In an address directly from the White House, President Barack Obama describes his vision for the country with regards to gun control legislation, particularly in the wake of the tragedies of recent history. He states that the United States faces a “gun control epidemic” and does not shy from emphasizing the extremity of the necessity for stricter gun control for American gun holders. He continues to remark that, “We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency…it doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close”. So how does he hope to add a new perspective on this issue that can be heard differently?
The answer is a major emotional trigger. He mentions individuals such as Zaevion Dobson in his heroic act to save girls from a gun rampage as well as a number of cities in reference to major violence tragedies of American history. He recalls the incidents in movie theaters, schools, and more. He emphasizes the young ages of the victims, the lack of safety in the most common public places, and the absence of “pursuit of happiness and liberty”. Eventually, he even moves to wipe a small tear from his eye. All of this goes to serve his attempt at generating an emotional connection to his audience.
Only later does the true suggestion for legislation come. He calls for required background checks, stricter enforcement of laws, full disclosure about mental health of those pursuing ownership, and increased technology to better control who is firing the weapons.
The President’s strategy is ultimately very effective through the way that it slowly builds the captive audience’s attention and direct emotional connection to the speaker. There is no immediate mention of legislation or policy nor listing of statistics. He restates and connects all of the facts concerning the recent tragic gun-related attacks and builds a close conversational aspect of his speech. Despite the fact that the liberal agenda can frequently be fought by the GOP, there is no denying that the Republican candidates will have to overcome a lot of popular opinion concerning this “much needed” call to legislation from President Obama.