The Gun In America

  1. Record your initial reactions
    What do you notice first? What catches your attention? Is the image familiar to you? How does it make you feel? What does it make you think about?
  2. Explore the visual elements and identify important details
    Consider the details that matter most. Look at the way the image is composed. Does it use colors in a special way? What point of view does it use? Can you identify one or more focal points? Does the image use contrast, lighting, arrangement, focus, balance, or other visual elements to produce a certain affect? What details surprise you? Does anything seem unusual or out of place?
  3. Consider the context and history of the image
    When was the image produced? By whom? For what purpose? You may have to do some research to answer these questions. Try to learn as much as you can about the artist or photographer. Think about what the image may be responding to. Look at its genre and medium and compare it with similar images or visual texts from the same time period.
  4. Consider the process used to create the image
    What type of image is it? Think about the medium used (photograph, collage, painting, digital illustration, or cartoon, for example) and compare the image to others in that medium. How is its style and technique similar to or different from others in that medium?
  5. Reconsider your initial reactions
    Visual texts often produce immediate, emotional reactions. In light of your detailed analysis, go back and reconsider your first impressions. Does your analysis reinforce your impressions? Challenge them? Decide which details you think are most important, and use them to develop an interpretation that you can present and support in your paper or presentation.

[Eng101 course and Time Magazine]

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9 Responses to The Gun In America

  1. eng101maull says:

    Let me know whatever you would like me to change for I will do it. I thought I would get started so it’s here for us, However I have no intentions for you to think that I’m the boss or in control by no means. Have fun, Joseph

  2. eng101maull says:

    The first thing I noticed was the smoke coming from the barrel, as if a bullet was shot from it. “The Gun In America” title, makes me feel as if someone or an organization is challenging gun ownership or rights of such in America.

    I noticed they shaded the arm and hand with dull colors leaving more attention to the gun itself and directing the most attention to the barrel smoke and title.

    The Gun in America magazine cover for the June 21, 1968 issue of TIME was drawn by Roy Lichtensteins. Soon after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, pop artist Lichtenstein aimed a smoking gun at readers to emphasize the urgency for gun legislation. Before the end of the year, Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968 that banned most interstate sales, licensed most gun dealers and barred felons, minors and the mentally ill from owning guns.

    The image appears to be hand drawn like others from this time period. I find it interesting that it reminds me alot of the modern day, Apple Ipod Image. They both have a well known image so little words are needed and the part of the image they want to stand out are done so with vibrant colors.

    I feel my first impression was accurate. With the violence that was going on in that time frame, it doesn’t surprise me that there was an article titled, “The Gun In America.” Nor did it suprise me that Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968.

    Joseph Mckown

  3. Joseph Mckown says:

    From: MOORE, MARY J.
    Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 8:43 PM
    Subject: Connecting for Workshop 2.3

    I copied this from the website. It’s a start. And a chance to get connected.


    Roy Lichtensteins drawing of The Gun in America was the magazine cover of the June 21, 1968 issue of TIME. Soon after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, pop artist Lichtenstein aimed a smoking gun at readers to emphasize the urgency for gun legislation. Before the end of the year, Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968 that banned most interstate sales, licensed most gun dealers and barred felons, minors and the mentally ill from owning guns.

  4. Thank you for researching that for us Mary. I found it to be a huge help! Joseph

  5. mm0474818otc says:

    This is my initial impression.
    The first thing that comes up for me when I look at this picture is fear for my
    Having learned the power of guns as a child growing up in the streets of Los
    Angeles, a picture, or even the idea of a gun pointed at me with smoke coming out
    of the barrel means to me the gun has been fired.
    If it’s pointed at me (as the viewer), I must be the one that got shot, I just
    don’t know it yet.
    The picture is very direct. There does not seem to be any way that bullet could
    have missed what it was aimed at.
    The hand that is holding the gun also appears very direct and determined, gripping
    the gun firmly and aiming without fear.
    This could be interpreted as hostle toward the viewer (my first reaction).
    Smoking guns mean recent activity with a deadly instrument.
    Who is wielding the instrument is a clue as to how it is being used.
    A police officer, we would expect to be protective.
    If a terrorist, we have come to expect mayhem.
    Power is implied in the picture of the hand holding a gun pointed at the reader,
    as well as the use of the colors red, white and blue, in the background.
    These colors in American history imply courage, intellegence and spirit.

    I will research this a little more and look for some pictures to add. A video clip
    might be good if we found the right one.

  6. This image is very thought provoking and unusual.

    The first thing I notice, when I see the cover, is the colors yellow and red. Yellow for the smoke and title. Red for the “TIME” and border of the cover. What I know about red and yellow is that they are the two most appealing colors to the eye. That is why every restaurant you see -like McDonalds, Wendy’s, and Burger King- use the colors red and yellow.

    Another thing you notice is the gun pointing right at you. As is if you are staring down the barrel of a gun yourself. The gun is pale white, while the rest of the cover is very colorful, which to me shows the longevity of the gun and its influences on America. Another blaring visual is the emptiness of the opening of the barrel. This relates to the emptiness one feels when guns have influenced someone’s life in a negative way.

    Christian Andrick

  7. Check out this link . This is the website for the Lichtenstein Foundation and you can notice a lot of things about his “The Gun in America” painting and his others.

  8. Ginger Shadwick says:

    For starters I think you would have needed to be familiar with what was taking place at this time period in America, which most Americans were. The blog which Mary posted regarding the history of this time period, gives you great insight. The picture alone then speaks a thousand words, considering this was a time in America where gun control was becoming a serious issue. The picture only shows a hand, holding a smoking gun, which represents the issue taking place and if you were not sure just by being familiar with the time period and the picture, then the title ” The Gun in America” surely would have gave it away.
    Ginger Shadwick

  9. After researching the article, which focuses on guns, violence, crime, social issues weapons and gun control, there are valid arguments on both sides of the issue. The main point I got out of it is that it is time to change.
    The NRA has been very influential in blocking gun control in this country. Their claim is that their influence focuses on safety and conservation and social welfare of the nation. Their membership is over 1 million strong, and therefore has a significant influence on politics through their lobbying efforts. Some say that their basic premise is misleading, quoting only the second half of the second amendment regarding the right to bear arms.
    According to some, the United States is the “only country with an insane gun policy in western civilization.” (Joseph Tydings, Maryland, Democratic Senator).
    In the last 40 years there has been a shift in the over all national outlook of guns and gun control. In the past guns were a necessary part of life and survival. Pioneers depended on their guns and ammunition to secure food and provide for their families, and for protections from the wildlife and wilderness.
    The provider/protector of the past has transitioned from the brawny “macho-man” into the brainy urban human of todays world. It is time for a shift in the paradigm. The fears of Indian raids, wild bears attacks and racial violence have little to no place in the modern urban sprawl of today’s world.
    [The Gun In America, by TIME MAGAZINE, June 21, 1968]
    Mary Moore

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