Gun Control Research Paper

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Kevin Arocha
Professor Noonan
Spring 2012
Research Paper

“The right to bear arms”, an amendment so prioritized by our founding fathers that it earned the very second spot on the list of birth rights as Americans. However, with constant tragedies striking the United States, such as massacres in public high schools and universities, mall shootings, and attempted assassinations on state representatives, it’s no wonder law makers are constantly debating the topic of gun control. The history of firearms has changed dramatically since the late 1700’s. A rifle is no longer defined as a single shot, muzzle loading musket. Should modernized, high caliber, automatic rifles and handguns be protected by an amendment written nearly 250 years ago? Should the second amendment be abolished altogether? Or regulated, perhaps? If so, to what extent? All these questions are what trigger extensive debates in Washington D.C. regarding what the founding fathers intended the amendment to be. In the article, “Gun Control Isn’t Crime Control”, the author John Stossel argues exactly the opposite. Stossel claims that the United States gun control system does not effectively diminish crime rates within the nation; instead, Stossel provides evidence proving the very opposite effect. Summed up, the article mentions how an armed society tends to be safer, with lower violence and crime rates. This is mainly due to criminals becoming fearful of committing crimes, as they know that a civilian is likely to be armed, creating both an obstacle and a threat. On the other hand, cities and states that lean towards and enforces ‘carefully controlled firearm laws’ often experience an increased or steadily maintained crime rate. Stossel provides support for his research by using logical to get one of his points across. Stossel writes, “When will we understand that people who intend to kill are not deterred by gun laws? Last I checked, murder is against the law everywhere” (New York Sun, 71908). Stossel makes a point to include this in order to prove that an extra law on guns won’t be able to stop whoever is determined to commit the crime in the first place. Throughout the article, Stossel primarily relies on the use of Logos to get his point across. On more than one occasion, he appeals to readers by using logical reasoning in order to persuade them into his beliefs. For example, Stossel writes “No one intent on murder will be stopped by the prospect of committing a lesser crime like illegal possession of a firearm” ( He uses common sense and reason to make a strong argument against strict gun laws. “Criminals don’t attack people they know are armed and anyone thinking of committing mass murder is likely to be attracted to a gun free zone, such as schools and malls”(Stossel, Depending on logic once again, Stossel backed up his point with real life scenarios, particularly the Columbine and Virginia Tech school massacres. John Stossel doesn’t rely solely on the Logos method, however. Traces of Pathos can also be found throughout Stossel’s article, particularly his addition of Tom Palmers quote, “You can call the Police if you want, and they’ll get there, and they’ll take a picture of your dead body. But they can’t get there in time to save your life. The first line of defense is you” ( Stossel makes sure to include that quote in order to reach out to readers by the use of Pathos. He uses the power of emotion to instill fear in the public who don’t own a firearm to protect themselves with, proving to be an effective persuasion tactic.

In his article, John Stossel writes that “Government may promise to protect us from criminals, but it cannot deliver on that promise. If you are the target of a crime, one other person besides the criminal is sure...
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