On Sunday, President Barack Obama said the nation should honor Trayvon Martin by asking "ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence." There have been numerous reactions to Saturday’s acquittal of George Zimmerman, but perhaps Obama’s comments about the matter are the most important.
"I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son," Obama said in a statement. "And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that's a job for all of us. That's the way to honor Trayvon Martin."
He continued: "The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.”
One politician had a different take, NBC News reported.
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"The evidence didn't support prosecution, and the Justice Department engaged in this," said Rep. Steve King. "The president engaged in this and turned it into a political issue that should have been handled exclusively with law and order."
After Martin was killed by Zimmerman, Obama called his death a tragedy and said, "if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."
Zimmerman, 29, was acquitted of all charges on Saturday night.