Michael Dunn has been convicted on three counts of attempted second-degree murder. The conviction follows an altercation in which he fired into a car following an argument over loud music with the occupants. While the trial didn't generate the same media coverage as the Zimmerman case, it's still national news. It's also still a problem for us.
There are three parallels to the Zimmerman case. The first is race. We don't know that it was a factor in Dunn's decision to open fire, but it's going to come up anyway.
The second is the media focus on Florida's "stand your ground" law, despite the fact that it's not relevant. Neither Dunn or Zimmerman ever requested a pretrial hearing in accordance with the law. Both men allowed their legal counsel to run the case in front of a jury. Nonetheless, there's a groundswell of activism to repeal those laws, and Shannon Watts (now funded by Michael Bloomberg) is taking point on the initiative.
Third? The State's Attorney in charge of the case is Angela Corey, the same person who prosecuted Zimmerman and Marissa Alexander. It should be noted that this jury agonized for over 30 hours to convict Dunn, but the jury in the Alexander case took less than 15 minutes to do so.
I could also harp on the borderline incompetence of legal counsel. Zimmerman's lawyer cracked "knock knock" jokes in his opening statements, while Dunn's lawyer made some outlandish statements to the media. The most unsettling was, "I believe that it will be extremely clear that Mr. Dunn acted as any responsible firearm owner would have under the same circumstances."
What? Responsible firearm owners don't get into fatal confrontations over loud music. Responsible firearm owners don't blindly open fire on an occupied vehicle, nor do they shoot at it when it's driving away. Responsible firearm owners don't leave the scene of a shooting to go order pizza and cocktails, then drive 130 miles home before contacting the police.
Michael Dunn isn't a responsible firearm owner. He's a vigilante and a racist. These are his own words:
The jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs. This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these (expletive) idiots, when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.
He's not us. He doesn't represent us. Yet the media and our opponents are going to do their best to make it look like he does, and perception is what matters.