The controversy: An unidentified businessman is selling gun range targets designed to make people feel like they're shooting Trayvon Martin, reports Mike DeForest of WKMG Local 6, a Florida television station. The unarmed black teen was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in February, and Zimmerman, who claims he was acting in self-defense, has been charged with second-degree murder. The targets (see the image at right) do not feature a photo of Martin himself, but show a silhouette in a black hoodie — the outfit Martin was famously wearing when he died — with a huge bullseye on it. The figure is holding a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea, two items Martin purchased that night. The businessman tells DeForest that he did it to "make money off the controversy," and claims he sold out of the targets in two days. An ad for the targets, featured on a "popular firearms auction website," says the sellers "support Zimmerman and believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug." The ad has since been taken down.
The reaction: This scheme provokes the "highest level of disgust" and exhibits "the lowest level of civility," says Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman's lawyer. "It's this type of hatred — that's what this is, hate-mongering — that's going to make it more difficult to try this case." Yes, obviously, the targets are likely to "add more fuel to an already incendiary case," says Gabrielle Levy at UPI. "This is the most disturbing thing we've ever seen," agrees Global Grind. "How can someone do something like this?"