After raising more than $12,000 to replace a handgun for acquitted shooter George Zimmerman, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation found itself to be a cyber victim.
Zimmerman, of course, is the Florida block watch participant who shot and killed Tryvon Martin, a 17-year-old black during an altercation that generated a national debate on the so-called “stand your ground” laws adopted by Florida and other states. Among them being Ohio.
Charged with second-degree felony murder, Zimmerman was later acquitted by all-female jury. Some jurors that have spoken publicly said there was insufficient prosecutorial evidence to convict Zimmerman.
The verdict touched off an even larger groundswell of both outrage over the decision on one side and support for Zimmerman on the other.
Such support only heightened when the U.S. Justice Department seized all evidence in the case. This included Zimmerman's handgun, which by Florida law was to have been returned to him because of the acquittal.
That is when the Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Foundation sought monetary donations to pay for a replacement.
In short order, says the Foundation, the non-profit, pro-Second Amendment organization raised nearly $13,000, coming from 774 individuals in 48 states as well as several countries.
Initially the Foundation anticipated it would raise only a couple thousand dollars to buy a replacement handgun, flashlight, holster and other related accessories.
Even so, during the fund-raising process a successful cyber attack on the Foundation's hosting company shut down its site as well as those of thousands of other domains, the Foundation says.
“We've been asked by local and federal authorities not to reveal specifics before they complete their investigation, however we can say that we quickly identified the culprit and his motive. The attacker wanted to stop our fundraiser for George Zimmerman,” said the Foundation on its web site, posted July 29.
As for the money, a check for $12,150.37 (after PayPal expenses) was sent via FedEx to Zimmerman's attorney for delivery to the acquitted man.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn