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#3 Group Presentation - Gun Control Debate

COMM 169i: Media Response and Criticism
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Juleane J

on 20 June 2013

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Transcript of #3 Group Presentation - Gun Control Debate

Historical Perspective of Gun Control in the United States Introduction "Guns don't kill people, people kill people," how many
times have you heard this statement spoken? But you still have to ask how many people's lives end by the bullet?

Gun control has permeated throughout news cycles more and more heavily in the aftermath of the December 14, 2012 Newtown mass shooting. Nonetheless, as time passes, it seems like instead of getting closer to some sort of consensus on how to move forward with this issue, we seem to only encourage further disunion and confusion.

In our presentation we try to offer a comprehensive look on this issue and also offer insight in making
a determination on one's stance on whether one supports or is against gun control. Localizing and mapping the issue Consequences No matter what the side, there is a risk to each proposed side of the debate:

Risk A vs. Risk B
Risk A: Too little control increases the chance of deliberate shootings and accidents
Risk B: Too much control prohibits law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves. Gun's and Media We live in a world of memes, hash tags, followers, likes, and trending topics. Should we really take stock in our social media culture when it comes to politics, in the making of laws, in the public sphere/arena? Should we take social media THAT seriously?

Social media works minute by minute, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. There is NO off button, no downtime, and especially no delete. This media is used to articulate opinion, to deliberate legislation, to share testimonials, and create community in ways that can bring people together or tear people apart. It's a medium where emotions and inhibitions are thrown to the wind and "freedom" reigns. However, how can we authenticate the points of view shared? How can we determine those who not only advocate, but dignify attempting to shift, stimulate, and develop conscious change? Presented by:
Nehrer, Natov, Knight, Johnson GUN CONTROL Ask yourself... Gun control will continue to be a heated discussion, but how do YOU decide where you stand? Patrick Kiger offers "10 Big Questions in the US Gun Control Debate" that may help you in your determination. (I have altered a view questions so that the questions cater to YOU.)

(1) Has American public opinion shifted on gun control over time?
(2) Does your state's gun control laws work to lessen gun violence?
(3) Do you believe the federal ban on assault weapons affect crime?
(4) Whether or not people are killed more by guns they or their family members own, does that have an impact on your stance?
(5) Do you believe gun owners help to prevent crime?
(6) Do you believe semi-automatic weapons should be in the hands of citizens?
(7) Do you believe there are countries with as many guns as the US, but less crime? If there are or if there aren't how does that solidify your position?
(8) Do you believe that US gun homicide rate really high?
(9) What are your views on the Second Amendment?
(10) Do you agree with the number of guns that are in the US? USA is the clear leader in private gun ownership, WHY? Article totes the notion of "more guns, less crime," but is it true? How could that be determined? Guns per person by country Citizens have a right to bear arms
~The United States was founded 237 years ago by armed citizens in an revolt against their government
Citizens needed protection in the first 100 years during westward movement
~Early pioneers and settlers needed weapons for protection against Native Americans and animals
~Protecting property before widespread police forces
Hunting was a major part to sustain one’s life
~Food source, especially during rapid westward move
~Fur and leather for necessary clothes and tools
European countries allowed restricted private gun usage only after their territory expansion was complete and after governments were in control of their population Background
It’s part of our national psyche - Hunting is a national recreation and source for revenue for many states
- Gun collection is a pastime reflecting our country’s rich history
- Gun production is a significant industry in the US that still provides gainful employment WHY US Citizens SHOULD
Have GUNS in the 21st Century - Dangerous to untrained or unstable young people who have unintended access to guns
- All urban and suburban areas have adequate police forces for the protection of property and people
- Private ownership with limited restriction provides easier access for people with criminal intent WHY US Citizens SHOULD NOT Have GUNS in the 21st Century Voices in Gun Control Debate CA Legislation According to their website, the NRA provides "programs focused on safety, education and responsibility such as firearm ownership, as well as police training, firearm safety, marksmanship, hunting and self-defense training" (www.nra.org/).
Has four million members
Eight presidents have been lifetime members: Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy (the lone Democrat), Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
However, Nixon disavowed his membership in 1969 and Bush resigned in 1995
For decades, the NRA was a marksmanship, hunting and safety group, hosting mostly recreational activities for gun enthusiasts April 17, 2013 Communication Studies 169I: Section 80
Media Response and Criticism What does the Second Amendment say? "...a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Even so, there is less fear of soldiers taking over homes, now our worries are of elementary and high school shooting, drug and/or gang-related violence The Senate of the United States rejected the expansion of gun background checks. This plan would've ensured that background checks would be administered to individuals who bought firearms and included a proposal to ban weaponry modeled after military style assault weapons. This was done after public opinion indicated that the majority of Americans would indeed back and support such legislation. The final vote was 54 in favor and 46 opposed. The Amendment required 60 votes to pass. References & Citations http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-april-23-2013/gun-control---political-suicide How is gun control viewed on Capitol Hill? Here's a humorous, but then again not so humorous possibility. Please click the link below which will open up the video in another tab. To resume presentation please return and click present: "Profile" screen ((http://www.people-press.org/2013/03/12/section-3-gun-ownership-trends-and-demographics/) ; (http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/09/politics/btn-guns-in-america)

"Historical Perspective on Gun Control in the US" screen
-Guns per person by country image (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/02/12/U-N-Maps-Show-U-S-High-In-Gun-Ownership-Low-In-Homicides)
-Background information (http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#general)

"Localizing the Issue"
-CA Legislation frame (http://www.mercurynews.com/politics-government/ci_23041300/calif-dems-push-wide-ranging-gun-control-bills)
-Mapping the Dead frame (http://data.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/gun-deaths)

"Voices in Gun Control Debate"
-April 17, 2013 frame (http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/national/gun-control-2013-senate-rejects-expanded-gun-background-checks)
-President's Use of Ethos frame (http://www.policymic.com/articles/36431/obama-gun-control-speech-president-wrong-to-exploit-victims)
-Pro-Gun Rights/Anti-Gun Control (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/11-facts-about-the-nra/2012/07/24/gJQANYcM7W_gallery.html#photo=4)
-Pro-Gun Control = Anti-Gun Rights? (http://americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/)

"Guns and Media"
-"Why" image (https://www.google.com/search?q=gun+culture&aq=f&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&authuser=0&ei=0K6VUb2cO5CxigKKh4C4CQ&biw=1163&bih=817&sei=1a6VUcTJN6KEjALUmIAI#imgrc=gGSRLbo_4XtLDM%3A%3B_It07IVPuBy0NM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.anglonautes.com%252Fhist_2007%252Fhist_2007_2%252Fhist_2007_2_us_gun_car_why.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.anglonautes.com%252Fhist_2007%252Fhist_2007_2%252Fhist_2007_2_us_gun.htm%3B600%3B589)
-Bottom row "Gun Culture" images 3, 6, & 7 taken from (http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1886076,00.html) ; http://screenrant.com/thanksgiving-tv-marathon-2012/ ; http://www.movingimage.us/visit/calendar/2011/09/03/detail/oceans-eleven ; http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_HOzn8oagteA/S9VfZaHw6QI/AAAAAAAABrM/suWHoMsLHnI/s1600/time+crisis+4-2.jpg
-Screen shots taken from: http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2013/02/10-social-media-moments-that-shaped-the-gun-control-debate051 ; http://www.journalism.org/commentary_backgrounder/spikes_attention_and_shifts_opinion_gun_control_debate

"Ask Yourself"
(http://www.howstuffworks.com/10-questions-in-gun-control-debate.htm) Some say it was because of certain Congress members believe that the bill (shot down on April 18, 2013) violated our constitutional rights. Some believe maybe it failed because the President has “cowardly promoted” the passing of the bill. There is an interesting article on policymic.com (http://www.policymic.com/articles/36431/obama-gun-control-speech-president-wrong-to-exploit-victims) that says the president chose to exploit gun shooting victims to gain sympathy for the bill.

Maybe it was a little tactless for the president to exploit Sandy Hook victims, but sometimes people have to be reminded of the reasons why this country is so in desperate need of gun law reform. A hysteria develops in the course of a few days/weeks following a gun shooting that attract the attention of the nation, that get people talking again about gun control.

Nevertheless, the president was very adamant and rigorous as a news making machine garnering social and mass media attention. President's use of ethos The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, "a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world," (http://www.people-press.org/) conducted a study tracking the shift in public opinion on gun rights and control using the perspectives of both gun owners and non-owners. The report was comprised of information taken between February 13-18, 2013 of 1, 504 adults all over the age of 18, living in all 50 U.S. states and D.C.

Why Own a Gun? According to their research in August 1999 (among gun owners) 26% said protection, 49% said hunting, 8% said target/sport shooting, 4% said constitutional right/2nd amendment, 4% said collecting guns/hobby and 10%+ said other or they didn't know. The majority of these numbers decreased in the more recent February 2013 study (except for the number of those answering: protection, that number increased).

The Pew Research Center also offers a "generalized" profile of gun owners in America which is described as greatly differing from that of the general public. "Roughly three-quarters (74%) of gun owners are men, and 82% are white. Taken together, 61% of adults who own guns are white men. Nationwide, white men make up only 32% of the U.S. adult population. Gun owners and those who do not own guns differ politically. While 37% of all adults identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, that proportion jumps to 51% among gun owners. Among those in households without guns, just 27% identify with the Republican Party or lean Republican, while a majority (61%) are Democrats or lean Democratic." (http://www.people-press.org/2013/03/12/section-3-gun-ownership-trends-and-demographics/)

26 -- Percentage of Americans who favor a handgun ban, a record low, according to a 2011 Gallup Poll.60 -- Percentage who supported a ban in 1959, the first year Gallup asked this question.47 -- Percentage of Americans who told Gallup in 2011 that they had at least one gun at home.
310 million -- Total number of nonmilitary firearms in the United States as of 2009. (305,529,237: U.S. population estimate for Jan. 1, 2009 according to http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2008/12/31/us-population-2009-305-million-and-counting)
16,799 -- Homicides in the United States in 2009.11,493 -- Homicides by firearm in 2009. Profile with Numbers National Rifle Association (NRA) - Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (which claims to have 650,000 members)
- Second Amendment Foundation
- Gun Owners of America
- National Association for Gun Right
- Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
Please find here a more extensive list of pro-gun rights organizations: http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Issues/Gun_Control/Pro-Gun_Rights/Organizations/ For Gun Control = Anti-Gun Rights? Americans for Responsible Solutions Social Media's Affect Last month (April 2013), California lawmakers pushed to advance a group of seven bills that would tighten California's strict gun laws. The proposals include:
- "Making it more difficult to rapidly reload weapons with high-capacity magazines."
- "Add a combination shotgun-rifle to the state's list of prohibited weapons."
- "Require background checks for all gun owners."
- "Require ammunition buyers to undergo a background check and get a permit."
- "Require more training for gun buyers."
- "And add new crimes to those that disqualify California residents from owning weapons." (http://www.mercurynews.com/politics-government/ci_23041300/calif-dems-push-wide-ranging-gun-control-bills) Saturation Mapping the Dead The Huffington Post compiled news reports of gun-related homicides and accidental deaths in the U.S. since the massacre in Newtown, Conn. on the morning of Dec. 14. Here (http://data.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/gun-deaths) they illustrate the number of gun deaths since the day of the tragedy. (You can click on the link above and a new tab or window should open to see the Huffington Post Map/Report. Once there click the "Next" tab on the right side of the screen. When you return to the presentation here, just click the right arrow at the bottom of the screen to resume.) - Mayors Against Illegal Guns
- Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence When one considers the way guns are viewed within our "gun" culture what images come to mind: Practices of Looking: Visual Culture Whether or not one agrees with the concept and model of the hypodermic-needle (which proposes that media have a direct and immediate effect on audiences, fostering passive follower behavior among viewers "drugged" by media texts that "inject" ideas into their viewers p. 239), one cannot deny the pervasiveness of weaponry, guns, military combat, civil soldiers within our historical and social memory and society.

Another section of our text relates to this: commodity culture and commodity fetishism. It states that "the concept of commodity culture is intricately allied with the idea that we construct our identities, at least in part, through the consumer products that inhabit our lives" (p. 279). What do guns symbolize in our cultural context? What does having a gun inform others of our identity? What does one project onto others? Just utilizing the images below notions of: patriotism, honor, strength, masculinity, camaraderie, tradition, legacy, civilized and uncivilized, security, domination, stealth, entertainment, sophistication, agility, protection, control, good vs. evil, can all be associated with these images.

We insert meaning to these notions and forge an identity, a livelihood around them. One could argue that the use of spectacle
runs rampant in media. "The term spectacle refers to an event or image that is particularly striking in its visual display to the point of inspiring awe in viewers" (p. 240). The text uses fireworks displays, large images, and IMAX screens as examples. What about photos and stories of suicide bombers? Starving children? Abused animals? Leveled forests? These images are undoubtedly used in order to incite a reaction whether to persuade, to inform, or entertain, there's a message being related.
Political events, campaigns, battles, debates, the constant back-and-forth can also be a form of "spectacle." One can use their rhetoric in order to bring unity to say a political party or movement or discourse cementing a world vision as part of their "brand" and "mission." The text states that a "social relationship" (p. 240) can be fostered among individuals validating and invalidating certain behaviors or ways of thinking. What better way to define the role of politics other than articulating how society should run, should think, should believe, should consume. *TO BEGIN THE PRESENTATION JUST CLICK THE RIGHT SIDE ARROW ON THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SCREEN OR USE YOUR RIGHT KEYBOARD ARROW* Pro-Gun Rights/Anti-Gun Control Fellow Advocate Organizations an issue advocacy organization
"encourages elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them." (https://secure.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/page/share/spread-the-word)
define solutions as: criminal background checks, limiting high capacity magazines, limiting assault weapons, and stopping gun trafficking. Fellow Advocate Organizations
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