Date Thesis Awarded

4-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

International Relations

Advisor

Maurits van der Veen

Committee Members

Maurits van der Veen

Philip Waggoner

Angela King

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze the use of language in the debates on gun laws in three different countries: the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Through systematic analysis of both legislative debates and media coverage of gun violence and gun control, I identify the major frames utilized by these political elites and news networks when discussing the issue.My findings show that there are indeed measurable differences between the rhetoric used by both legislators and the media. Each country has both shared and unique frames that are used by both types of actors. The rhetoric in the United States is much more complex than in either Canada or the United Kingdom, with frames covering a much larger range of issues than simply gun laws. Rhetoric on gun control and other such legislation was very salient in both the Canadian and British media and legislature after mass shootings, and these changes correlate with legislative changes. The United States has no consistent response in either the media or the legislature after mass shootings, and gun laws are not particularly salient. Interest groups play a large role in the legislative debates in the United States, and are viewed negatively by members of opposing parties, leading to ideological deadlock in terms of gun control.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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