Sunday, 18 November 2012

Week 8 Blog Post

This was the only Anti-gun website I could actually find on Google, which was a bit worrying!

The Brady Campaign was set up originally as The National Council to Control Handguns in response to the attempted murder and robbery of its founder in 1974.

It is an in depth website which argues for tighter legislation and its mission statement states that they want to reduce gun violence rather than ban them outright.

The focus appears to be on education, with many sections detailing facts about gun ownership and use in America throughout history. They have a lot of history and educational resources, they cite their sources and although they use rhetoric, it is considered and concise (They have a bipartisan petition). Their arguments in fact, could possibly use a bit more passion as their position is not clear (it doesn't state what the petition is actually in favour of).

The site does not come out and overtly state they are against guns, or gun ownership, only gun crime. In modern America, this may be the best way to get through to the population as a whole, since few people can argue FOR gun crime.

Overall, the site is well sourced, well written and has an appropriate number of banners with shocking statistics (such as a "shot today" counter) to be effective at educating people. From our point of view may seem a bit weak and one wonders why there is a need for "grass roots activism" to uphold federal laws, but this is probably the best way of getting gun crime down in a largely pro-gun society like America.

This is an example of a pro-gun website, of which there were literally millions. This site is not unusual in that it  mentions gun ownership as a god given right and quotes the Second Amendment numerous times.

There doesn't appear to be any actual message on this beyond the constitutional message that are allowed, but the site is made up of links to a number of personal/editorial articles and blogs.

No facts or figures are given and no sources are cited to support their basic mission, which is the repeal of every gun control law since the 1930's.

They are a group of women, who believe that guns protect them and their children from the evils. But beyond these vagaries it was tough to see what the point of this site was. However, I suspect that the main meat of the site would be in forums - either online or at rallies - where members meet and discuss their views and plan grass root activism (like the Brady Campaign) to get their message across.

I feel that if you are a woman of a certain intelligence (and that doesn't mean stupid as these women appear fairly articulate), who has been a victim or fears becoming a victim of crime then the rhetoric in the articles would really play to you. They tap into the fears of the unknown, the foreign and the government keeping tabs on you.

As to which site is more effective, the answer to that is fairly easy because the Brady Campaign is still going where as the AFA stopped accepting new members in 2005. For my point of view, I need evidence as the sources of the Brady site make me favour that website more. But from the point of view of the average American who holds freedom and constitutional rights to be sacrosanct then I fear the AFA type site is more effective.

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