Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Referring to the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama said, “That was the worst day of my presidency.” Today, I found myself looking at a photo the White House released of President Obama shooting a gun at Camp David. The photo was taken on August 4th , 2012, so the fact that it just happened to be released February 2nd, 2013, this photo seemed like a strange thing for the White House to release.

Was the White House trying to silence anti-gun control critics by showing President Obama is just like them? If that was the case, according to an article by the New York Times, which gave a quote by Chris Cox, the Chief Lobbyist for the National Rife Association, they failed. Mr. Cox said,  “But in his effort to pursue a political agenda, he apparently is willing to convince gun owners that he’s one of us, that he’s a Second Amendment supporter.” The question now is what is President Obamas political agenda. A gun control activist or a “Second Amendment supporter?”

I couldn’t find any definitive statements from President Obama addressing his exact viewpoints on gun control. Instead, I found statements like, “I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies (referring to recent mass shootings) like this” and “proposals (referring to gun control laws) that I then intend to push without delay.” President Obama’s quotes use vague language and his statements don’t seem very convincing. However, this picture released by the White House speaks much more then any of his previous statements in his various speeches and interviews. What does this picture say to you and do you think President Obama will take action on gun control based off his statements? 


  1. Ariel, this is a very interesting blog post that deals with the current controversy over gun control. I agree with you that this picture goes against all of Obama's previous statements, in which he addresses taking action on gun control. The combination of his vague language in those political statements and the late release of this picture leave the American public wondering what the President and his advisors are planning. We discussed in class how second term Presidents don't need to please both sides through their policies because there is no way that they could be reelected. However, is it possible that Obama is trying to please both sides by being in the middle ground of this debate? Maybe he is planning to create a solution to prevent future gun tragedies, while still keeping in mind that people use guns to hunt or for hobbies as well. The President is trying to create a personal connection with both sides in order to create an easier transition period after the final decision. He is siding with the pro gun control side when he explains that he wants to protect his children from future incidents like Newtown, while on the other hand he is showing Second Amendment supporters and gun owners that he also considers shooting to be a hobby. The President knows that there will be no easy decision, yet he is trying to create trust and a personal connections with both sides in this debate.

  2. Ariel, Good job blogging overall this term. I like this post -- especially the fact that you offer the picture and that you link to an article from which you cite a quote. Last paragraph seems a little tepid, no? Let's hear your (strong) take on the issue. Don't hold back here: we want to hear your opinion!