SANFORD, Fla. -- Pastor John Guns stood outside the Seminole County Courthouse Wednesday, surrounded by other Jacksonville area pastors, spreading a message of peace as America awaits a verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.
"Let's learn lessons from this and not simply repeat the painful history that our country has experienced," he said while touting a new "Save Our Sons" anti-crime initiative.
The fear of a violent backlash, should Zimmerman be acquitted of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has police on patrol. This has been an emotionally charged, often divisive case.
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"We have seen the polarization of race," said Pastor Guns. "We have seen, once again, some very awkward moments that have been sensational," Guns said.
Police say they haven't had any trouble, and don't expect any. The pastors want to get their message out, so it stays that way.
"We cannot encourage violence. It will ultimately destroy any progress that we could make," Guns said. "Let's not desecrate this young man's memory. Let's do something positive out of this."