Heeding the advice of a former chief of staff to “never let a crisis go to waste,” on Sunday President Barack Obama used the Zimmerman verdict in furtherance of his goal to enact ever stricter gun control.
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America,” Obama said in a Sunday address. “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.”
Okay, so far, so good. The president called for a lowering of passion and a time for reflection. But then he decided to drop the hammer.
“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,”he said. “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,” the statement said.”
And with that, the president transformed what could have been an above-the-fray memorable moment into another political message. Should we have expected anything different.