3 March 2013
These three essays on the topic of gun control, “Both Sides Have Something to Fear” by David Ropeik, “We Can Ratchet Down the Passions” by Adam Winkler, and “A Divide Widened by Misunderstanding” by David Kopel, have many similarities in their views and opinions of the gun debate; i.e. to have gun rights or gun control. Not only their viewpoints, or lack thereof rather, but their timing from when these essays were written and their use of emotional ethos to grab the audience’s attention are all very similar. There also are a lot of differences between these three essays, such as who is in charge of the debate, and what caused the debate in the first place.
Ropeik, Winkler, and Kopel’s essays just happened to be published within a month on newspaper after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting of December 2012. The audience for the three authors would be the general public, which at that point was more biased towards having gun control because of the shooting. Emotion was a mutual subject among Winkler, Ropeik, and Kopel. The main theme throughout the three essays was that the authors were encouraging their audience to look at the issue without any of their own personal bias. All of the authors did agree that once the emotional side is taken out of the equation the general public and anyone else involved in this debate will all be able to come to a more rational decision on the matter at hand. Winkler, Ropeik, and Kopel assigned much of the blame to emotion when it came to any real effective debate. Ropeik states “But the gun control argument is intensely emotional because it is about so much more than public safety” (Ropeik, par. 1). Winkler also suggests that this debate over gun control is emotional by stating “The gun debate in America has been so emotional in part because of life and liberty. The gun control side generally believes that guns in the hands of civilians are useful for...