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dc.contributor.advisorRowland, Robert C
dc.contributor.authorKirk, Justin Ward
dc.date.accessioned2019-05-12T18:00:55Z
dc.date.available2019-05-12T18:00:55Z
dc.date.issued2018-05-31
dc.date.submitted2018
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/ku:15862
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/27888
dc.description.abstractGun violence constitutes a nation-wide health crisis. Legislative attempts for reform have failed completely at the national level over the past decade. The public response to gun violence, however, has not supported reform. In the following study, I analyze three key speeches in the evolution of President Obama’s campaign to pass gun safety reforms. In response, the president delivered seven speeches on gun violence before his re-election, including speeches in Fort Hood, Tucson, and Aurora. In this study, I examine three inflection points in the rhetorical legacy of Barack Obama’s speeches on gun violence in America. Despite the investment of political capital and personal credibility throughout his presidency, he failed to achieve significant reform. In the dissertation, I offer one explanation for his failure to achieve legislative reform and consider his rhetorical prowess and strategic choices in times of national tragedy. Over his two terms in office, Barack Obama launched a national push to strengthen American gun regulations and failed. In Tucson, he avoided an immediate defeat over reform and set the stage for later actions. Obama announced in Newtown his commitment to reform. He directly leveraged the moral outrage of the moment to set an agenda for changing federal gun regulations. Despite substantial situational advantages, the president’s push for reform failed. Newtown proved that practical arguments face significant barriers when confronting interest group politics and financial influence on Capitol Hill. Obama’s final attempt to forward moral arguments for change occurred in Charleston. He articulated a vision of citizenship grounded in the principle of grace and depicted a politics and society that prioritized empathy and care between citizens. Each eulogy offered insight into President Obama’s approach to the crisis of gun violence and revealed key limitations to the rhetorical influence of the president.
dc.format.extent124 pages
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsCopyright held by the author.
dc.subjectRhetoric
dc.subjectCitizenship
dc.subjectDeliberation
dc.subjectEulogy
dc.subjectGun Control
dc.subjectObama
dc.subjectValues
dc.titleBarack Obama’s Mass Shooting Eulogies: Tucson, Newtown, and Charleston as moral guideposts for a nation in crisis
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberInnocenti, Beth
dc.contributor.cmtememberParson, Donn
dc.contributor.cmtememberBricker, Brett
dc.contributor.cmtememberFarmer, Frank
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplineCommunication Studies
dc.thesis.degreeLevelPh.D.
dc.identifier.orcid0000-0002-5820-3551
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccess


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