Scissors, glue sticks, poster boards, and used magazines, chalk/writing board.
One classroom period - 50 min.
Students will explore their initial visual assumptions on the kind of person, or culture, that desires weapons. Students will begin to look at popular culture with a more critical eye towards the themes of disarmament.
1. To emphasize the first category concerning the demand for guns, have the students break up in pairs and pass out scissors, glue sticks, poster boards, and used magazines with pictures of popular culture, etc. Ask the students to brainstorm together about "who wants a gun"? Ask the students to create a collage out of pictures to profile who this person might be. Remember, the idea is to do this collage in the spirit of a brainstorming activity, meaning anything is acceptable including any objectionable or stereotypical profiles. Bear in mind that students may also create a picture of law abiding citizens ho have the constitutional right to lawfully own weapons.
Another way to approach this exercise is to make a collage about what kind of "culture" creates a demand for guns? The key to this activity is not to spend too much time on the collage making. The students should work intuitively and fast with the idea that their finished piece is not precious. Afterwards ask the students to present their collages to the class. Students should not judge the collages, but use the activity to pose even more questions about the demand for guns. Any ideas and questions should be written on the board under the category of the demand for guns. The idea is to begin to generate a list of reasons why people around the world want small arms. Again, no negative judgment should be made on whether the reasons are legitimate (for hunting purposes) as opposed to illegitimate (for committing armed robbery). The idea is to just gather reasons why someone might want to own a weapon.
The educator could wrap this activity with a short talk on how to look at popular culture more critically. As an assignment, the facilitator could ask the students to journal their thoughts on the following question: Do you think popular media encourages people to want guns? Please write some examples to defend your opinion.