Sandy Hook School Shooting

  • Selina E. M. Kerr


The final case study, the Sandy Hook school shooting, is the focus of this chapter. Framing within political debates and news media content is shown to centre on ‘protecting children.’ Universal background checks on all gun sales and renewing the assault weapons ban were the policy options being advanced at that time by the Obama administration. There was a defeatist tone in the news media content throughout this process and the bills ended up failing. Outlined thereafter are the alternative bills around ‘arming teachers’ in schools, which became law in a number of states. Interviewees’ worries about the safety of this measure are discussed. The final part of the chapter centres on the state laws passed, restricting assault weapons and mandating universal background checks.


Sandy Hook Universal background checks Assault weapons Arming teachers 


  1. Brown, Angela K. 2012. Texas Town Allows Teachers to Carry Concealed Guns. Associated Press, December 20. Accessed 1 Apr 2017.
  2. Callaghan, Karen, and Frauke Schnell. 2005. Introduction: Framing Political Issues in American Politics. In Framing American Politics, ed. Karen Callaghan and Frauke Schnell, 1–17. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  3. Entman, Robert M. 1993. Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of Communication 43 (4): 51–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ———. 2007. Framing Bias: Media in the Distribution of Power. Journal of Communication 57 (1): 163–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fleming, Anthony K., Paul E. Rutledge, Gregory C. Dixon, and Salvador Peralton. 2016. When the Smoke Clears: Focusing Events, Issue Definition, Strategic Framing and the Politics of Gun Control. Social Science Quarterly 97 (5): 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. FOX 31 Denver. 2013a. Gov. Hickenlooper Signs Landmark Colo. Gun Control Bills into Law, March 20. Accessed 15 Oct 2016.
  7. ———. 2013b. Obama: Colorado Is Model for Nation on Gun Control, April 3. Accessed 15 Oct 2016.
  8. Grossmann, Matt. 2008. New Directions in Interest Group Politics. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Halpin, Darren R. 2014. The Organization of Political Interest Groups. London/New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  10. Hatalsky, Lanae Erickson, and Jim Kessler. 2013. Can Gun Owners Love the Bipartisan Background Check Bill? Third Way Social Policy and Politics Program. Accessed 27 Feb 2017.
  11. Jones, Michael A., and George W. Stone. 2015. The U.S. Gun Control Paradox: Gun Buyer Response to Congressional Gun Control Initiatives. Journal of Business and Economics 13 (4): 167–174.Google Scholar
  12. McKinnon, Mark. 2012. Batman Shootings: Mitt Romney Doesn’t Want Action on Gun Control; Barack Obama Does, But Won’t Take It. The Telegraph, July 28. Accessed 14 Nov 2017.
  13. Pew Research Center. 2013. Broad Support for Renewed Background Checks Bill, Skepticism about Its Chances. Accessed 27 Feb 2017.
  14. Robinson, Piers. 2002. The CNN Effect: The Myth of News, Foreign Policy and Intervention. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Rochefort, David A., and Roger W. Cobb. 1994. Problem Definition: An Emerging Perspective. In The Politics of Problem Definition: Setting the Agenda, ed. David A. Rochefort and Roger W. Cobb, 1–31. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.Google Scholar
  16. Simon, Richard. 2012. After School Shooting, Some States Move to Ease Gun Rules. Los Angeles Times, December 22.,0,3574691.story. Accessed 27 Feb 2017.
  17. Stroud, Angela. 2015. Good Guys with Guns: The Appeal and Consequences of Concealed Carry. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  18. The White House. 2013. Now Is the Time: The President’s Plan to Protect Our Children and Our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence. January 16. Accessed 15 Oct 2016.
  19. Woodly, Deva R. 2015. The Politics of Common Sense: How Social Movements Use Public Discourse to Change Politics and Win Acceptance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Selina E. M. Kerr
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ResearcherGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations