Barack Obama's Remarks on Reducing Gun Violence

This study guide will help you analyze President Barack Obama's remarks on reducing gun violence. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on main topics, speaker, audience, language, modes of persuasion, circumstances and intention. 

Presentation of the speech

Title: Remarks on Reducing Gun Violence
Speaker: Barack Obama
Where: University of Hartford, Connecticut
When: 8th April, 2013, about four months after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Barack Obama (b. 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. One of Obama's main political ambitions during his presidency was to combat gun violence and mass shootings by introducing more gun control laws. This speech is an attempt to argue for more strict gun control laws, in the wake of a mass shooting that killed 26 people (including 20 children).  

You can watch the speech here.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Choice of words

In his speech, Obama mainly uses words with positive connotations. Even though the events he refers to are tragic (the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting), he tries to give a positive note to his speech by encouraging citizens and by using words with positive connotations: “brave”, “courage”, “precious”, “power”, etc. This is because Obama wants something good (stricter gun control laws, Democrat-Republican cooperation) to come out of something tragic.

Also, note that Obama employs a variety of action verbs, which suggest movement and changes that are about to be made: “mobilized”, “organized” , “petitioned”, “passed”, etc.


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Barack Obama's Remarks on Reducing Gun Violence

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