In his final year as the president of the United States, Barack Obama delivered a speech on gun control. In the speech, he discussed a number of proposals and measures that he envisions to take by Executive Order in bid to reduce the rate of gun violence in the country. From different perspectives, the speech presented by the president was solid considering that he had his notes, but he was also able to speak freely with amendments from time to time. This resulted in a human and powerful delivery of the intended information.
The speech delivered by President Obama took approximately 36 minutes. One of the defining features of the speech was in the ability of the president to use masterful pauses. This was meant to help the audience understand the essence of the information and comprehend information delivered regarding safety of the citizens of the United States. In an attempt to demonstrate that he was certain of the information and the decisions that he intended to make through the Executive Order, president Obama embraced eye contact with the audience. This was also a technique of ensuring that his audience was concentrating. In addition, eye contact was also a methodology used during the speech to improve on the level of trust that the American citizens were to have on the ability of the president to make rational decisions on matters involving state security.
The speech on gun control was also characterized by effective use of rhetorical devices. For instance, the president embraced aporia when he asked the questions, “How did we get here?” How did the country get to a situation where the citizens think that a requirement of a comprehensive background check would mean taking away their guns?” The use of aporia was essential in ensuring that the citizen was able to embrace rationality in understand state policies and laws. Furthermore, the president also used comparison in the delivery of his speech. In the speech, the president said, “Maybe we cannot save everyone; it is possible to save some. This is the same as being incapable of preventing all the traffic accidents but taking steps aimed at the reduction of traffic accidents.” The president also used diacope in the delivery of the speech especially when he said that it was possible for the gun lobby groups and organizations to hold Congress hostage but it was not possible for these grips to hold the United States hostage.
As the president of the United States and a symbol of national unity, Obama emphasized on the need for the citizens to strengthen the constitutionally recognized arms of the government to ensure that they are brave enough to stand against the lies propelled by the gun lobby groups. This would be an indication of the willingness of the citizens to protect themselves, by demanding that different levels of government and private entities play their role in the promotion of gun control policies. Being the electorate, the president emphasized on the role of the citizens in ensuring that the congress accomplishes his responsibilities. In the speech, the president argued that Congress blocked legislations because of the desire to win elections. However, if citizens made it relatively difficult for the congressional representatives to win elections if they blocked laws then they would change course by passing legislations deemed important for the safety of American citizens.
Appropriate incorporation of humor in the delivery of his speech increased the level of interest in the context of the speech. Obama was tackling a relatively difficult subject considering that most of the members of his audience had lost their loved ones in gun related violence or they were victims of unregulated gun use. The use of humor in this circumstance was also essential in lightening the mood for some time because the speaker could return to the main topic. The use of humor was accompanied by storytelling, which was aimed at captivating the interest of the audience through real life experiences. For instance, in the speech Obama told the story of Zaevison Dobson with the aim of emphasizing on the need of gun control laws.
In his speech, the president used quotable statements aimed at enhancing the content of his presentation. For example, he said, “…for those in congress who argue that mental illness is the main cause of mass shooting, as a technique of avoiding actions of guns, there is a chance of managing uncontrolled killing through effective gun control polices.” The speech was also characterized the use of statistics aimed at supporting his arguments. In the speech president, Obama said that approximately 30,000 Americans die every year from gun related violence. The president also used statistics in drawing a comparison between the decreasing number of gun related deaths in Connecticut because of gun control regulations and an increase in gun related deaths in Missouri because of absence of strict measures to regulate use and ownership of guns.