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Propaganda in the Classroom

Face-off Over Guns

Gun issues are among the most divisive in our culture.  It often seems that there is no middle ground between those favoring gun control legislation and those opposing any limits on "their right to 'keep and bear arms'"; and that nearly everyone has grown up with set beliefs that they are unwilling to change.  Consequently, gun issue propaganda is usually designed to strengthen existing beliefs and activate supporters, rather than to convert fence sitters.

The propaganda pieces shown on the pages linked below express the basic arguments made by both sides in the gun control debate.  Handled properly, you can use them to help your students understand this political minefield while they learn to intelligently use and evaluate propagandistic information.

Triggering Emotions

The propaganda pieces shown on this page express two basic positions in the gun control debate.  I believe their designers hoped to trigger immediate emotional responses in those already holding similar ideas.

Dueling Facts

The propaganda pieces depicted on this page, while seemingly reasonable, show how propagandists use charts, diagrams, and factual assertions as manipulative tools.


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original web posting: Tuesday, January 1, 2002
last modified: Thursday, April 24, 2003