Cartoonists Respond To Mass School Shootings

1250 words - 5 pages

When news of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting reverberated across the country on December 14, 2012, every office, living room, and classroom was silent. The shooter, Adam Lanza, had just killed twenty-eight people, twenty of them being kids no older than ten years old (Vogel). Since this tragic event, other shootings have occurred across the nation. Massive debates and demands of congressional action over gun violence and gun control sparked over the appropriate solution. Despite pleas from President Obama to enact change, gun advocates such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) have been able to continuously deter many government officials from pursuing anti-gun laws. Cartoonists Mike Luckovich, Dave Granlund, and Rob Rogers, have used several techniques to illustrate their views on the problem of security in schools as well as the NRA's involvement in obstructing the safety of children across the country.

Luckovich's cartoon depicts three children sitting in their respective desks while holding different items. Using the technique of labeling, one child with two guns is labeled "NRA", another child with wads of money and is named "Gun Makers", while the last child is named "Congress" with bags of "Campaign Cash" (Luckovich). Several days before this cartoon was published, President Obama proposed "sweeping gun law proposals…[that] brought a range of reactions" (Malloy). Congressmen are often swayed to vote certain ways depending on who offers a large sum of money for campaign efforts. Luckovich insinuates in the cartoon that the money in the "Campaign Cash" bag came from the "Gun Makers", symbolizing the buying out of greedy congressmen votes against any gun restricting laws and causing the large range in response. He also caricatures "Congress" with pig-like features that often symbolizes greed and fraud in cartoons. The child representing the NRA is facing the opposite direction of the two other children and seems dazed and confused. This infers to the lack of immediate response or political participation from the advocate group towards early January due internal issues as well as power struggle with more extreme gun groups (Dolan). The cartoonist also uses irony in his picture with a quote that states "No assault weapons ban, no high-capacity magazine ban, and no universal background checks…in honor of the children…" (Luckovich). Luckovich is referring to the fact that there has been almost no development to protect current students from this rising problem of gun violence. This cartoon tells of not only the little progress the government has made towards gun law reform and the corruption that occurs in Congress, but also the lack of security and tribute that the country has given to the children and families that have been struck by tragic shootings.

The most noticeable thing in Granlund's cartoon is an open book with deep gun-shaped cut outs as well as said gun laying on a table. Textbooks that are all ironically...

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