American Gun Culture, School Shootings, and a “Frontier Mentality”: An Ideological Analysis of British Editorial Pages in the Decade After Columbine

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American Gun Culture, School Shootings, and a “Frontier Mentality”: An Ideological Analysis of British Editorial Pages in the Decade After Columbine

Category: International, Mass Shootings, Youth|Journal: Communication, Culture and Critique (full text)|Author: R DeFoster|Year: 2010

The problem of school shootings has attracted extensive media attention, especially since the Columbine shooting, a watershed event that pushed the issue of school shootings to the forefront of media coverage. This paper examines the themes present in British editorial coverage of school shootings in the decade between April 1999, the month of the Columbine shooting, and April 2009, using ideological analysis to identify themes present in British editorial newspaper coverage. Articles were drawn from the Times of London and the Independent. Major themes that emerged were widespread disgust with a disordered and unhealthy American gun culture and firearms legislation, a focus on gratuitous and violent entertainment media, and a frustration with unethical media coverage of these tragic events.

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