phillips & hunt Murderabilia: George Zimmerman's Auction of the Gun Which Killed Trayvon Martin
Murderabilia, also spelled as murderbilia or murderabillia, is a term identifying the act of collecting artifacts related to murder, violent crimes and high profile killings. It is believed to have been coined by Andy Kahan of the Houston Police Department’s Crime Victims Office.
Long ago, in May 2001, eBay banned the sale of murderabilia items. Sure, you can still get an O.J. Simpson autograph, but the line ends about there. Other sites, such as Supernaught.com, market those morose artifacts. In the ultimate of sickness, there is even a webpage dedicated to school shooters- https://www.supernaught.com/collections/school-shooters.
Other sides such as serialkillersink.net and MurderAuction.com also promote and sell similar items. According to its facebook page, Murder Auction is currently down because they are revamping their site.
Murderabilia sales are reportedly banned in Texas, California, New Jersey, Michigan, Utah and Montana. Texas senior U.S. senator John Cornyn has proposed a federal law, which would effectively make the profiteering of murderabilia illegal nationwide, banning artifacts obtained from killers from being sent through the U.S. mail.
According to Time Magazine, “Critics of Cornyn’s previous pushes say that murderabilia bans violate killers’ First Amendment rights. In both 2007 and 2010, similar bills written by Cornyn failed to make it out of committee.” He has recently tried again.
Would this even apply to Zimmerman who was acquitted? Probably not. Simply put, he was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin. However, it is believed that he (or at least the condo complex where Trayvon Martin was killed) settled a wrongful death suit. Does that change anything as the law stands? No.
This isn’t the first time George Zimmerman has sought to sell something related to the now infamous case of State of Florida versus George Zimmerman over his killing of Trayvon Martin. His first foray was attempting to sell paint by numbers paintings and prints, particularly using an AP-owned photo of Angela Corey as the basis for his copying. We represented the photographer, Rick Wilson (pictured in the photo to the right), and stopped him based on copyright grounds. At that time, even his former lawyer, Mark O’Mara, said he had lost his marbles and stated he no longer had anything to do with George Zimmerman.
If George Zimmerman had no marbles then, he certainly doesn’t now. Despite some highly publicized abuses of gun ownership since his killing of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman’s rights to own a gun are still in tact.
He is now seeking to sell the very gun used to kill Trayvon Martin via auction, first courtesy of a site known as GunBroker.com. The auction was located here. It stated:
Prospective bidders, 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. The gun is a Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm. It has recently been returned to me by the Department of Justice. The pistol currently has the case number written on it in silver permanent marker. Many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. This is a piece of American History. It has been featured in several publications and in current University text books. Offers to purchase the Firearm have been received; however, the offers were to use the gun in a fashion I did not feel comfortable with. The firearm is fully functional as the attempts by the Department of Justice on behalf of B. Hussein Obama to render the firearm inoperable were thwarted by my phenomenal Defense Attorney. I recognize the purchaser’s ownership and right to do with the firearm as they wish. The purchaser is guaranteed validity and authenticity of the firearm. On this day, 5/11/2016 exactly one year after the shooting attempt to end my life by BLM sympathizer Matthew Apperson I am proud to announce that a portion of the proceeds will be used to: fight BLM violence against Law Enforcement officers, ensure the demise of Angela Correy’s persecution career and Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric. Now is your opportunity to own a piece of American History. Good Luck. Your friend, George M. Zimmerman ~Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum~
The auction was scheduled to begin on May 12, 2016, and the opening bid was $5000.
GunBroker.com describes itself as “the largest online auction site dedicated to the shooting sports, hunting, and related products” and claims to, “Attract 5.5 million unique visitors each month.” It is based out of Kennesaw, Georgia. They accept advertising from 3rd parties and gain revenue from same. The CEO appears Steve Urvan. The site appears to be managed by MediaLodge. The CEO of MediaLodge is Jeff Siegel.
We messaged them as soon as we saw the auction went live and encouraged others to do so as well. The story went national quickly. They pulled the gun sale from their site.
Another site stepped in and has the gun listed here. Fake and troll bidders have run the auction up to over $65 million dollars, including one named Racist McShooterface. They are located on Twitter as @UnitedGunGroup.
The owner is Todd Underwood. He previously had a twitter account under @manvsque and has openly advocated for Donald Trump. Search of the history using his handle reveals a person who liked to engage in Second Amendment debate in immature fashion. His header read, “Christian Husband father brother NRA lifetime member and Pistol instructor KCBS lifetime member Pitmaster Man Vs Que Competition BBQ Team.”
Unlike the more corporate model of the prior auction site, reasoning with Mr. Underwood seems less likely. Here he attacks Moms Demand Actions, making the gun debate about sex:
phillips & hunt What can you do?
Please do not bid on this and write the website administrator, its advertisers and politely ask that they remove this auction. Sure, it is a free market, but we must respect each other more than to profit over items of such disgusting nature.
phillips & hunt About John
I am a wrongful death, personal injury and civil rights lawyer. Nearly in tears, I have walked a journey with Jordan Davis’s family. I have followed the Zimmerman case closely and become friends with Trayvon’s family and counsel. I was in Sanford when the Zimmerman verdict came down. You can see my reaction below. I assure you I was equally beside myself when I saw this auction. There is no place in a civilized society for this.