Obama calls for reflection on violence to 'honor' Trayvon Martin

President Obama said Sunday that he respected a Florida jury's decision to acquit George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, but called on the nation to reflect on gun violence.

The president said in a statement that Martin's death was a "tragedy. Not just for his family, or any one community, but for America."

"I know this case has elicited strong passions," he said. "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."

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The president has spoken out previously about Martin's death, saying that it prompted "some soul-searching," noting that the case touched him on a personal level. "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama said in March.

On Sunday, he urged for the conversation on gun violence to continue.

"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," Obama said. "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 a way to honor Trayvon Martin."

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rick.rojas@latimes.com