Gun Tweet of the Day: George Zimmerman Lynch Mob Edition

TTAG has reported various threats against the life of George Zimmerman, the man accused of Second Degree murder in the case of Trayvon Martin. Specifically the New Black Panthers’ bounty on Zimmerman’s head and the appearance of a Twitter account named “@killZimmerman.” Now that the Florida shooter is out on bail, a Twitter lynch mob has formed. twitchy.com has a partial list and it’s not pretty. The U.S. Justice Department should pursue the people who’ve made these terroristic threats. Whether or not Twitter should close the accounts is another matter. I say yes. What say you?

[ed: The above tweet from Jenn Taylor at twitchy.com is quoting one of a host of threats by others against George Zimmerman. She wasn't threatening GZ. Just to be clear.]

avatar

About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

59 Responses to Gun Tweet of the Day: George Zimmerman Lynch Mob Edition

  1. avatarLT says:

    Nope. Heck, we’ve got our own Zimmerman right here; the last name “Zimmerman” is apparently more common than I thought!

    Maybe if the threats were a little more specific, sure, or if the surname was something like “Obama” (or “Palin,” for that matter, though I’d wager her last name’s a bit more common than his) I’d be okay with bringing down the hammer.

    For situations like this my natural inclination is to let folks talk. The First Amendment allows some nice speech and some not-so-nice speech and we’ve gotta deal with it all.

    Also, while that Q Public twit apparently has a more limited understanding of the legal system than your average dolt I’m not sure her comments crossed the line into illegal territory, though I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the bozos on the Twitterverse eventually did.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      Granted, I chose that example as a display of the intelligence level in play. Click on the Twitchy link for Tweets that simply say “Kill Zimmerman.”

      What if Jenn Taylor targeted you or your family? Same deal? Does the high profile nature of the Martin shooting change the rules?

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      It doesn’t really matter if they just use the surname when anyone reading it knows the exact intent. Chances are most people on there are just there to blow off steam and nothing will happen. There are more crazy people in the US to count. More than likely a few will find their way on there and attempt to do something. While there are many people with the surname Zimmerman; it is clear who they are referring to.

    • avatarLevi B says:

      The link in that tweet goes directly to a story about George Zimmerman and that beating. I think it’s safe to say he was talking about George Zimmerman.

  2. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    Of course the DOJ should pursue these stupid people, and right away. But this is the Obama/Holder DOJ……good luck with that. A better bet might be for the Florida AG to start an investigation. I wouldn’t bet on that either. I might bet on a long, hot, violent summer leading up to the general election.

  3. avatarAdrian says:

    Twitter should keep the accounts open so they can be monitored by Zimmerman’s lawyers and by law enforcement, so they can act on the serious threats. Closing accounts just mean they reopen and are harder to find.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      At what point do they become complicit should something happen. It still provides a breeding ground for people wanting to commit a crime.

    • avatarParthenon says:

      No, Twitter should close the accounts and send the user information and relevent posts to law enforcment.

  4. avatarJim Barrett says:

    I’m not sure that I agree that this is a free speech issue. There are limits to what defines free speech. The most famous example is that you cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. Some of these twitter posts seem like pretty specific threats and could be actionable. Furthermore, would we all still think it okay if I changed things a bit and had this be about some random student in a random public high school? If people started posting calls to have a student killed, you can bet that law enforcement and the school district would move in fast. While we may want to
    see a vast difference between Zimmerman and the random student, the fact is that there is not much of one. In both cases, you have threats being made against someone’s life and that is not cool.

    As for what twitter should do, let me offer a suggestion. Let’s start some twitter posts calling for the murder of twitter’s founder and backers for being complicit of conspiracy to committ murder. Then we can see if twitter is truly as egalitarian as they want to appear. Will they leave those posts, or delete them and ban accounts? It would be an interesting experiment. As for what they could do, it would not be that difficult to write filters to block references to martin or zimmerman. Sure, people could come up with creative code names and aliases, but twitter could block these too. Eventually the aliases and codes would become so obscure that the majority of the twitter audience would not understand them and the problem would be addressed.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      Not only is that not cool, but illegal. Unfortunately, Zimmerman might as well have killed a bus load of nuns in the court of public opinion. The thugocracy has spoken.

    • avatarParthenon says:

      Stooping to their level.

      nope

      Pushing for censorship

      double nope

  5. avatarKYgunner says:

    Threats and hate speech have been established not to be included under the 1st Ammendment. Twitter needs to prosecute the owner of the @killzimmerman account and send a message to users that using the site to incite violence and hate won’t be tolerated.

  6. avatarThomas Paine says:

    and the worst part of all this is that the judge disallowed Zimmerman to own/handle any weapons as a condition of his bail.

  7. avatarRokurota says:

    No, the worst part is @JennQPublic’s twisted interpretation of double jeopardy. She must have watched that Ashley Judd movie too many times. Drunk. In Arabic. While sleeping.

  8. avatarMatt says:

    What is it about Twitter that it can simultaneously expand *and* diminish the masses’ ability to communicate?

    The further and faster one’s words can reach around the world, the less it seems to matter that the words are coherent.

    Is it just me, or is Idiocracy looking more and more prescient every day?

    • avatarAdrian says:

      Welcome to the internet! Need a tour?

      =P

      • avatarMatt says:

        LOL. Thanks Adrian, but I’ve been around it a while now, just struck me hard from this particular tweet.

        It never ceases to amaze me how much people like to proclaim their stupidity to millions of people at a time.

    • avatarJuanCudz says:

      Mark Twain said something about newspapers that could be applied to the internet.

    • avatarthatoneguy says:

      What’s funny is the first time I watched that movie with my old man, he looked over at me and said “Just wait”

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      Anyone ever notice facebook updates are limited to 420 words! hhhmm wonder who figured that one out lol
      This is also why most of my responses are so long! I try and attempt to formulate some form of coherent constructive speech and spelling the best I can. :-)

  9. Michelle Malkin covered this yesterday and posted up twitter’s official policy on this…

    According to Twitter terms of service…
    https://support.twitter.com/groups/33-report-a-violation/topics/121-guidelines-best-practices/articles/18311-the-twitter-rules#

    Violence and Threats: You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.

    As per twitter, at the very least the accounts should be closed. There should also be charges filed by local and/or federal justice departments.

  10. avatarGS650G says:

    Lessons for all of us if we find ourself in a DGU that is judged a civil rights violation by the mad masses.

  11. avatarArkhamInmate says:

    Apparently she was “quoting” the idiot who actually tweeted this, so anyone thinking of blasting her on twitter may think about it before hand. I know I was ready. Reading is fundamental. I thought it was strange that she seemed semi intelligent in some of her other tweets, and then to read that, had me puzzled until I read her response to someone else blasting her.

    • avatarParthenon says:

      Poe
      it’s not just a good idea
      it’s the law

    • avatarGuywithagun says:

      Yes, reading is fundamental. This threw up a big red flag as soon as I read it. The statement is in QUOTES, people. Someone stupid enough to say this obviously isn’t smart enough to use quotes properly. These are not her words! I’m not even gonna get into the whole out-of-context thing. Shame, RF.

      Posting the quote is fine to make your point but you should have blurred out her name in the screen shot. She is obviously not the original commenter.

      She could have used a “He said:” at the beginning of the post but now she is guilty of displaying ignorance publicly. Clearly, this is a capital crime. Sheesh!

      • avatarcaffeinated says:

        So I guess whenever I want to make death threats I’ll just use quotes and it will be OK.

        • avatarMadDawg J says:

          Yup, or you can just wait for someone else to say it and then repost their threat. That’s ok.

          /sarc

        • avatarGuywithagun says:

          Boy, you guys are so cute. Ignorant, but cute. Obviously you missed ArkhamInmate’s point above. I love the sarcasm though.

        • avatarGuywithagun says:

          She was pointing out the ignorance that was spewed from someone else. RF just did the same thing by posting on this site. How is that any different? It’s completely out of context. Your comment just contributes to the problem.

  12. avatarChris Mallory says:

    Sure, it should be looked into. But by local or state agencies, not the Feds. There should only be 3 Federal crimes: Piracy, counterfeiting money, and treason. Every thing else should be handled at the state or local level.

  13. avatarMALTHUS says:

    The Left wanted Zimmerman isolated so they could break his will to resist. They failed. This explains their rage over his release on bail. It means he will now get a fair trial.

    “The state overcharged him with murder 2 for two reasons: it’s a bargaining chip to force him to accept a lesser charge, and a means to keep him locked up pretrial. The way the legal system is designed, it’s difficult for someone being held in custody to win acquittal. Even if he went to trial and managed to get a hung jury, the state would surely retry him (multiple times, if necessary), until they get a conviction or he’s spent more time in the county lockup than he would have spent in prison if he’d just pleaded guilty in the first place. And even if he were acquitted, let’s not forget the specter of a federal indictment being handed down.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/18/trial-of-george-zimmerman-could-trigger-another-rodney-king.html

    • avatarMadDawg J says:

      I personally think they went with murder 2 since it will create a very long trial. The hope is that the masses will have forgotten (we are a nation with ADD after all) by the time the trial actually plays out well after November.

  14. avatarscott says:

    I’m no constitutional scholar, but it seems that some people have a different understanding of the 1st amendment than I do.

    The test on whether something like this is protected or not is whether the speech to the mob was incitement to imminent action. It would be tough to prove that this is incitement, however if they published an address AND said that someone needs to kill him, that probably would not be protected speech. I would guess that there isn’t enough there to make charges out of. However Twitter should close that account by their own rules.

  15. avatarMadDawg J says:

    The 1st amendment isn’t the issue here, the blatant violations of Twitters TOS are.

    Twitter, “Never have so many, with so little to say, been able to say it to so many.” How self absorbed do you have to be to think that the world cares about every meal you eat and every thought you have?

  16. avatarRalph says:

    If I represented George Zimmerman, I’d be thrilled by these Twitter threats. The crazier the anti-Zimmerman crowd acts, the better Zimmerman looks by comparison.

    We are already witnessing a change in the public’s attitude toward George Zimmerman. His release on bail attracted no protesters — none. His apology to the family was obviously sincere — and I’m a lawyer with a well-developed bullsh!t detector and a cynical streak. Coverage by the MSM is actually turning around a little, ever since the publication of the “lost” photo of Zimmerman’s bleeding coconut.

    The more hate speech addressed toward Zimmerman, the more sympathetic a defendant he will be to any jury of his peers. So carry on, Zimmerman haters. George is depending on you.

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      I ever got to hear his apology, but I will take it at face value. I am sure he is sorry, for what he did, but to be honest just being sorry doesn’t make you not guilty if there is guilt.
      I so want the trial to start already. I want answers to questions, and would love to be able to read the evidence. I believe in physical evidence, and analysis. It is what can tell the impartial truth. I am hoping there is enough evidence that we can all get a clear picture of what happened. It will put to rest any grey area. It is going to suck if everything is circumstantial. At that point it leaves that big grey area, and if he is acquitted then folks will protest as you know….

      • avatarGuywithagun says:

        “I believe in physical evidence, and analysis. It is what can tell the impartial truth”.

        Just like in the OJ trial, right?

        • avatarSanchanim says:

          The OJ trial was a joke, he basically bought his way out of it, by dragging the trial on so long no one knew which way was up.
          After reviewing the evidence in the OJ trial I would have found him guilty as sin. Also the way the trial was run was ridiculous as well.
          So no not like the OJ trial.

        • avatarMatt Gregg says:

          The cops did their best to let him off too with the evidence tampering and all.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      Cynical? No not you :P

  17. avatarSanchanim says:

    Hey now don’t infringe on my 1A!!!!!!
    Just kidding.. Seriously though this is why I wished he would remain in custody. Nothing against Mr. Z or anything. He will get his due process in court which is the right thing, but his safety is important too.
    Making death threats against someone is not good no matter how you slice it, and the DOJ should pursue it. I doubt they will but according to the letter of the law it is considered a terrorist threat BTW.
    To be honest regardless of how you feel about the charges or think happened that night, he is getting his day in court. I want the truth or as close as we can get to it.
    These twitter folks pretty much have convicted him straight up. That is just plain wrong. Give him his due process, just like you would want if it was happening to you.
    Ok more coffee..

  18. avatarJohn Grissom says:

    “The U.S. Justice Department should pursue the people who’ve made these terroristic threats.” No, no, no. The DOiJ only goes after WHITE people….

    • avatarBob says:

      In this White House administration, it is now the Department Of Social Justice, with all the meanings associated with the progressive Social Justice philosophy.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.