Media framing and gun control

A recent shooting just outside a Chicago high school is likely to bring about new calls for gun control, if the fallout from past shootings is any indication.  Manuel Lora addressed a very related issue on yesterday evening, discussing the lack of mention of guns in a more positive context, as a mode of defense with which to guard one’s home and family:

Every so often one one of the “major” broadcast networks airs a report on home safety. A security expert will go on and on about locking doors and windows, installing alarm systems, using motion detectors and a bunch of other things that a home owner might do including, of course, calling the police. But what about that useful, portable, concealable, reusable and affordable equalizer and tool of last resort? In fact, when have we ever been told not to rely on the state for anything?

This is a classic example of framing, which basically refers to how the media presents and organizes information, whether intentionally or not, and in doing so suggests certain conclusions to news consumers.  Guns are usually presented in the context of violence, not self-defense, which seems to lead to the conlusions that they are dangerous and bring only death and destruction.

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