The silhouette on the paper target is faceless. But the hoodie, the Skittles and the iced tea leave nothing to the imagination. This is meant to be Travyon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old shot to death in February in Sanford, Florida. The unidentified internet merchant told Mike DeForest, a reporter for Orlando television station WKMG, that he sold out the silhouettes in two days. The targets come in packages of 10.
The twisted cretin who had these printed said: “My main motivation was to make money off the controversy.” Just business, man. Nothing personal.
Even Mark O’Mara, the attorney for George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer who has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting, found it disgusting:
“It’s this type of hatred — that’s what this is, it’s hate-mongering — that’s going to make it more difficult to try this case,” said O’Mara.
“I hope there is a crime that we can charge that person who made that with. I’m not sure what it is, but we need to come up with one.”
DeForest conducted an email exchange with the merchant who would not say how many of the targets he had sold, only that the response had been “overwhelming.” They were still for sale on a firearms auction site when DeForest first contacted him. But when it became clear the station was investigating, the ad on the site was removed. That ad stated the seller believes Zimmerman is innocent and that “he shot a thug.” Martin had no criminal record. He was visiting his father in a gated community just a few doors away from where Zimmerman killed him after he returned from a nearby store.
The target, made by the Hiller Armament Company, can be seen at this gun blog.
Target shooters often use paper silhouettes for practice and in competition. Some of these are illustrations of generic would-be assailants. A few show real people. The Osama bin Laden target has long been a favorite. But most are simply black silhouettes overlain with concentric rings and numbers with the highest “scores” over the most vulnerable parts of a person’s body. These originated in the military and are widely used by police departments in their training.
It’s not hard to imagine what buyers of the Trayvon targets say to each other when they’re on the firing line. And when they say “fucking coons,” they don’t mumble.