On Monday, some very weary officers in Seminole County, Fla., arrested George Zimmerman on suspicion of domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon. Again. This time, Zimmerman's new live-in girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, claimed that the 30-year-old had pointed a shotgun at her head and forcibly kicked her out of her rental home. On Monday, Zimmerman was charged with felony aggravated assault, and he's being held without bail until he appears before a judge later today. It's been just over two months since Zimmerman's estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman, dialed 911 and asked officers to protect her from her husband, who, she said, had punched her father and was threatening them both with a gun. (Shellie later dropped the charges.)
In Bustle's exhaustive, exhaustive coverage of the entire Zimmerman fiasco, we've noticed a pattern — and it's not just the pattern of domestic abuse that's marked the last decade of his life. Here's the obvious thread: no matter what, George Zimmerman always seems to have a gun.
In fact, ever since his July acquittal of the murder of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman's rarely been seen without one. His defense attorney, Max O'Mara, was clear that his client would probably rearm himself after the acquittal: According to O'Mara, Zimmerman now had "even more reason" to carry a gun after the national rage that followed his July acquittal.
Now, this most recent assault charge calls for some context. Let's take a trip down gun-toting memory lane, shall we?
1) Feb. 26, 2012. Here are the facts: on a rainy Sunday night, George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin with a black Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol . The teenager's tragic death prompted a national response, particularly because Seminole County officers had released Zimmerman hours after the shooting without charges. The following July, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter by a jury panel, and protests erupted across the country.
2) July 31, 2013. Zimmerman is stopped by an officer for speeding on a Texas highway. When asked where he was going, Zimmerman responds: "Nowhere in particular." He told the officer that he had a gun in the glove compartment. Because his concealed carry permit was reinstated after his acquittal, his attorney pointed out to press that this was perfectly legal, and that the gun was, indeed, loaded. The pistol Zimmerman used to shoot Trayvon was still being held by the Department of Justice at this point, pending a potential civil suit.
3) Aug. 22, 2013. Zimmerman makes his first public appearance ... shopping for a shotgun. He tours the Kel-Tec gun factory (which, by the by, is not officially open for tours; apparently Kel-Tec made an exception for Zimmerman) and speaks to employees about buying a Kel-Tec KSG, a tactical shotgun. He also takes photographs with Kel-Tec employees, which is odd.
4) Sept. 9, 2013. Shellie Zimmerman calls 911 and begs officers for help: her estranged husband, she says, is threatening Shellie and her father with another gun. This is not the first time Zimmerman has faced accusations of domestic violence: in 2006, his then-girlfriend took him to court in an attempt to get a restraining order based on the claim that he'd abused her.
Reports on what role the gun played differ. Shellie later retracted her statement that there was definitely a gun involved, saying that, knowing her husband, it was more of a suspicion. Max O'Mara chimed in again, helpfully pointing out that Zimmerman never removed the gun from inside his jacket, so everything's fine. Police said that they did not see and did not confiscate a gun.
5) Nov. 18, 2013. Zimmerman apparently has a live-in girlfriend now, whose Florida home he'd been staying in since August. Said girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, may or may not be pregnant. On Nov. 18, Sheibe calls 911 and says that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her head. According to TMZ, this is a double-barreled shotgun .
There's more. Scheibe tells cops that Zimmerman was packing up his things to leave her home when the fight erupted, and his possessions included an assault rifle. Officers believe the two firearms are still in Sheibe's home, but Zimmerman has apparently locked them away.
It's important to note that we're not authorities on how many guns Zimmerman owns. But it's clear that Zimmerman, more than ever, is a symbol for the need for gun reform.