had been burglaries. Zimmerman didn’t call 911 on anyone walking in public, so don’t write stuff like that. It’s disinformation.

                    3. “If a cop stops me it’s a civil right’s violation because there’ll be no way to reasonably think I’m committing have just committed or am about to commit a crime, I’d just be walking.” WRONG. A cop has as much right to talk to you or anyone as you do. He can’t arrest you or make you talk to him, but he can stop you and ask you questions, and you can say “Up yours” if you want. None of this has anything to do with the Zimmerman case.

                    4. You hate pople for being officious busy-bodies, which is what Zimmerman was? Wow. You must hate a lot. No, he does not deserve your hate or anyone’s.

                    5. If a bigger and younger guy has me on the ground and is banging my head on the ground, and I feel helpless and have a gun, then I’ve using it. Only an idiot with a death wish wouldn’t.

                    6. You blame Zimmerman because he is allowed to carry a gun and did so? Again, wow. You are completely irrational on this topic then, aren’t you?

                    • 1: Did I say murder or racist?

                      3. “If a cop stops me it’s a civil right’s violation because there’ll be no way to reasonably think I’m committing have just committed or am about to commit a crime, I’d just be walking.” WRONG. A cop has as much right to talk to you or anyone as you do. He can’t arrest you or make you talk to him, but he can stop you and ask you questions, and you can say “Up yours” if you want. None of this has anything to do with the Zimmerman case.

                      I didn’t say ask questions, I said stops. If a cop asks questions I do just keep walking. If the cop says stop…. What’s the french word for stop Jack?

                      4: Kind of do.

                      5: I said I don’t approve. The of banging people’s head on the ground is implicit.

                      6: Read my wording again.

                    • 1. Then he shouldn’t be the focus of hate or attention at all.
                      2. The cop stops you and does and says nothing? WHAT?
                      4. Well, that’s something you need to work on. Hate is bad for you and everyone else.
                      5. When its your head, you have to do something about it. Or do you just say, “I don’t approve”?
                      6. I did.

                    • Don’t be dense Jack. A cop will say something after I’ve been stopped, What does that have to do with it? It isn’t as if I’d be inclined to answer them.

                      You’re the one who for some reason thinks I meant ‘asks friendly questions’ when I used the word stop. Stop means stop, liberty gone *poof* try to leave and you’ll be restrained.

                    • This is fantasy. There’s so much case law on police stops, it’s ridiculous. A police cannot “stop” you without reasonable suspicion…you are free to go. Just walking down the street isn’t enough. A police officer cannot question you either, unless he’s investigating something . You can leave if you’re not under arrest. If you turn and run, or say, “You’ll never get me alive, copper!”, that’s something else.

                      Zimmerman had as much right as you or I, or a real cop, to ask Martin what he was doing there, and Martin had every right to say, “I’m walking to my father’s house, dick-head, leave me alone.”

                  • “He was patrolling his neighborhood? Why does this not bother you? I don’t want people walking around and peeping out windows looking for trouble. It’s like a dystopian story where everyone must be careful to always conform in every way or else trouble finds them. Vandalism or no, it’s not like he was watching his own backyard which might be weird and paranoid but of no issue to anyone who stays out of that backyard.”

                    Because he was a member of the god damned neighbourhood watch! He was being PAID to be there. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Go hide your head in a sack.

                    “What the fuckity fuck? I, you or Treyvon Martin should be able to walk down any street in America without having 911 called becuse walking down the street is not illegal. A best care scenario, one I’ve been in, is that the cops stop him and ask some questions.”

                    Not in a private, gated community, like the one he was being paid to watch. You’re so ignorant of what went on it’s painful.

                    “He called 911, fuck that guy. He deserves my hate.”

                    This is EXACTLY what I was talking about. You’re an idiot, you’re ignorant, and you hate him because you’re too unengaged to know better. Fuck your hate.

                    • Because he was a member of the god damned neighbourhood watch!

                      Where have I ever indicated that a gods damned neighborhood watch is anything but bad? Let’s go to the Heinlein well…

                      “I believe in my neighbors.”
                      “I know their faults and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults. Take Father Michael down our road a piece –I’m not of his creed, but I know the goodness and charity and lovingkindness that shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike; if I’m in trouble, I’ll go to him. My next-door neighbor is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee — no prospect of a fee. I believe in Doc.”
                      “I believe in my townspeople. You can knock on any door in our town say, ‘I’m hungry,’ and you will be fed. Our town is no exception; I’ve found the same ready charity everywhere. For the one who says, ‘To heck with you — I got mine,’ there are a hundred, a thousand, who will say, ‘Sure, pal, sit down.’

                      — From This I Believe By Robert Heinlein

                      Mrs. Grundy calling the cops every time someone’s walking by is inconsistent with this.

                    • “Where have I ever indicated that a gods damned neighborhood watch is anything but bad?” Then you’re irrational. Neighborhoods don’t trust police, but shouldn’t look out for each other. Good plan.

                    • “Because he was a member of the god damned neighbourhood watch! He was being PAID to be there. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Go hide your head in a sack.”

                      Neighborhood Watch is a volunteer position. Unfortunately it is all too often staffed by busy-bodies and wanna-be cops. They are specifically trained and instructed NOT to intervene but simply observe and report suspected criminal activity. They do not receive the training that a law enforcement officer, or even a security guard does. In my neighborhood most are septo and octogenarians that drive around in the middle of the day, when the crimes don’t normally happen.

                    • Lisa, wile that might even be true of the majority of neighborhood watches in America, this one was administered by the local police department and Zimmerman headed it up.

                      You have a duty to know what you’re talking about before letting your fingers fly. You’re wrong here.

                    • Also:

                      “They are specifically trained and instructed NOT to intervene but simply observe and report suspected criminal activity.”

                      Can you point out for me, because I don’t see where Zimmerman’s behavior deviated from this, he observed, he reported, he continued to observe. Even from the prosecutions contention, Martin confronted Zimmerman, not the other way around.

                      “In my neighborhood most are septo and octogenarians that drive around in the middle of the day, when the crimes don’t normally happen.”

                      And this one was in his late 20’s, patrolling when the vandalism he was on the look out for was most likely to happen. The fact that this situation is so different from what you’re describing should be your hint that your experience is irrelevant.

  4. I think you have to read this in the context of Zimmerman’s entire attitude toward Martin’s death over the years. He has gloated over killing him. This auction is just another way for him to gloat.

    Gloating over killing someone is unethical.

    • I have followed it closely. I have seen no gloating. He hasn’t been contrite, because he was attacked, had to defend himself, and the result wrecked his life. Please enlighten me with a Zimmerman statement that you call gloating.

      • I have followed it closely. I have seen no gloating. He hasn’t been contrite, because he was attacked, had to defend himself, and the result wrecked his life. Please enlighten me with a Zimmerman statement that you call gloating.


        The most blatant example of this came last October when he retweeted a photograph of Trayvon Martin’s slain body. The original tweet read “Z-man is a one-man army.” Following media outrage, Zimmerman claimed he wasn’t aware the tweet included a photograph.
        http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-george-zimmerman-controversies-20160512-story.html

          • Sometimes we do, when their idiocy gets people killed. Drinking and driving isn’t evil, it’s idiotic, and we do lock up people for doing it.

            But the point wasn’t that we should lock him up, the point was that his auctioning off of this gun is another way for him to gloat over killing a young boy, which is unethical–even if it was in self-defense. No one would have complained about Zimmerman “selling his gun,” because absent the auction, which is entirely done for attention, profit, and gloating, no one would know about it.

            It amazes me that you can see a commercial which makes a joke about going back in time to stop oneself from having a second child as so clearly unethical, but this is merely “icky.”

            • No no Chris, Drinking and driving is illegal, we lock people up for breaking the law.

              No no Chris, Self defence is not unethical, even if it means someone is killed.

              No no Chris, Wishing to make someone disappear is different from not feeling guilt over protecting yourself.

                • Re-reading my comment, I think you misunderstood this section, which I phrased poorly:

                  “But the point wasn’t that we should lock him up, the point was that his auctioning off of this gun is another way for him to gloat over killing a young boy, which is unethical–even if it was in self-defense.”

                  I was saying that gloating over killing someone in self-defense is unethical, not that killing someone in self-defense is unethical.

                • Sorry, my snark was turned up to 11. (Why 11? It’s 1 more than 10… God I love Spinal Tap.)

                  “Sometimes we do, when their idiocy gets people killed. Drinking and driving isn’t evil, it’s idiotic, and we do lock up people for doing it.”

                  No no Chris, Drinking and driving is illegal, we lock people up for breaking the law.

                  The point was that we never lock people up because they’re idiots, we lock people up when they break laws. But to be fair to you, it’s often stupid people who break laws.

                  “the point was that his auctioning off of this gun is another way for him to gloat over killing a young boy, which is unethical–even if it was in self-defense. ”

                  No no Chris, Self defence is not unethical, even if it means someone is killed.

                  You’re right, I read this wrong, and I apologise.

                  “It amazes me that you can see a commercial which makes a joke about going back in time to stop oneself from having a second child as so clearly unethical, but this is merely “icky.””

                  No no Chris, Wishing to make someone disappear is different from not feeling guilt over protecting yourself.

                  I stand by this; wanting to make a person not be a person is still different from not feeling guilt over a person that’s already dead.

            • Again, I don’t see the auction argument. It is being auctioned to maximize the price, not to call attention to the underlying event. Was it unethical to auction items recovered from the Titanic?

          • The point is that it is unethical for the person that killed someone to inflate the value of an item by bragging about it being used to kill.

            If he had sold the gun for its value, no one would care. But he seeks to be rewarded for killing a person by selling the object that was used to do it. If he was a third party that would be one thing, merely icky, but as he was directly involved, I think it is deeply unethical.

            • This is incoherent. The values of a historical item is based on its role in an event of cultural or historical significance. “Its value” is indistinguishable from that role. Is the bat used to hit Babe Ruth’s last home run just a bat? Why do you think a famous shooting is any different? Ick, that’s all. I don’t know what economic principle you think you are espousing. By law, it isn’t even a souvenir of a crime, no matter what BLM want us to believe.

              • Again, I don’t see the auction argument. It is being auctioned to maximize the price, not to call attention to the underlying event. Was it unethical to auction items recovered from the Titanic?

                If the captain or the pilot from the Titanic started auctioning off items recovered from bodies from the Titanic, then yes, I would consider that unethical. It might have been an accident, but you can’t start profiting off your own involvement in someone’s death and me naming it ethical behavior.

                Can Dylan Klebold’s parent’s ethically sell and directly profit from his writings, advertising it as “Musings From the Columbine Killer”? Or OJ Nicole’s personal bloodstained effects (he too, was acquitted, and he went even further than Zimmerman, denying he was in any way involved in her murder whatsoever remember). Or Catelyn Jenner selling the car she no longer uses, with the advertisement, “Ride In Style in the Car I Killed Someone With!”

                Yes, I think they should all be legally able to do it. And it is icky no doubt. But I do think actual involvement pushes it more toward the unethical side for me. I would also have a problem with Booth selling the gun he used to kill Lincoln, touting the assassination as a selling point. This is one of those scenarios where an intervening third party does lessen the unethicalness of it all for me.

                • I’ll give you this: you have a mastery of false equivilence

                  The Titanic Captain a) would be auctioning off someone else’s property, and profiting from his own negligence. Still, Ick, not unethical. Who is harmed?

                  Could the Native American warrior’s family ethically auction off the quirt he used to strike Custer before killing him? Of course.

                  Your second paragraph, and the Booth example, betrays your bias. Those are crimes and a negligent homicide, and in Jenner’s case, an event with no historical significance. Zimmerman committed no crime, either factually or under the law.

                  • I’ll give you this: you have a mastery of false equivilence

                    The Titanic Captain a) would be auctioning off someone else’s property, and profiting from his own negligence. Still, Ick, not unethical. Who is harmed?

                    Presumably the Captain had some of his own property aboard the ship, yes? And in the case of Zimmerman, Trayvon’s Martin’s family is harmed. I would think even if a kid darted in front of a car, the kid was killed through no fault of the driver, 100% the kids fault, and somehow this event turned out to be nationally significant for some reason, the driver cannot ethically go advertising for the sale of the car, touting the fact that it was used to kill a kid as its main selling point. In general, and especially in front of the kid’s still grieving family. I just don’t think people should profit from their direct involvement in someone’s death, and even more so when it comes to selling relics that the person used to kill that someone else. And even more so if the driver had bragged about killing the kid in various venues before, using his role in the kid’s death to burnish his notoriety. If nothing else, it is unethical because it violates empathy for the family in that situation, kindness, decency.

                    • “Decency”? Really, deery? Where was your appeal to a sense of ‘decency’, when Rosie O’ Donnell tweeted Zimmerman’s parents address? When the NBP put out a ‘hit’ on Zimmerman? When the freaking President of the United States stuck his big fat ugly nose into a local criminal matter in a prejudicial way? When a Grand Jury was skipped, so what looks like (based on the charging documents and comments from people like Alan Dershowitz) a corrupt special prosecutor was appointed to take the case to trial, solely to prevent riots?

                      There’s more than enough information about Martin’s messed up family (not rumors but actual documents, newspaper stories -though newspaper stories about Martin’s custodial situation are rare as it didn’t present the family in a good light – etc) as it is. I doubt his mom loved him. She had pawned him off on his Aunt and Father most of the prior year or so. His dad probably loved him (he was the only one who ever seemed legitimately grieving to me) but set a horrid example with ties to crime and gangs, and while not the worst father in the world, was not around enough, imho. I will say the “Martin Family” has benefited financially and publically from this (note how they are still occasional feted ‘crime victim’ or ‘victims-of-racism’ guests of honor here and there and while I’m aware of maybe two Zimmerman INTERVIEWS since the trial, they’ve given so many I can’t count) in ways that Zimmermans family (whose parents lost their home and who spent a year in hiding on an Island off the Maryland shore) certainly hasn’t.

                      I don’t want to hear about ‘decency’ again. This case and how this man was handled by the press who basically ruined his life with impunity (because even if the laws ‘limited public figure’ exemption for libel could be beaten, having the same judge that presided over your criminal case be the one to preside over your CIVIL case is a conflict of interest right there) is some of the most indecent bullshit (hope our mod can forgive my language) I have ever seen. The Powers That Be abused their legal authority, the Press abdicated or even abused its responsibility to the truth, the viewing public let their lack of skepticism and tendancy to be governed by their prejudices take over, and as such all George Zimmerman has to show for his life is noteriety and fear. If he can profit off that, then I say good for him. He’s already a “Monster” to real Monsters who’ve never let facts or evidence sway their ‘minds’, nothing he did in the past (saving a black man from abusive police), and nothing he will do in the future can ever change that.

                    • Ah, so Martin’s family had it coming? ok. They are bad people, so they deserve to see pictures of the dead body of their son tweeted out by the man that killed him, while he gloats over the killing?

                      He makes a regular living selling paintings, using the images of the Confederate flag and even those of his victim. His last painting on open auction sold for $100k. Zimmerman seeks to provoke and enrage to increase his media presence, and therefore the value of his items. I don’t think causing unnecessary emotional harm to the family of the person you killed is an ethical move, but everyone has their differences.

                    • Would it have been ethical for Ted Kennedy to auction the car he drove into a channel in the Chappaquiddick? My answer is “of course not.” What’s your answer, Jack?

                      Clarence in Baltimore’s response is merely an extended “Everybody Does It” rationale.

                    • Unethical? If it was his car? No. Give me the ethical principle. See, if you kill someone to get an artifact to sell, that’s unethical. If you sell memorabilia related to the killing, that’s just icky. people are just saying over and over again, “he shouldn’t do that,” so its wrong, and “its wrong,” so he shouldn’t do that.

                    • It is prima facie unethical to profit off a death you caused. The ethical principle is that to do so is to mock the value of life. And it mocks the value of life in a far more tangible way then a silly little joke in a commercial about how parenting is tough. The other ethical principle is that it’s disrespectful to the family of the victim.

                    • “It is prima facie unethical to profit off a death you caused. The ethical principle is that to do so is to mock the value of life.”

                      Saying this nonsense doesn’t make it true, Chris. You are negatively framing an ethically neutral transaction, and making up ethical breaches that don’t exist. And “mocking the value of life” is not unethical conduct….especially when the life involved tried to take yours.

                    • Jack: “And “mocking the value of life” is not unethical conduct…”

                      Then what was the ethical basis of your objection to that silly DirecTV commercial? In that article, you said:

                      “I’m not certain whether the commercial reflects our culture having progressively less respect for human life, whether it pushes us closer to such a culture, or is just the product sick creeps.”

                      So a fake family making their fake son disappear through fake time travel shows “less respect for human life” than a guy auctioning off a gun he used to kill a real teenage boy to the highest bidder? That’s incoherent, Jack.

                      You told valkygrrl her bias was showing, but have you considered your conclusion on this issue may be influenced by biases you may have?

                    • And of course, a private individual’s opinion is the equivalent of TV commercials seen by children and that are culture wide factors in forming attitudes and opinions. Corporations that spend millions trying to affect how Americans think have completely different ethical standards and responsibilities than individuals. It has to do with power and the size of the megaphone. Obviously.

                      I think you know that. The commercials are irresponsible. Go ahead, tell me what poor George’s power over the culture is? Who does he lead? Who does he influence?

                    • Who said anything about a “private individual’s opinion?” We’re talking about actions, not opinions. As for Zimmerman’s effect on the culture, lots of people are bidding huge sums on this weapon, for the sole reason that it was used to kill a young boy. That doesn’t have an effect on the culture? Kids aren’t seeing this reported in the media, and that can’t have a negative effect on what kids see as normal? To my mind it would have a far more negative effect than the DirecTV commercial; not even a kid could see that as an advocation of child-killing, but the lesson in Zimmerman’s case is “if you kill a child, you can profit off of it.”

                    • Deranged, Chris. Your comment is deranged. How many children know about or care about George Zimmerman, much less his current activities? How many children see a 7 year old disappeared as his parents smile on that ad? I’ve seen that ad 8 times in ten least three days.

                      Martin was 6 feet tall and capable of beating a grown man to the point of fear and self-defense. The fact that he wasn’t 18 is completely irrelevant to the case, except that the media used photos that made him look like hew as 10. Now your arguments have moved into the realm of intellectual dishonesty.

                    • So it’s not unethical because not that many people know about it? That can’t be right. Nor can it be right that Martin’s size in any way negates my statement that the message here for those who do know about it is “if you kill a child, you can profit from it.” Nothing I said was “intellectually dishonest,” unless you think calling Martin a child is intellectually dishonest; that can’t be your position, can it?

                    • If your contention is that it’s unethical because it stirs up racial tensions—how can non-racial story be accused of intentionally stirring up racial tensions?—then teh fact that it won’t reach enough people to do that disproves the contention. If I say a something racially decisive in my closet, you cannot accuse me of trying to divide the races.

                      Calling a six foot tall 17 year-old a “child” in this context is misleading, and intentionally so. He’s a minor. He’s not legally an adult. It’s misleading and meant to imply an unfair advantage in size, power and strength.

  5. I remember reading quite a while ago, back when George was auctioning off his “artwork” that he is living quite well (much better than he ever did before) with donations from individuals and groups that support the views he has come to be associated with. He has never expressed regret for his part in escalating what could have been a minor incident into bloodshed, not just for Trayvon, but the nation. He may have been justified by law to defend himself, but he is also culpable for his part in reaching that point. Poor decisions were made by both leading up to the shooting, but under the badge of authority he acted and as a gun-carrying adult he had a larger burden of responsibility.

    His auction is up to $65 million today according to USA Today. I don’t think he’s hurting. This isn’t an attempt to stave off starvation and homelessness. He is better off financially now than before the shooting and he is now the whore of those groups and individuals who both protect and exploit him.

    I do find it unethical – and if my understanding of what unethical means runs contrary to yours, then I will happily keep my deluded one. I have seen ethics run contrary to legality. I think we want them to run parallel in an ideal world, but they sometimes do not. But it is much less common for ethics to run contrary to morality. Morality and ethics are like two sides of the same coin: Morality being the personal and subjective side and Ethics being the public/business side. Heads or tails, this strikes me as wrong. He is rubbing salt into wounds and celebrating as he does it. It all serves to anger both sides further and push for even more egregious actions.

    Like the (previously unknown) small-minded clerk who became a poster child for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gays….George is reveling in his fame and in the loving embrace of the groups using him to further their agendas. They are puppets for those with agendas. If it weren’t for Trayvon Martin, George would be nobody, no one would care his opinions on race, guns and self-defense. He would just be another over-zealous wanna-be-cop. But now both of them are glorying in their fame. In many ways pushed into the arms of the lunatic fringe by the anger from the lunatic fringe on the other side. It is certain the Left has their share of accidental celebrities as well, lightning rods and puppets that never should have seen a mention on the news.

    When will reason ever prevail in this country, in this world? Why can’t we understand that this ever-deepening divide will consume us all? Why is such incendiary behavior celebrtated? Why does it seem there is no compromising anymore, no middle ground to meet on for the benefit of all?

    • 1. Blaming George for the “ever-deepening divide is completely unjust. This wasn’t a racial incident, but the parents, and activists, and racialist celebrities, and the biased media (including MSNBC, which deceptively edited his 911 tape) and worst of all, the President of the United States, turned it into one.

      2. Tell me the ethical value selling his own gun constitutes? Is it dishonest? Irresponsible? Disrespectful of those who hate him for existing, and for a crime he did not commit? Is it a conflict of interest? Unfair? None of these. There is nothing unethical about not running your life to please others. It is none of your business, mine or the media that Zimmerman is selling his own gun. If someone is upset about, that is their problem, not his.

      3. You don’t know what his financial situation is. That’s hearsay. He isn’t reveling in fame: that’s ridiculous. He knows he might be shot at any moment. He has no choice but to live off of celebrity/infamy. People who mad e up their mind that he was a racist killer with no evidence did that to him.

      4. “If it weren’t for Trayvon Martin, George would be nobody, no one would care his opinions on race, guns and self-defense.” You write as if Zimmerman was responsible for the episode being a national rather than a local matter. You’re spinning. That wasn’t his doing at all. This was a local incident turned into a national one to push the agenda of those who have an agenda of racial division for political gain.

      5. “But it is much less common for ethics to run contrary to morality. Morality and ethics are like two sides of the same coin: Morality being the personal and subjective side and Ethics being the public/business side. Heads or tails, this strikes me as wrong.”

      Wrong, and check your definitions, because that’s not what morality and ethics mean here, or anywhere. Morals are rules of conduct decreed by and enforced by an authority. Ethics are principles of right and wrong as society evolves and comes to understand them. There are no moral or ethical principles Zimmerman violated by selling the gun, but many were violated by those who tried to get him imprisoned or killed for a racist crime he didn’t commit.

      Incidentally, ethics and morality clash all the time. Morality dictates that homosexual relationship are immoral; ethics say they are benign. War is immoral, but often ethically defensible.

      “He has never expressed regret for his part in escalating what could have been a minor incident into bloodshed, not just for Trayvon, but the nation.”

      A. That would have been nice, but since he was railroaded into a trial that was based on mob justice rather than evidence, I don’t blame him.

      B. He was jumped by Martin. Who escalated when and what is a matter of debate.

      C. HE is responsible for the national uproar? Utterly ridiculous. How could you even think that?

      D. “He may have been justified by law to defend himself…” MAY? MAY? He WAS justified to defend himself, and with deadly force if necessary. There is no “may.”

      • Jack, why do you keep saying it is no one’s business whether Zimmerman sells his gun? No one is arguing otherwise. We are arguing that it is unethical for Zimmerman to auction off his gun. Do you see the difference?

        • No. Because if it affects nobody, hurts nobody and embodies nothing but bad taste, then it is by definition not unethical. It is not unethical to sell one’s property, and to seek the highest price. Simple. You don’t like it? Don’t buy it.

          The gun would be a legitimate historical artifact.

  6. But it does hurt somebody; several somebodies, in fact.

    1) The family of the victim is hurt because they see the man who killed their son profiting off of his actions.

    2) The nation is hurt because it resurrects and heightens racial tensions. (It doesn’t matter that you think Zimmerman wasn’t responsible for creating these tensions in the first place; he now knows they exist, and is exploiting them for financial gain. In fact, given his history of racist and religiously bigoted tweets, I’d wager he knows this, and is exploiting these tensions on purpose. Even if he isn’t responsible for the racial angle of the event to begin with, he is responsible for this.

    • 1) The family of the victim is hurt because they see the man who killed their son profiting off of his actions.
      False! He is profiting by selling his own property at the market rate. Why are they paying attaention to the private life of their son’s killer? Does it hurt them if he’s happy? Probably. I’d advise paying no attention to him.

      2) “The nation is hurt because it resurrects and heightens racial tensions.” Zimmerman shares no responsibility for racials tensions, and stop saying “I think” Zimmerman wasn’t responsible for creating these tensions in the first place. He wasn’t, and isn’t. You cannot make up your own facts. There is no evidence he targeted Martin, and nothing in his past conduct that suggested racial animus. It wasn’t a hate crime.“Two assholes ran into each other, fought, and one had a gun.”

      • “Two assholes ran into each other, fought, and one had a gun.”

        This is perfect, Jack. And generic. Do I put your name after it,. . . or was it Shakespeare?

      • “False! He is profiting by selling his own property at the market rate.”

        Is that a joke? $65 million is not “the market rate” for a gun. It’s only going for that much because it was used to shoot Trayvon Martin. Ergo, Zimmerman is profiting off of killing Martin.

        “Why are they paying attaention to the private life of their son’s killer?”

        Because it was reported on the news, and on tons of blogs, including this one. You make it sound as if they’re spying on him. You’re ignoring that Zimmerman is obviously doing this for attention. If he weren’t, he’d simply sell it, not auction it, and he wouldn’t advertise that it was the gun he used to kill someone (even in self-defense.)

        “Does it hurt them if he’s happy? Probably.”

        It hurts them if he makes money off of their son’s death. Jesus Christ, Jack.

        ” I’d advise paying no attention to him.”

        Hard to do when everyone, including yourself, is reporting on this story.

        “Zimmerman shares no responsibility for racials tensions,”

        He shares as much responsibility as anyone else who tweets out racially provocative things (like nude pictures of his ex accompanied with the accusation that she slept with a “dirty Muslim,” and he bears responsibility for auctioning off this gun knowing that it would further inflame racial tensions.

        “There is no evidence he targeted Martin, and nothing in his past conduct that suggested racial animus. It wasn’t a hate crime.”

        Completely irrelevant to the subject at hand, which is Zimmerman inflaming racial tensions by auctioning off the gun he used to kill Martin.

        • 1. I now know that you are completely irrational on this issue. Exactly what is Zimmerman’s culpability for an individual bid placed on it by an individual he doesn’t know, and who is almost certainly sabotaging the auction?

          2. Zimmerman is doing it for 1) money, and 2) celebrity, which is all he has left, thanks to the destruction of his life and reputation.

          3. “Hard to do when everyone, including yourself, is reporting on this story.” Baloney. If I started listing all of the attention hounds I ignore, it would take a month. Nor did I report anything. I countered the emotional, irrational reaction you and others have to the man auctioning his own property.

          4. “He shares as much responsibility as anyone else who tweets out racially provocative things (like nude pictures of his ex accompanied with the accusation that she slept with a “dirty Muslim,” and he bears responsibility for auctioning off this gun knowing that it would further inflame racial tensions.” See number #1. You’ve lost it, Chris. Tweets by this jerk do not affect his right to sell his property, no increase or decrease any ethical issues in doing so.

          5. Chris, he isn’t inflaming anyone but you and people who are irrationally infuriated that Zimmerman wasn’t killed or sent to jail for a multilateral mess that did not involve criminal conduct. I’ve written posts pointing out that Angela Corey was unethical to prosecute him, and the Black Lives Matters—which still vilifies Zimmerman in its website and placards—itself is racist and undermines racial unity. Are these posts unethically inflaming tensions?

          • An addendum, Chris: You are arguing that an individual who did not engage in a racial incident or crime, had his life destroyed because the parents of the individual mutually and equally responsible for the tragedy worked to have him branded as a racist and a killer, was falsely branded a racist who “stalked” and “hunted” a black teen, now has an ethical obligation not to profit from the results of the irresponsible and disastrous spin placed on his actions because—that profit might upset them, because they still want to tar him as as a racist killer?

            There is simply no ethical and logical way you can get there. Zimmerman would be a saint if he continued to restrain any legal conduct that might benefit him because it might trouble those who painted a target on his back. Yes, turning the other cheek would be supremely ethical, but no human being has an ethical obligation to allow the unjust and irrational sensitivities or biases of others to control their lives…including George Zimmerman.

            • Yes, turning the other cheek would be supremely ethical, but no human being has an ethical obligation to allow the unjust and irrational sensitivities or biases of others to control their lives…including George Zimmerman.

              You know, I dont think it is particularly irrational nor sensitive not to want to see the death of your child touted as a selling point to raise the value of an object, especially by the person who killed your child. Especially when that person has publically gloated over killing your child in the past. I think any parent would feel the same. And martin didn’t just have parents, he had siblings and other relatives as well.

              I think everyone agrees that Zimmerman can legally do as he pleases. Should he ethically be touting that this was the gun he killed Martin with to raise its value? If Zimmerman were your ethics client, he would have your blessing to go ahead with this auction, inflammatory language and all? Ok.

              • I would advise him to take the high road. That doesn’t mean the road he took is worthy of all the hate and abuse being focused on him. Martin’s parents used unscrupulous black activists, politicians and the media in a PR effort to paint him as a villain and their son as a blameless angel. He is angry at them, and hates them as much as they hate him, except in his case, he has a reason based on reality. They mounted extra-legal pressure that placed him at risk of his life and liberty. His auction does exactly no harm to them whatsoever; their harm to him was tangible and permanent.

                • Deery:

                  “You know, I dont think it is particularly irrational nor sensitive not to want to see the death of your child touted as a selling point to raise the value of an object, especially by the person who killed your child.”

                  This is the crux of the issue. It doesn’t matter who was at fault for the shooting. If a 17-year-old kid comes into my house and starts beating me with a baseball bat, and I shoot him in self-defense, it would STILL be unethical for me to auction off my gun with the selling point “I used this to kill a teenager in self-defense.” It mocks the value of life. It contributes to national disharmony. It profits off of death. Nothing that Martin or his family did before or after makes Zimmerman’s actions more ethical here, Jack–that’s a rationalization, and you’re above those.

                  • “I shoot him in self-defense, it would STILL be unethical for me to auction off my gun with the selling point “I used this to kill a teenager in self-defense.”

                    If the incident was a historic event and media circus, it would certainly NOT be unethical. If you can sell it ethical, and you can, it cannot be unethical to disclose what makes it more valuable to a collector or historian than any other baseball bat.

                    • We are not going to agree on this. Using the fact that you killed someone as a selling point, to profit yourself, is unethical.

                      May I ask: you say doing this is not “unethical,” simply “ick” and “in bad taste.” But what makes it those things? Why did you have an “ick” reaction to this story?

                      Sometimes an “ick” reaction is irrational, such as the “ick” reaction many people have to homosexuality. Sometimes it is a sign that something really is wrong. I think in this case it’s the latter: some part of you knows this is ethically wrong, but you’re dismissing all arguments to explain why it’s wrong.

                      So why did you think doing this is “ick” or “in bad taste?”

                    • Why? Because, like all icky events, “it feels wrong.” That’s emotion. Ethics is based on reality and rational analysis.

                      Your framing of the issue is false, and a misrepresentation. Selling an item in your possession with historical significance for the market price is completely ethical, and your involvement with the event, whatever it may be, has no bearing on that assessment.

          • “1. I now know that you are completely irrational on this issue. Exactly what is Zimmerman’s culpability for an individual bid placed on it by an individual he doesn’t know, and who is almost certainly sabotaging the auction?”

            So Zimmerman isn’t culpable for farcical bids placed on the farcical auction he created? Ridiculous.

            “2. Zimmerman is doing it for 1) money, and 2) celebrity, which is all he has left, thanks to the destruction of his life and reputation.”

            How is that different from doing it for attention?

            “3. “Hard to do when everyone, including yourself, is reporting on this story.” Baloney. If I started listing all of the attention hounds I ignore, it would take a month.”

            Did any of those attention hounds kill your son? Are any of them continuing to use your son’s death to get money and fame? If not, do you see how it might be harder to ignore them if they had?

            4. “You’ve lost it, Chris. Tweets by this jerk do not affect his right to sell his property, no increase or decrease any ethical issues in doing so.”

            No one has argued his right to sell his property. You keep bringing up strawman arguments that don’t apply.

            Those tweets show a pattern of racist (and in the case of the pic, criminal) behavior. It shows that even if the killing of Martin wasn’t racially motivated, he now makes a habit of inflaming racial tensions on purpose.

            • I have to run, so I’ll give a fuller replay later, but I can’t let THIS pass:

              “So Zimmerman isn’t culpable for farcical bids placed on the farcical auction he created? Ridiculous.”

              So if I auction my father’s medals on e-bay, I’m responsible if a nut case makes an absurd bid. That’s your position: Zimmerman is responsible for unpredictable acts beyond his control in any way. This is, you realize, or will after your fever breaks, like holding a woman responsible for her rape because if she didn’t walk down the street, it wouldn’t have happened. THAT’S ridiculous, and highlights the desperation of your argument.

              And auctioning an item that has actual value isn’t farcical (and if that was the right word, why would it be unethical? Farcical is unethical? Since when? ), it’s straight forward. Bad, bad logical fallacy and dishonest argument tactic: linking a fake bid, which is “farcical”, to an actual proffer of sale, in order to achieve false equivalence by association.

              • “So if I auction my father’s medals on e-bay, I’m responsible if a nut case makes an absurd bid.”

                No, because you wouldn’t be starting an absurd auction. Zimmerman *is* a nut case, as he has demonstrated repeatedly over the years, and he started an auction that was bound to attract other nut cases.

                “That’s your position: Zimmerman is responsible for unpredictable acts beyond his control”

                The reaction to this auction was *entirely* predictable to anyone who is not an idiot. You can’t possibly believe the response is unpredictable; you’re too smart for that. I don’t know why you are defending this.

  7. 1. I didn’t blame the divide on George. George is just a small part of a huge problem. That problem shows it’s ugly head when these things occur.

    2. It is incendiary. By offering it at auction along with the provocative description, he has inflamed the worst emotions from both sides. $65 million, really? He ENJOYS this. It is unethical and incendiary to revel in the killing of another, even if that killing was deemed necessary. His past listings for his artwork also included inflammatory language, bragging about the act.

    3. Personally I’m not so sure it was a racially motivated thing. I think it was a “power-hungry, paranoia, wanna-be cop, bully, gun made him reckless” motivated thing. He wanted the excitement of the confrontation and the “chase” and now he enjoys the notoriety and celebrity….and the money that resulted.

    4. “This was a local incident turned into a national one to push the agenda of those who have an agenda of racial division for political gain.” That is YOUR spin, and your opinion.

    5.
    mo·ral·i·ty
    məˈralədē/
    noun: morality
    principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
    synonyms: ethics, rights and wrongs, ethicality
    More
    “the morality of nuclear weapons”
    virtue, goodness, good behavior, righteousness, rectitude, uprightness;
    morals, principles, honesty, integrity, propriety, honor, justice, decency;
    ethics, standards/principles of behavior, mores, standards
    “a sharp decline in morality”
    a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society.
    plural noun: moralities
    “a bourgeois morality”
    the extent to which an action is right or wrong.
    “behind all the arguments lies the issue of the morality of the possession of nuclear weapons”

    eth·ics
    ˈeTHiks/
    plural noun: ethics; noun: ethics

    1.
    moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.
    “Judeo-Christian ethics”
    synonyms: moral code, morals, morality, values, rights and wrongs, principles, ideals, standards (of behavior), value system, virtues, dictates of conscience
    “your so-called newspaper is clearly not burdened by a sense of ethics”
    the moral correctness of specified conduct.
    “the ethics of euthanasia”
    2.
    the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.

    Morality does not “come from an authority”. Morality comes from within. It’s basis is empathy. It is the innate knowledge that something is wrong because it causes harm. Ethics stems from morality, it is the public side.

    A & B. He had tons of culpability and many an opportunity to de-escalate the situation. You may not agree, but I think a trial was warranted. It’s not like George was walking home from the store minding his own business and Trayvon jumped him out of a dark corner.

    C. I never said he was responsible for the upraor. Nor do I think it. Those who use and exploit him and those who used and exploited Trayvon are. Even that is just a microscopic bit of the problems dividing the nation. George did not cause the divide – he is a symptom of it.

    D. You are taking my use of the word “may” out of context. I was using it comparatively: “He may have been justified by law to defend himself, but he is also culpable for his part in reaching that point.” You cannot claim innocent victim status when your antagonistic actions led to the confrontation that led to you using deadly force to defend yourself. There is some blood on your hands. And if there is – it is unethical and disrespectful and incendiary to do what he is doing with the attitude he is doing it. It is also not ethical for people to call for George’s death or for it to be turned into a race thing by both sides. Both are wrong.

    • 1. (your 2) “It is incendiary” is not an ethical violation. That’s simply saying people don’t like it. Tough. They hate anything he does, thanks to what the media and the justice system did to him.

      2. “Personally I’m not so sure it was a racially motivated thing.” Not so convinced? There isn’t one shred of evidence that it was racially motivated.

      3. “This was a local incident turned into a national one to push the agenda of those who have an agenda of racial division for political gain.” That is YOUR spin, and your opinion. Nope, it’s fact. An incident that had no racial elements at all was turned into a rallying point for race-baiting just in time for an election. Zimmerman didn’t do it. Why this incident, out of hundreds around the country? Why was this worth the President’s sympathy and public statement? In DC, kids like Martin are killed every single day.

      4. Let me be clear: on this blog, you use my terms. It’s the only way to communicate. Ethicists have to refine the dictionary definitions—perhaps you noticed that in what you quoted, morals and ethics are used to define each other. Ethics is the study of what is right and what is wrong. It’s my profession. And the conditions of commenting here mean using a common set of terms. I’m not arguing this.

      5. He shares responsibility for the tragedy with Martin. Who has ever disputed that? He does not share culpability for the unethical prosecution or his own persecution. Of course there’s blood on his hands–he killed somebody.

      • “4. Let me be clear: on this blog, you use my terms. It’s the only way to communicate. Ethicists have to refine the dictionary definitions—perhaps you noticed that in what you quoted, morals and ethics are used to define each other. Ethics is the study of what is right and what is wrong. It’s my profession. And the conditions of commenting here mean using a common set of terms. I’m not arguing this.”

        Fine. It is your blog and you are entitled to be your own lexicographer. It just seems, if professional ethicists have a different definition of morality and ethics than the rest of the world, that they should not be surprised if miscommunication and misunderstanding arise.

        So, by your definition of morality, those who do not ascribe to a religion or particular philosophy or authority are amoral?

  8. I seem to remember more than one item following the trial which said most of Zimmerman’s friends (or at least the one’s he saw most often at a regular poker game) were black and that (more than one) testified that he had never shown any signs of racism.

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