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I can’t take credit for that headline. Props to TTAG reader EN who emailed a link to George Zimmerman Involved in Yet Another Police Incident. Which goes a little something like this: “George Zimmerman cannot seem to stay out of trouble. This time, a driver told police Zimmerman threatened to kill him after a confrontation on the road. Zimmerman pulled up next to the driver, he said, and asked, ‘Why are you pointing a finger at me? Do you know who I am?’ according to the Associated Press. He then threatened to kill the man, he told police. The man, who declined to press charges, says Zimmerman was waiting for him at work the next day. It is unclear how Zimmerman knew where the man worked.” OK, so what can The People of the Gun learn from St. George? . . .

Let’s put the whole Trayvon Martin thing to one side and imagine that we’re in a car, minding our own business. Someone cuts us off. As they do so they flip the bird or makes a gun out of his hand and pretends to shoot us. What do we do? Nothing. Not a damn thing. Other than whatever it takes to put some distance between ourselves and the road rager (hopefully without breaking any traffic laws or otherwise endangering third parties).

If you feel really threatened or aggrieved, especially if you think the driver was potentially homicidal, dial 911 immediately and relate the incident to the operator. Otherwise, the maniac can call the po-po and make you the bad guy. And that means a not-so-pleasant traffic stop and a potential trip downtown. And the rest.

More generally, anyone who carries a gun should avoid confrontations in general, lest they escalate. Put another way, your gun rights, your ability to legally exercise your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community, are more important than winning an argument. Any argument – save the one you must win to protect life and limb.

More specifically, if you find yourself in Mr. Zimmerman’s shoes, a target of public scrutiny, lay low FFS. Back to generally: don’t do stupid things in stupid places with stupid people. ‘Cause the chances are the stupid person is you. Just sayin’.

80 Responses to Self Defense Tip: Don’t be George Zimmerman

  1. Could also be that those that hate George Z for “getting off” may make something up to get him in trouble with the law… No that would never happen.

    Dont get me wrong, I agree with avoiding problems when possible. But when a large part of the population would love to make your life miserable you could be accused of anything.

    • Esp when you decline to press charges against the person you say threatened you and who is waiting for you the next day of your place of employment.

      Can you say “not willing to file a false police report”?

      • Yep. Show up the next day where I’m at and it’s gone way past road rage and into pyscho stalker time. I’ve never been a fan or supporter of gz, but this smells real bad.

        • ” I’ve never been a fan or supporter of gz, but this smells real bad.”

          I never understood why POTG were so quick to get in his corner. He looked like one of those “I wish a mother lover would.” types.

    • “Could also be that those that hate George Z for “getting off” may make something up to get him in trouble with the law… No that would never happen.”

      Yep. If people are willing to make, if I remember correctly, 400 death threats a minute on Twitter, then of course they will do something to get Zimmerman in trouble with the law.

      The gullibility, especially on a site like this, is downright disturbing.

    • Yep. My spidey senses tingle when someone reports something like this to the police, but then declines to press charges.

      There’s no reason to believe that this isn’t some tactic analogous to SWATing.

      • From the complaint filers perspective, it would be impossible to prove without some kind of evidence, and therefore, a complete waste of time filing a report.

    • “But when a large part of the population would love to make your life miserable you could be accused of anything.”

      Sounds like the direction the NFL is headed.

    • Honestly I never put those conditions all together at once until I came here. “Stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places” is great. Applies to a lot of situations beyond those immediately relevant to firearms.

  2. I was once told by a LEO that making the gun thingy with your hand and pointing it at someone is actually assault. I don’t know if that is true, however.

    • Cops know the least about the law. There are about a half a dozen motor vehicle violations they really know(red lights, speed, stop signs, DUI, careless/reckless driving, and missing brake/tail lights) and about a half a dozen crimes they really know (simple assault, drug possession, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, retail theft, bad checks).

      Here’s a good one for you. In Pa you can be charged with Agricultural vandalism, which can be a felony.
      18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3309

      • I should hope that destroying/damaging a farmer’s livelihood, his crops, or livestock, which could run into thousands of dollars of value and potentially bankrupt him, should be a felony offense!

  3. This incident doesn’t pass the sniff test. And I must say that I am a bit disturbed with TTAG for sensationalizing it. The whole article seems to paint GZ as a bad guy who “got away with it” and that any claims in the future automatically make George to be the bad guy.

    And just how does one “lay low” when driving? Why should George be forced into a life of hiding and skulking around because he was forced to defend himself against a skumbag? I feel sorry for the guy. He has had a bullseye on his back since the trial. How about we concentrate on incidents that involve facts and evidence and not hearsay.

    • WTF.
      going to someone’s place of employment is NOT laying low.

      People with targets on their back should not go down to the range and walk in front of the firing line when the range is hot!

      • Ugh why do I even bother trying to reply…but here goes.
        Honestly did you really believe that GZ went to this guys place-o-work? really? you got to be sh!t!n me, right?
        Now stop and think for a minute, before you get mad at me, and answer these questions to your self!
        And then he won’t press charges! WTF….ilmao where oh where is the critical thinking? [That’s a rhetorical question] What would you have done if some guy on the road “finger gunned” you and then showed up at your work the next day? Really? my God man I want to know what you would do in his place? [OK dam!t those are all rhetorical. Just chew on’um for awhile k]

        I’m done now, and that’s about all I got to say about this….

  4. When I get road raged, I just do my best to smile and wave. I’ve had passengers in the road rage car smile and wave back, only to get chewed out in turn by the disgruntled driver.

    If I actually want to de-escalate the situation, I put up my hand and mouth the word “sorry “. It doesn’t cost anything, and it’s much safer than “F$&@ you!” Most drivers over estimate their abilities even more than shooters – possibly even as much as cross-fit douchebags. You either cut off the other driver, were doing something stupid such as driving slowly in the fast lane, or were perceived by the other driver, who still very well could be an idiot, as doing so. It happens. Even great drivers get distracted and tired. Remember that it isn’t possible to “un-hurry” or force politeness onto the other driver.

    That driver may also have a legitimate emergency such as a child who stopped breathing. That was one of my few legitimate calls. My mother fainted after a serious heart issue during a holiday, and I got her to the hospital with a serious sense of purpose. That never got called in, but it could have. My mother’ life is more important than a 25 mph zone.

    I’ve personally investigated more than 300 road rage incidents. They’ve ranged from a negligent lane change to straight up murder. Many have both people involved in mutual ADW with a vehicle.

    Keep calm and drive friendly. If you or a passenger can video the other driver being an a&$hole, you have a much stronger case if police become involved. Call 911 and disengage. A license plate number helps, but could involve the other side telling their story after follow up is conducted. Keep in mind that the other party may also have video.

    Do everything feasible to avoid a crash, even if the other driver would be at fault. Yield if you have to, but don’t allow the other driver to force you to a stop. If you crash into the other car, you’ll likely be part of an accident investigation. That investigation becomes a semi-public (at least in CA) document. That means the other driver gets access to your home address. So also do insurance companies and lawyers.

    Most angry drivers are also impatient drivers. Allowing them to pass and driving slowly is often far more effective than hauling ass to get away. Then again, I’ve left a few drivers trying to chase me in the dust with a high HP sports car or sport bike. Vehicle capability is certainly a consideration.

    If you commit a crime, or are charged with doing so, your gun rights could be in jeopardy. Many road rage victims are also suspects. The statements made by many of the drivers I’ve interviewed have been panicked and inconsistent, and those statements can be used against you in a court of law. I’ve got audio video recording, as do most cops except some motorcycle guys.

    Take a deep breath and realize that a$$hole drivers have to deal with their attitude for their whole life. You just have to bear it for a little while.

  5. Some people just can’t stay out of trouble. They go following people through dark neighborhoods when they shouldn’t. They get involved with women with whom they shouldn’t. They get involved in traffic incidents when they shouldn’t.

    Even if they don’t break any laws, per se, these people end up on the wrong side of life. It’s true… don’t be one of these people.

    • I get where you are going with that, and good advice and all, but lets be honest here. What most likely happened was George (or whoever it was since the guy actually said he just thought it was GZ) was tailgating Mr. Apperson. Mr Apperson then brake checks alleged George Zimmerman who then goes bonkers and embarrassed Mr Apperson calls the cops and says “he had a gun? Im pretty sure it was george zimmerman”.

      By that logic all the concerned moms who call the cops on open carry rallies must be telling the truth too.

  6. I call B.S. The complaint reeks of it. It smells of someone who drives a Prius with a Coexist sticker, who spotted Georgie on the road, recognized him and decided they were going to “get him” or get some publicity or fun at his expense.

    That’s my two derps.

  7. Wow. Since the Trayvon Martin shooting, I have had zero incidents with police other than social gatherings. How does this dude continue to run a foul constantly!?! One might say that there are those out there who see GZ doing his laundry or ordering a burger and say, “Whoa, snap, there’s that George Zimmerman! I’m calling the cops and saying that he threatened to shoot me.” If the latter is the case, perhaps he should move to Antarctica.

  8. As to why a site with this nature would actually believe the media on a news break like this is appalling. The guy is always threatened by social media and in public run-ins with people that protest his previous action. Anybody that meets with him could call the police and say he threatened to kill them, and by law they have to investigate. He dropped the charges A.K.A didn’t really unfold the way he said it did.

  9. I read that article. No hard evidence at all, shame on you guys for posting this.

    “The truck’s driver then asked Apperson, “Do you know who I am?” according to a police report. Apperson said he believed it was Zimmerman.”

    Oh so he “believed” it was Zimmerman… good.

    “Officers told Apperson that without other witnesses or clear video identifying the driver as Zimmerman, it would be difficult to make a case, the police report said. Apperson said he didn’t want to press charges.”

    Yeah no shit Sherlock, again no evidence presented, like this guy is the first person to call the cops and claim someone road raging had a gun or something.

    • I only speak for myself, not RF or the TTAG team, but the site is devoted to “the truth about guns”, is it not? Either that, or this place has the most misleading web address since manhole.com (hint: it ain’t about city public works departments!)

      Part of the truth about guns, is that there’s an aftermath, one whose scale and scope can be as severe and varied as the imagination can construct. It’s the part of the overall DGU that people don’t consider and that instructors often don’t cover.

      Strange and dangerous encounters can ensue, if the case gained enough notoriety. Even cases followed closely only locally can have profound impact on your life, long after the verdict comes in and the case is closed.

      The sorrows of young Zimmerman post trial, while atypical, nevertheless do illustrate the far reaching effects which even a legal self defense use of a firearm can have. That most definitely is not only part of the truth about guns, but it’s a reality that all firearms owners should take pause to consider.

  10. I havent heard Z’s side of the story. Not defend him. But the Media is more than willing to telling someone elses fabrications to make him look bad without any fact checking.

  11. He should have quit while he was ahead. Or in his case, slightly morbid & unfortunately prophetic, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging! If I could talk to him, I’d tell him to move far away, change your look, change your name, and lay low.

    • “I’d tell him to move far away, change your look, change your name, and lay low.”

      This. If I was him, I’d pack it up and move to a quiet neighborhood out west.

  12. His fault or not hes a moving target in society and will not get a break the rest of his life.
    He shouldn’t have to run and hide someplace. But if I were he.
    Id just do my best to disappear and never be seen or heard from again.

  13. Why the hell hasn’t this idiot moved to Alaska or Wyoming already? Dude dodged a legal bullet in a highly televised trial with more than half the country hating his guts when the verdict was rendered, you’d think he would’ve done everything in his power to make himself invisible by now.

  14. As an aside, the title of this blog post could easily be interpreted differently… Don’t be George Zimmerman– Be afraid to assert your God given right to self defense because the racist warmachine will make your like hell. And i agree with another poster. This has become another Farago op-ed where an opinion has been formed in the face of factual ambiguity, and the article turned in such away to damn the person in question.

    Good job. Once again you’re more of a hinderance to the causes you purportedly champion than an asset.

  15. Little advice I learned a long time ago from a CHP officer: always stay BEHIND the road rager. Don’t speed up and pass him. If you are behind a nutty or impaired driver, YOU control the situation. If they’re behind YOU, THEY control it.

  16. The man declined to press charges.

    Boy he has a spine……

    How bout stand your ground on the charges your throwing at Zimmerman.

    This smells of BS……

  17. That man should write a book…make a fortune, then leave…go to some state where the population is sparse, buy a little place, and spend the rest of his days away from the public…it’d be the best thing for him. The media love to see bad things happen to him and things will continue as such if he stays this course…

  18. I don’t buy this either. As for GZ moving do you honestly think there is anywhere in America he is unknown? I sympathize with him and would suggest changing his appearance. And I don’t have a problem with RF – it is a gun related thing.

  19. George Zimmerman was knocked to the ground and had his head bashed into the sidewalk repeatedly by a young man who told him he was going to die. I believe that would cause some psychological disturbance in most people.

    George Zimmerman shot and killed his assailant. Taking another’s life, no matter how justified, would require some mental adjustment for me.

    George Zimmerman was then demonized by the news media and the federal government. That sounds like a recipe for clinical depression.

    George Zimmerman was put on trial for ending Saint Trayvon’s life. He heard the testimony of people who cared about, even loved the little thug. He learned lots of details about the life he took. That might make it difficult to sustain psychological coping mechanisms.

    I am not surprised by Mr. Zimmerman acting a little crazy. It would take a cold hearted, soulless individual to not be affected by his experiences.

    It is not my intention to excuse George Zimmerman’s antics or absolve him of blame for any misdeeds he may have committed. Rather, I would hold him up as an example, a cautionary tale, of the aftermath of a DGU. We spend so much time, effort and money preparing for an event that will never occur, if we are lucky. It seems worthwhile to me to spend some time reflecting on and planning for the aftermath of a DGU if life decides to test you.

  20. The first rule of a gun fight is not to get into a gun fight.

    Even though we own and usually carry (I’m allowing for TTAG readers stuck behind enemy lines here) our firearms when possible, that doesn’t mean we go looking for trouble. There’s been one or two times since I got my CWFL and started carrying where the situation could have escalated into a DGU if I responded with bravado. I’d rather the opposing party think I’m a chickens–t then have to deal with a fight and the subsequent police procedures. I get to go home, free, armed, and alive.

    If this were real, Z needs to learn he’s gotta keep a low profile and just shut up. He rolled the dice once and won, he should quit while he’s ahead. If I were him, I would have removed myself from Florida, maybe gone to Georgia, and just led a quiet life. Lost some weight, dyed my hair, name change even.

  21. Here’s another self-defense tip: don’t call the police to report being threatened, and then not press charges. It destroys your credibility.

  22. OK, so after you discard Newsweek, and HuffPo, and “Liberals Unite” who are the top three on duck duck go, frantic hearsay for the same lede as RFs, you are left with the same AP report- basically- he said, she said, and the offended party wont even press charges….

    Yeah, Zimmerman is not exactly covering himself in glory, but I am not jumping on the dog pile with the progtards, clueless as he might be…

  23. Hmmmm, what can we learn from Zimmerman- “dont end up on Radar Online?”
    With the equally serious news that “Lilo blames Oprah”, “Kardashians at War”, and “Clooney Wedding Details?”

  24. “The man, who declined to press charges, says Zimmerman was waiting for him at work the next day. It is unclear how Zimmerman knew where the man worked.”

    Are we actually believing this??

    Remember when people where making death threats to Zimmerman? His supposed address/phone number was released on the internet/radio by some weak PoS radio host/podcaster and a whole bunch of death threats were received by the wrong family. I find it really hard to believe that Zimmerman just knew where this guy (who he just met) worked. How is that possible???
    I wouldn’t put it past this guy to want to get Zimmerman into deep sh++. Impossible that this man was telling the truth? No, and I’m not trying to side with Zimmerman…….. but it sure sounds fishy to me.

  25. GZ is like OJ.

    A large number of people find him to be guilty despite what the jury said and will wait for the day he is in jail.

    Unlike OJ, there isn’t nearly as much evidence against GZ and he isn’t going to try and steal his sports memorabilia back from anyone.

    So ex-wives, strangers, cops, business are getting on the GZ train hoping they will be The One to put GZ behind bars, or something like that.

  26. I don’t know what GZ did or didn’t do in this case, All I know is that if I was GZ, I would find it very hard to trust anyone, ever. And I would be very, very pissed.

  27. The “George Zimmerman threatened me” story stinks like last weeks garbage.
    Without irrefutable video proof supporting such stories the assumption I will
    make is this is someone attempting to dispense THEIR brand of justice by
    getting Zimmerman arrested even if they have to lie…..remember….to a libtard
    lying is a perfectly acceptable tactic to be used whenever it serves the need,

  28. This will probably all end with GZ dead. He will pull more of his road rage antics on the wrong person and they will follow his lead and stand their ground. We can only hope that it’s a half-white, half-mexican single mother working 3 jobs or the media sh*t storm will be insane.

    GZ clearly has self control issues and might also be an epic attention whore. Any sane person would have either moved somewhere remote, or at least tried to keep their shit together in public. How many times has GZ been in the news for stupidity since the trial ended?

    • This will probably all end with GZ dead. He will pull more of his road rage antics…

      So, you’re gullible enough to believe that this story has any credibility whatsoever?

      …on the wrong person and they will follow his lead and stand their ground.

      You obviously have no clue what Stand Your Ground means, given that you invoke the term in exactly the same manner as someone from the Trayvonite fever swamp.

  29. The way to “stop obsessing” about George Zimmerman, is to simply stop obsessing about Geroge Zinmnerman.

    No one cares if he’s not the guy you’d choose to marry your daughter. And nothing will ever change the fact that he was absolutely justified in shooting his attacker, Trayvon Martin.

  30. What I get really sic of is the fact that George Zimmerman has NEVER been convicted of ANYTHING, people have said many many things about him, accused him of many things, all of which have either been PROVEN false, or failed to prove true. If he was guilty of anything he has been accused of, the police and prosecutors would have thrown the book at him. What he has become is a target for attention seekers, journalists and even responsible firearms owners who are gullible enough to believe any old unsubstantiated crap some one wants to make up about him.

  31. Zimmerman, might I suggest that you move to rural Alaska, Arizona, Montana or anyplace where the population is low and people don’t care about your highly publicized DGU. I think you will be happier, and I think we will be happier not to see you in the news.

  32. I don’t believe a word of this LOL . GZ might not even been who that guy thought he saw when he decided to get himself 5 minutes of fame with the media . GZ was fully justified to defend himself when he had to kill TM . I would have no problem bring his friend or coworker etc…! I have said it several times and my offer still stand . George ; if you need a friend ; just call me….! People need to leave this guy beand stop messing with him . The media should be ashamed of tthemselves for what they did to this man !

  33. While his DGU was justified, he should have just stayed in his GDed truck and went home. You just have to know when to drive away.

      • Because–as Zimmerman and others in similarly unclear engagements with dire consequences clearly proved–the most logical, sane and effective choice as a citizen when dealing with a suspicious character not engaged in an act of grievous bodily harm is to observe and report to a LEO who has the training the authority and the investigative powers to make an arrest. Confronting or engaging a fellow citizen on the mere suspicion of a crime is legally shaky and risks escalating a confrontation to an unmanageable level.

        • the most logical, sane and effective choice as a citizen when dealing with a suspicious character not engaged in an act of grievous bodily harm is to observe and report to a LEO who has both the training and the authority and the investigative powers to make an arrest.

          …which is all that Zimmerman is known to have done: he exited his vehicle after he lost visual contact with Martin, and tried to see where he went (N.B. in response to the NEN operator telling Zimmerman to tell him where the suspect was). For the remainder of the NEN call, Zimmerman never regained visual contact with Martin, and made quite clear that he had no idea where Martin went.

          When the NEN operator said “we don’t need you to do that [“follow” Martin]”, Zimmerman said, “Okay“, and stopped walking.

          Confronting or engaging a fellow citizen on the mere suspicion of a crime is legally shaking and just generally asking for trouble.

          There is zero evidence whatsoever that Zimmerman either confronted or engaged Martin. All known evidence supports Zimmerman’s claim that Martin accosted Zimmerman, while Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle.

          (Note: even Rachel Jeantel’s statements support the scenario in which Martin evaded Zimmerman, and ran back to Rachel Green’s apartment – then, instead of going inside, went 400 feet back north to the sidewalk “T”, to confront Zimmerman.)

          So it would seem that your answer to the question of why Zimmerman should have stayed in his vehicle is not based on any factual evidence of what happened that night.

      • Because “whatever” believes criminals have the right to do whatever they want, take whatever they want, and attack whoever they want. Citizens in “whatever’s” little socialist utopia have no rights, only criminals.

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