WASHINGTON -- President Obama called the death of Trayvon Martin a tragedy Sunday, but urged "calm reflection" in the wake of a jury's verdict finding his killer not guilty.
"We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken," Obama said in a statement posted on the White House web site following a Florida jury's acquittal of George Zimmerman Saturday.
Obama also used the occasion to renew his call for gun safety legislation, saying, "We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives."
The president's statement:
"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. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. 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."