George Zimmerman’s online auction for the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin* has undergone several changes in the past 48 hours. From the initial outraged reactions, to the website’s decision to remove the gun from bidding and distance itself from the media fanfare on Thursday, a veritable circus has built itself up around the Florida neighborhood watch vigilante-turned-troll. After all, the stunt is the latest in a long line of media grabs by Zimmerman, who’s spent the past few years throwing Twitter tantrums and selling Confederate flag artwork to pay his legal fees.
Maybe the gun auction was just another gag, or maybe Zimmerman actually wanted to “move past the firearm.” Either way, despite GunBroker.com‘s unwillingness to be associated with Zimmerman and his gun, United Gun Group stepped in on Thursday and offered to host the auction. Along with a few courtroom photos and a brief description from the man himself, the opening bid was listed as $5,000 in the hopes of encouraging some real American patriots to get in on the action.
According to the Associated Press, bidding on the gun has swelled past a whopping $65 million as of Friday morning. However, the account for the leading bidder — dubbed “Racist McShootface” — has since been deleted. So too have other bidding accounts with obviously fake names like “Weedlord Bonerhitler” and “Stonewall McCracker.” As fast as United Gun Group can identify and remove the fake accounts and bids, however, the auction’s trolls keep registering new accounts and new bids.
These include at least two bids by “Tamir Rice,” a fake account presumably named for the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer who mistook his toy gun for the real thing. Other less apparent gag names include at least one bid by “Henry Johnson,” an account whose name might come from the famous African-American soldier who fought off a German raid by himself during World War I. (The guy killed several enemy soldiers with his bare hands, then rescued a fellow soldier — all while suffering from at least 21 separate injuries.)
Since the AP and other outlets noticed the original “Racist McShootface” fake bids, the auction’s listings have become a literal guessing game for the entire internet. Needless to say, Twitter has been quite amused by the whole affair.
(Via the Associated Press)
* In what legal terminology dubs “self-defense.”