VIERA, Fla. - The lawyer who defended George Zimmerman attended a forum Monday night to discuss gun rights and the trial that brought him national attention, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.
At a meeting of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Central East Florida, Mark O'Mara was the featured speaker and also participated in a panel discussion on the Second Amendment, along with Florida Today Public Interest Editor Matt Reed, Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Francisco Rodriguez of the Florida Tenth Amendment Center.
Chairman Bob White said the event comes amid pressure from Washington to change gun control laws and notions in Tallahassee of changing self-defense statutes.
"It just seemed like a very timely event," White said. "To do something on gun rights, specifically gun rights preservation in the face of additional pressure from Washington."
At the event, O'Mara was awarded the Jefferson Cup, which he received for challenging the media and judicial system in a news conference after the Zimmerman verdict.
During the social hour before the event, people approached O'Mara to shake hands or take group photos. One woman told him she prayed for him and the Zimmermans.
When O'Mara spoke, he was critical of the media's haste.
"Time took great precedence over accuracy," he said of coverage of Zimmerman.
One topic of discussion was how local authorities should react if federal laws restricted guns.
"I just don't see them doing that," Reed said, and the crowd scoffed in disbelief.
Reed elaborated that he had just been to a meeting about the Affordable Care Act and doubted the feds could muster the organization to pull it off.
Ivey was resolute on protecting against federal authorities trying to take away guns.
The conversation strayed to include a question about whether people can film the police. Ivey basically said it depends on where the person is videotaping from, that deputies have a right to be safe in their duties, but being filmed comes with the territory.
Tim Pishdad came out as a firm supporter of the right to bear arms. He said citizens shouldn't take their rights for granted.
"The Second Amendment wasn't written for people to be able to hunt," he said. "It was written for people to protect themselves from an intrusive government."
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