Writing and Rhetoric II
January 24, 2013
Bigger Guns is Not the Problem Solver - Rhetorical Analysis
Elementary schools shootings, bank robberies, house invasions, gun suicide, street shootings; the list can go on and on about crimes being done with guns, but what should be done about it? Are you the type of person who strongly believes in The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms? Some people believe that this situation with assault rifles is getting out of hand and believe they should be banned. However, there are others who have personal reasons why they carry their guns and will never give them up. This is the case in the two articles that I read titled “Op-Ed: Sharp talk on guns prevents solutions” by Mark Plotzky and “Why I own an AR-15” by Patrick Millsaps. Both of these articles share their opinions on control and whether or not guns should be banned, but I believe that Partick Millsap’s articles surpasses the other due to his effective use of persuasion using the three types of rhetorical appeals, his clear targeted audience, and lastly his purpose for writing the article.
Patrick Millsaps article was a remarkable piece of writing in my opinion and very effective rhetorically, as for the article Op-Ed: Sharp talk on guns prevents solutions; I believe was the complete opposite. In this article Mark Plotzky a resident of Stamford, talks about his opinions on gun control and questions the use of assault rifles in our country. Plotzky starts off by stressing the fact that gun control is becoming an immense issue in our country by stating how he has read countless articles and has spoken to people on all sides of the issue. He goes on to express his opinions about the subject and uses the Second Amendment as a reason why he believes people should have the privilege to obtain a gun. To support this claim Plotzky says “The Bill of Rights cannot simply be modified or eliminated, no matter how much you may disagree with some of the amendments” (Stamford advocate) and states that if the Bill of Rights is actually modified then it will “foolishly damage the foundation of our country”. Although his case is strong, he starts to become unsure and questions the fact of whether people should be able to carry assault rifles as well. He writes how he believe that everyone should have the right to carry a gun, but that he sees no reason in why someone should own an assault rifle. Finally, Plotzky goes on to blame the government on not addressing the issue in a correct matter. He brings up the subjects about illegal guns, gangs, smoking, and mental health issues not receiving proper care and states “I've seen only token attempts to tackle this problem.”
In my opinions Plotzky does not demonstrate any effective strategies to prove or bolster his argument. His purpose for writing and point of view are not present till the very end of the article. Not only is the purpose for writing this article barely present, but he continuously lacks the rhetorical appeal of logos in his article, which in my opinions goes on to damage his credibility and his article as a whole. For example, when Plotzky read some comments about modifying the Second Amendment so that only military and police would carry guns, he simply answered, “I think that would be a mistake and not what the founding fathers intended” (Stamford advocate). Although he states an opinion he lacks to give any type of example on why it would be a mistake. He continuously does this throughout the article. Another example of the lack of the rhetorical appeal of logos is when he states the other problems that are not being addressed. In the final paragraph Plotzky says, “We have many illegal guns in the U.S., yet I've seen only token attempts to tackle this problem. Likewise, we have a large gang problem, and gangs use lots of guns, and I've see only token attempts to...