I recently read an article from Fox News titled “Obama reportedly considering executive action on gun control” in the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College shooting last Friday. After reading the article over a couple of times over, the conservative ideological bias Fox was operating under when writing this article became abundantly clear.
The opening paragraph of the article argues that while President Obama was visiting with the devastated Oregon community, he was already calculating how to turn the tragedy into a platform to push stricter gun laws.
The article puts forth a cynical kind of fatalism, arguing that stricter gun control laws would fail to accomplish any tangible goals. “Any gun proposals would likely see unified opposition among Republicans,” the article states. While this opinion may or may not be true, Fox is painting a picture in the heads of their audience that any gun control laws would ultimately fail before they got any headway, so why bother trying?
Further, the article focuses very specifically so on only the Republican side of the gun control debate. The author states conservative rationale for anti-gun control laws: “Republicans argue that mental health, not guns, are to blame for mass shootings and that White House proposals on the issue would violate the Second Amendment and wouldn’t do much if anything to prevent mass shootings.” Yet again the article argues fatalistically so that gun control laws would fail to make any kind of a positive or active change in U.S. society.
The article only interviews two people—one of which is former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee who advocates for much more relaxed gun restriction laws. The other man interviewed was a pastor in the Oregon community named Craig Schlesinger, who says “the fact that the college didn’t permit guards to carry guns, there was no one there to stop this man.” This article’s conservative bias creates a frame for its audience that the Umpqua Community College shooting occurred because of strict gun control laws and that less of these tragedies would happen if gun restriction were relaxed.