Learning Area Society and Environment, English

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Gun control
Focus Questions

  1. D
    Episode 20

    31st july 2012

    Learning Area

    Society and Environment, English

    Key learning

    Students will research arguments for gun control and gun rights and participate in a mini debate.

    iscuss the Gun control story with another student. Record the main points of your discussion.

  2. What did the Prime Minister do in response to the Port Arthur tragedy in 1996?

  3. Australia has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. True or false?

  4. Many people in America see owning a gun as a ___________.

  5. What percentage of households in America have a gun

    1. 10%

    2. 20%

    3. 45%

  6. What is the Second Amendment in the American Constitution?
  7. How have guns changed since the Second Amendment was written?

  8. What has happened to gun sales since the Colorado shooting?

  9. Do you think stricter gun ownership laws are needed? Explain your answer.

  10. How has your thinking changed since watching the BtN story?

Gun control debate

Ask students what they think is meant by `gun control’ and `gun rights’.

What do supporters of each side of the debate believe?

Ask students to research and record the following:

Supporters of gun control believe…

Supporters of gun rights believe…

    Some issues to consider when investigating the debate:

    Tougher background checks and longer waiting periods for those wanting to purchase guns

    Compulsory child safety locks on guns

    A person right to protect themselves

Restricting the use and sale of guns is against the rights of all Americans

Mini Debate

Should the U.S. have stricter rules on gun ownership?

Working in pairs, students will prepare a one - two minute speech for a mini debate on the topic of gun control. One person will speak for the affirmative (supporting the idea that the United States should have stricter rules on gun ownership) and the other will speak for the negative (speaking against the idea of greater gun control).

Before students begin to construct their argument, ask them to record what they already know about the topic and what they would like to find out. Students then research the topic to gain a greater understanding of the issue. Ask students to list their arguments in point form on paper (without their partner seeing them). When they have done this, ask them to choose the five best points that will form the basis for their debate.

Students will write in point form, their debate on cards that fit into the palm of their hand. Their debate needs to have an introduction (introducing the topic), middle (three main points) and a conclusion (restating their position)

Students practise their speech and then present the mini debate to other students.


Ask students to think about how difficult it was to think of arguments to support their case. Do they think they could have created a stronger argument if they were speaking for the opposing view?

Further investigation

Tell us what you think on the Behind the News Guestbook. Include one or two points from your argument.

8 Related Research Links

CBBC Newsround – Gun debate
BBC Scotland – Gun control debate
BBC – Newsbeat’s guide to US gun laws
Behind the News - Upsetting news document

© ABC 2012

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