An Article By The Guardian Essay

An Article By The Guardian Essay

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An article by the Guardian (Woolf 2015) ends with a statement by Sheriff Bill Brown in which he directly points the finger at the American mental health system and suggests the futility of stricter gun laws, stating: ‘In California, we have some of the strongest gun control laws in the nation, yet in this case the suspect was still able to legally purchase and possess three handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition...Many suspects in mass murder incidents suffer from severe mental illness that is untreated or under-treated’ and he goes on to establish that this was the case with perpetrator Elliot Rodger (Woolf 2015, Online). Prior to the tragedy in Isla Vista, Amanda Wilcox of the California Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence credited California’s tough gun control regulations for ‘saving lives’, however, after the shooting, California’s gun control policies came under scrutiny (McGreevy 2013, Online). The shooting in Isla Vista has been pointed to by pro gun lobbyist as an example of how stricter gun laws do not actually help the problems of gun violence.

3.3 Televised Response

Furthermore, a divergence between the local and national response is apparent when looking at the discourse as presented through television media. For example, the emotional plea made by Richard Martinez, father of one of the victims, received extensive national coverage by certain stations, notably CNN. Martinez became a prominent face in the aftermath of the shooting for the pro gun control response, likely due to how outspoken and direct he was in addressing the public and by his naming of the NRA and greedy politicians to be of blame. However, more conservative stations like Fox News gave significantly less coverage to the father of the vic...


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...r, as the discourse evolves, these issues appear to receive a high amount of attention, while focus on the ease by which the perpetrator was able to procure the weapons and the quantity of weapons and ammunition they were able to secure in preparation for their attack, grow muddled in between. It is clear that this is not a simple debate in American politics, and each mass shooting brings to light new issues of consideration. At times these may include arguments for advanced security in schools, greater efficiency of law enforcement or for the mental health system to be amended. Furthermore, the way in which the media frames and credits such arguments varies between different sources, and this is consistent with theories polarisation of the media (Levendusky 2013). Further, such has arguably had a major impact on the polarity of the gun control debate as a whole.


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