Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Florida Men Invoke 'Stand Your Ground' and Zimmerman's 'Skittles Defense' in Halloween Shootings

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- George Zimmerman's fatal shooting of an unarmed teen named Trayvon Martin in 2012 sparked national outrage, a federal investigation, a reaffirmation of America's timeless love affair with the Second Amendment, and legal recognition, at least in the state of Florida, of candy as a legitimate threat to the nation's health, which must be put down through the exercise of extreme force. Zimmerman maintained that he gunned down Martin in self-defense, believing his life was in danger at the time the teen menacingly brandished a bag of candies and a dubious looking bottle of iced tea. A jury agreed and acquitted Zimmerman in July. On Wednesday, eight men invoked both the "Stand Your Ground" law and Zimmerman's "Skittles Defense" for their parts in the shooting of over 20 children on Halloween.

Under Florida state law, a heavily armed citizen may slaughter another person he encounters on the street, so long as the shooter believes his life to be in peril. Since the precedent set by Florida courts in July, packages of fruit-flavored candies and iced herbal beverages are now legally classified as life-endangering substances, instruments of assault and contraband.

Trayvon Martin was heading home from a 7-11 convenience store on evening of February 26, 2012, when Zimmerman followed and confronted him. Zimmerman was armed with a 9-millimeter pistol. Martin was armed with a cellphone, a bag of Skittles and an iced tea, according to police.

Zimmerman's compelling explanation of his 2012 ordeal -- from the frightening encounter with Skittles candy to the blind, "Hail Mary" shot that saved his life -- illustrate the grave threat that candy packing thugs like Martin still pose to the community.

"I'm getting a little sick of hearing people call me names because I protected myself," Zimmerman told reporters just days after the shooting. "The guy was carrying Skittles, man. Skittles. Do you know what that s**t does to people? I'm tired of these a**holes threatening my neighborhood."

After studying hours of surreal Skittles commercials on YouTube, Zimmerman learned that the candies contained magical properties, which allowed them to suspend children from rainbows, turn a man's feet to confections and bestow Midas-like gifts upon a middle-aged office worker. And the wishes granted by Skittles, Zimmerman realized, always came at a deadly price.

"Something evil happens every time," Zimmerman explained. "One of the kids on the rainbow questioned the possibility of its physical existence, and it opened up and dropped him thousands of feet. Splat, all over a field. In another video, some guy ended up with Skittles for feet. Sounds great, but then his creepy friend started eating him. The worst, though, was the old man who changed everything to Skittles when he touched it."

In the advertisement titled "Touch," an older office employee -- African American, like Trayvon Martin -- complains to his co-workers that his blessing is actually a curse. He laments his inability to dress himself. He pines for the embrace of his loved ones. He nearly weeps after explaining that he cannot hold his newborn baby. But the commercial turns darker toward the end when the man recounts how he killed a stranger on a bus, coming to the sinister realization that his ability to transform organic matter to a fruit-flavored treat is "pretty awesome." Spilling a fistful of candy onto his desk, the Midas character says, "I met a man on the bus today. I shook his hand. He'll never see his family again."

These images haunted George Zimmerman for years. As it turns out, he wasn't alone.

Last Thursday, Halloween, eight white males were arrested by police after they killed nearly 20 children and adolescents, all black. Like Trayvon Martin, the children were behaving suspiciously and had obscured their features behind masks or under hoods. All were carrying sacks brimming with Skittles and an unnerving array of other horrifying sweets. The alleged suspects dispatched their would-be assailants using 9-millimeter handguns. As in the Zimmerman-Martin case, the racial difference between the shooters and the assailants was merely coincidental and non-material. The common denominator was the candy and the threat it posed.

"When Mr. Zimmerman hunted down Trayvon Martin like a three-legged dog with arthritis and butchered him on the street corner, he did so because he was frightened of what Trayvon Martin might do with his bag of Skittles," one Florida official explained. "That's the power of fear. Fight or flight. Zimmerman did what any of us would've in the same situation, which is exactly what eight terrified citizens did on Halloween -- all of whom are still being held in custody. I see very little to distinguish this incident from the tragedy that befell Mr. Zimmerman almost two years ago, except in terms of scope. The eight heroes awaiting trial faced not one but scores of Skittles-wielding terrorists. I have every confidence they too will be acquitted and praised for their efforts to defend their loved ones and their properties."

The official also revealed that authorities will be launching a concurrent investigation to root out the people or groups responsible for arming the children with the contraband.

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