Call it karma or irony or kismet or fate. Or call it obscenely predictable. The man who shot at right-wing hero and NRA poster boy George Zimmerman is claiming self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Newser via USA Today reported:
The attorney for Matthew Apperson said today that his client qualifies because he opened fire when he thought his life was in danger. As the AP notes, Zimmerman’s legal team considered but ultimately chose not to pursue a stand-your-ground defense after Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin.
Under Florida’s law, Apperson would get a hearing before his trial at which a judge would decide whether he’s in the clear because of the self-defense strategy.
After all of the reports of Zimmerman’s aggressions and attacks – including attacking a police officer years ago, before he killed Trayvon Martin after aggressively following him because he was wearing a hoodie even after police told him to stand down, it seems like a pretty easy point to make that if you saw Zimmerman coming at you, you’d feel under attack. Especially if he had threatened to shoot you in the past and had found you at your place of employment and had driven there and was just parked in the lot after threatening you.
Zimmerman only suffered minor injuries from the bullet that went through the passenger window of his vehicle after what the defendant described as a “road rage incident”, which involved Zimmerman pulling a gun on him.
Kenneth Cornell, who works at the nearby Cyrus Diagnostic Imaging, said Apperson ran up to him about 1 p.m. saying he had just shot George Zimmerman.
Cornell said he called 911 and handed the phone over to Apperson.
“He said it was a road rage incident, that they were driving down the street and George pulled a gun on him,” Cornell said.
Last September, Apperson told police that Zimmerman had threatened to kill him while on the road.
That sounds like the George Zimmerman we all know, the one who has been accused of pulling guns on so many people it’s hard to keep track. Apparently he didn’t expect to run into someone else who also carried a gun and was ready to use it in “self-defense”.
See if this sounds familiar. Zimmerman said Apperson sort of “followed him” and flashed his lights at him and he tried to get away, and then this guy pulled up next to him and shot him.
So Zimmerman now feels it’s a crime to follow someone and then shoot at them. Huh. The alleged shooter has the exact same defense as Zimmerman used in the Trayvon Martin killing, only Apperson has an actual documented event upon which to base his “fear” of Zimmerman.
Apperson reported in September that he was just driving down the road with his windows up “rapping to himself”, when along came George Zimmerman, who pulled up next to him screaming at him. It seems Zimmerman once again took what someone else was doing on their own free time as a personal insult and threat, so naturally he threatened to kill the driver:
The driver said he turned to look at the vehicle and saw two people, one of which was Zimmerman, yelling at him.
When he rolled down his window, he said Zimmerman said, “Why are you pointing your finger at me? I (expletive) kill you. Do you know who I am?”
The driver said he pulled into a Circle K to call police, and Zimmerman again drove by and yelled at him.
The driver, Apperson, declined to prosecute back then in September after the police told him it would be hard to prove it was Zimmerman, even though Apperson correctly identified Zimmerman’s vehicle and said that Zimmerman threatened to shoot him. (Go figure, this modus operandi of aggression-out-of -owhere should be renamed “The Zimmerman”.)
Next up, Apperson reported that Zimmerman was stalking him at his place of work. (Also in line with the Zimmerman MO.) The police came and there was Zimmerman in his Honda Ridgeline.
Zimmerman accused Apperson of exaggerating the story but admitted that it happened. He claimed he was there to see a doctor. Go Florida police because… they let him go. Again.
Which leads us to now, with Zimmerman up on his high horse because this person that he allegedly threatened and possibly stalked actually shot back some months later. Like Zimmerman said he did when he killed Trayvon Martin.
There is one thread through the entire Zimmerman journey – and that is, he is a walking example of why guns need to be more regulated. This is why we have laws and this is why Stand Your Ground is so obscene and ridiculous.
But modern day conservatives refuse to learn from history, and instead must repeat the same mistakes to the same painful end before realizing that the people before them had a reason for the laws they made after all. So here we are, with George Zimmerman making sure someone who allegedly shot at his car window after he allegedly threatened and stalked them is prosecuted, because apparently it really sucks when OTHER PEOPLE stand their ground with a gun.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.