Constructing threat and appropriating 'civil rights': Rhetorical strategies of gun rights and English only leaders
Publication: Symbolic Interaction
Topics: Ownership Social Science
Keywords: American Society CIVIL rights Gun Rights Social Groups Threats
Bibliographic information +
The authors read speeches, letters and columns of National Rifle Association (NRA) leaders (Charlton Heston, Wayne LaPierre) from 1998-2003 looking for themes and codes. The NRA used four main framing strategies: (a) Historical icons and a romanticized past: Patriots and freedom fighters, Founding Fathers, cultural mythology and a frontier version of masculinity; (b) Mobilization of fears (Culture wars and minority threats): Roving gangs of criminals, white racist fears and stereotypes; (c) Self-sufficient citizens versus Big Government: white, frontier masculinity, rugged individualism, independence, freedom from government; (d) Appropriating the mantle of “civil rights”: transforming rural, southern whites into a persecuted minority who belong to the “biggest and oldest civil rights organization in the country,” the NRA.
Lio, S., Melzer, S., & Reese, E. (2008). Constructing threat and appropriating 'civil rights': Rhetorical strategies of gun rights and English only leaders. Symbolic Interaction, 31(1), 5-31.
Lio, Shoon, Scott Melzer, and Ellen Reese. "Constructing Threat and Appropriating 'Civil Rights': Rhetorical Strategies of Gun Rights and English Only Leaders." Symbolic Interaction 31.1 (2008): 5-31.