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Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:00 AM

In Public ‘Conversation’ on Guns, a Rhetorical Shift


http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/in-public-conversation-on-guns-a-rhetorical-shift/


If the news coverage is any guide, there has been a change of tone in recent years in the public conversation about guns. The two-word phrase “gun control” is being used considerably less often than it was 10 or 20 years ago. But the phrase “gun rights” is being used more often. And the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is being invoked more frequently in the discussion.

In the chart below, I’ve tracked the number of news articles that used the terms “gun control,” “gun rights,” “gun violence” and “Second Amendment” in American newspapers, according to the database NewsLibrary.com. (Because the number of articles in the database changes over time, the figures are normalized to reflect the overall volume of database coverage in any given year, with the numbers representing how often the gun-related phrases were used per 1,000 articles on any subject.)

The usage of all four phrases, but particularly the term “gun control,” has been subject to sharp but temporary shifts based on news events.





In 1993 and 1994, when Congress was debating a ban on assault weapons, the phrase “gun control” was used about three times per 1,000 news articles. Use of the term was even higher after the mass shootings in Columbine, Colo., peaking at 3.7 instances per 1,000 articles in 1999. It reached a low point in 2010, when the term “gun control” was used 0.3 times per 1,000 articles — less than one-tenth as often as in the year after the Columbine shootings.

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Reply In Public ‘Conversation’ on Guns, a Rhetorical Shift (Original post)
Scuba Dec 2012 OP
myrna minx Dec 2012 #1
KharmaTrain Dec 2012 #2
cantbeserious Dec 2012 #3
Scuba Dec 2012 #4
cantbeserious Dec 2012 #5
Scuba Dec 2012 #7
cantbeserious Dec 2012 #8
Scuba Dec 2012 #9
cantbeserious Dec 2012 #10
Scuba Dec 2012 #11
cantbeserious Dec 2012 #12
Scuba Dec 2012 #13
cantbeserious Dec 2012 #14
Scuba Dec 2012 #15
KharmaTrain Dec 2012 #19
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #6
GreenEyedLefty Dec 2012 #16
Scuba Dec 2012 #17
GreenEyedLefty Dec 2012 #18

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:05 AM

1. That's very interesting. K&R

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:20 AM

2. Sadly Another Issue Where Minds Are Set Hard...

I've avoided the gun debates here as the raw emotions of the events are still playing out, many key facts in this case remain to be addressed and there needs to be time to mourn for those who have suffered from yet another senseless act of violence. While my own personal opinions are with those who favor gun control, the realist and cynic in me knows that finding any common ground on this issue is nearly impossible...even after this incredibly traumatic massacre. Those who want their guns will justify...hide behind a conveluted interpretation of the second ammendment and use the "bad apples" theory. Truth is this country is awash with guns and more people will die...more massacres will happen and the sniping between those who are pro and anti gun will continue as well. Politicians have no backbone to touch this issue or face the wrath of the NRA and in the era of Citizens United...where money speak loudly...the gun lobby is sure to be heard...especially for any attempts to propose even the slightest legislation.

That's the sad and frustrating aspect of this story...and thus I've vented...

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:32 AM

3. That There Is No Middle Ground Is Immaterial - Someone Will Lose Something

Either the Gun Owners Will Lose Their Guns or

Society Will Lose More Children.

It truly is that Black and White.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:39 AM

4. "No Middle Ground" and capitalized at that! Care to expound on why there is "No Middle Ground"?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:43 AM

5. Articulated In The Body Of The Last Reply

Either the gun owners lose their guns or

Society loses more children.

It really is that that simple and that stark.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:47 AM

7. That doesn't describe "No Middle Ground" as it does not imply that all gun owners lose their guns.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:09 AM

8. Well Then Let Me Be Clear - All Gun Owners Lose Their Guns - Is That Clear Enough?

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:14 AM

9. So a middle ground would include bans on certain weapons and denial of rights for certain citizens?

Many of us would argue there is a wide middle ground available, and that "No Middle Ground" - especially capitalized - sounds very much like a right-wing argument.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:15 AM

10. In My World The 2nd Amendment Is Repealed - No Rights Abridged - No Middle Ground

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:23 AM

11. I would prefer the repeal of 2A to our current situation, but ...

... don't see that happening. Reasonable limits on firepower and ownership, yes, and without abridging rights.

Your "No Middle Ground" argument still sounds right-wing; most Democrats/liberals/progressives favor negotiation and compromise, not ultimatums.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:29 AM

12. This Liberal Has Had Enough - If You Want To Label My Position As Right Wing Then That Is Your Label

Cenk captures my position well and I would go farther than he suggests in the following video.

[link:|

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:36 AM

13. All Cenk says is do something, now. We both agree with that.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:39 AM

14. And As I Said - I Would Go Much Farther - Ban All Guns - Repeal The 2nd Amendment

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:42 AM

15. Thanks for clarifying.

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 05:37 PM

19. Yes It Is...

...and the children have always been the losers. If not directly involved in gun violence...then losing a parent or loved one because of one. Sadly, the gun owners can't, won't...and the politicians don't have the "stones" to pass any serious gun control legislation. While the answer is black and white, the solution isn't...

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 08:45 AM

6. the 'public conversation' is what the media chose to focus on.

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:53 AM

16. "We" are quite literally swimming (drowning?) in a sea of guns and ammunition.

Enough to kill all of the world's children many times over.

Alas, it is too late for meaningful gun control legislation. There are just too many weapons, and too many people addicted to them for whom giving them up is unthinkable.

I do not have hard statistics, but I would bet any amount of money that the sales of weapons and ammo went way up in the wake of Friday's disaster. This country has gone mad... not just over guns, but consumption of violence. We are addicted to it. The technological advances of the last 20 years or so have only added to it.

This proliferation of weapons means we must learn to accept the fact that our babies and other innocents will continue to be slaughtered at the altar of "freedom" and the "2nd Amendment." Meanwhile, the 24 hour news orgs are literally falling all over themselves to report on these stories. No doubt they are waiting with bated breath for the next one.

I have three children, one in college, two of whom are school-age. When they ask me if they will be safe at school, the mall or at the movies, I can no longer answer in the affirmative. It's now, "I don't know."

I so, so wish I could suggest an easy answer. We are so sick.

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Response to GreenEyedLefty (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:02 AM

17. "There's nothing we can do" is a pathetic argument.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 11:04 AM

18. If something is actually done, you are more than welcome to say you told me so.

I stand by my opinion. The onus for change is on gun owners... until there is a shift in their views on guns and gun ownership, there is nothing we can do.

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