(Photo: Courtesy Essence Magazine)
In the midst of a national debate about gun violence and gun control, the mother of Trayvon Martin has weighed in, decrying the killings of other young people and speaking against Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.
"I think about these young people, and my heart goes out to those families who have been torn apart by this violence,” Sybrina Fulton said, in an interview with BET.com.
“These young students had little brothers and sisters who will have a difficult time with these deaths, just as my son had a difficult time dealing with the death of his brother, Trayvon. I just want to reach out to these young people.”
Fulton also commented on a recent press conference held by the leader of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, where he called for more school personnel to be armed in order to reduce the violence such as the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut where 20 children and six adults were killed.
“The NRA wants teachers to have weapons,” she said. “But, if we were to do that, would we then have to put armed officers in parks, in the malls, in movie theaters, in skating rinks and every place where young people hang out? It would become war with everyone.”
She said there is a need for a national conversation about gun control measures.
“I want justice in 2013 for Trayvon,” she said, noting that the trial of George Zimmerman is scheduled to begin in June.
Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed. Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, has pleaded not guilty, insisting that he shot the teenager in self-defense. He has invoked Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, which allows people to use deadly force in instances where they feel threatened.
Fulton added that she and Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, are seeking to become involved in the political process with the Change for Trayvon campaign, which asks people to work to revise or eliminate Stand Your Ground laws.
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