President Barack Obama issued a statement Sunday saying that the Trayvon Martin case should spur action on community “compassion” and “gun violence,” but made no mention of George Zimmerman, who is facing widespread anger and threats following his acquittal by a jury, and offered no reassurances of his safety.
“I know this case has elicited strong passions,” said the president, who stirred those passions last March with an emotional claim in the White House’s Rose Garden that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
“I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son,” said Obama, who swore to uphold the nation’s laws during his 2009 and 2013 inaugurations.
His short statement began by declaring that “the death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America.”
But he quickly harnessed the controversy to his ongoing effort to curb citizens’ ownership of guns.