What the NRA's "Founder" and George Zimmerman Have in Common
Yesterday, I published a featured blog at the Huffington Post that tells the fascinating story of a 1931 murder eerily similar to the February 26th killing of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman.
The story involves former NRA leader Harlon Carter, who in 1977 took control of the National Rifle Association (NRA) during the "Cincinnati Revolution" and turned the organization into a no-compromise, highly partisan entity that embraces extreme positions on the Second Amendment and gun policy.
Four years after he took power, the press uncovered a disturbing fact about Carter. On March 3, 1931, a 17-year-old Carter shot and killed 15-year-old Ramón Casiano in Laredo, Texas. After returning home from school that day, Carter was told by his mother that there were three Latino youths loitering near the family's property. Carter left his house, shotgun in tow, to confront them. After finding Casiano and his two companions at a nearby swimming hole, Carter pointed his shotgun at them and ordered them to come with him. Casiano refused, pulled out a knife, and asked Carter if he would like to fight. Carter then pointed the shotgun at Casiano. Casiano laughed and brushed the gun aside while taking a step back. Carter asked Casiano, "You don't think I'd use it?" and then fatally shot him in the chest. After initialy being convicted of murder, Carter was able to successfully appeal and get the case thrown out.
The similarities to the murder of Trayvon Martin are obvious and the NRA again stands at the center of controversy because of their authorship of the "Stand Your Ground" law that has allowed George Zimmerman to remain a free—and armed—man.
Read my new blog ( Josh Horwitz: What the NRA's "Founder" and George Zimmerman Have in Common
), "What the NRA's 'Founder' and George Zimmerman Have in Common," to see how the NRA's promotion of vigilantism is hardly a new phenomenon.