13 September 2014
Opinionated Articles, Presidential Speeches, and Gun Control: Comparing Two Different Genres of Writing In the United States, the media tends to only highlight violence that is occurring overseas when in reality gun violence has escalated to new heights in our own country. During recent years, gun-related homicides have plagued the United States, and many innocent citizens have been killed due to this accumulation of gun violence. Because gun control is a very controversial topic, writers who choose to address this emotional topic must use the appropriate tone when forming their arguments in order to better persuade their audience. Recently, Nicholas Kristof and President Obama have both published statements about gun control. Although both Kristof and Obama address gun control in their statements, Kristof addresses gun control through the genre of an opinionated article in the New York Times, and Obama addresses gun control through the genre of a presidential speech. Kristof voices his opinion about gun control by metaphorically comparing gun regulation to car regulation in order to show that republicans are hypocrites who support certain types or regulations such as car regulation, but not the regulation of guns. Kristof uses a condescending tone as he criticizes republicans in an attempt to persuade the readers that tighter gun regulations can prevent many deaths. Obama, on the other hand, expresses his views on gun control by tapping into his viewer’s emotions and by persuading his audience, with his depressing tone and statistics, that implementing tighter gun laws should be common sense. The contrasting techniques and writing strategies used by Kristof and Obama, when addressing the topic of gun control, are a clear example of two different genres of writing and their respective conventions. Genre influences a writer’s tone because every genre of writing has a different purpose and addresses a different audience. Authors, therefore, must mold their own style of writing and tone in order to properly address their readers and to follow the expected conventions of their genre, which have been set by previous writers. Although these two sources both convey the same belief that tighter gun control policies are necessary, each author is aware that they are addressing a different audience, and each uses a different tone in order to more clearly communicate their message and persuade their audience. Nicholas Kristof, author of the article “Our Blind Spot About Guns,” acquaints his readers to the topic of gun control by using a condescending tone in order to completely immerse the reader in his argument and to unveil the hypocrisy of republicans when it comes to regulation. Kristof begins the article by stating, If we had the same auto fatality rate today that we had in 1921, by my calculations we would have 715,000 Americans dying annually in vehicle accidents. Instead, we’ve reduced the fatality rate by more than 95 percent — not by confiscating cars, but by regulating them and their drivers sensibly. In this paragraph Kristof compares car regulation to gun regulation in order to show the reader that republicans supported car regulations in order to save lives, but continue to be stubborn when it comes to regulating deadly weapons such as guns. The author is very condescending towards republicans in this quote when he explains that the fatality rate wasn’t reduced “by confiscating cars, but by regulating them and their drivers sensibly.” Many republicans believe that gun regulations are an attempt to take away their right to bear arms all together, and the author is refuting this claim by showing that cars did not need to be taken away in order to save lives and neither do guns. By giving an estimated number of the lives that car regulation has saved, Kristof is strengthening the credibility of his argument and showing the audience that regulation has...
Obama, Barack H. "President Obama Guns Speech Transcript - POLITICO.com Print View."
President Obama Guns Speech Transcript - POLITICO.com Print View. Politico LLC, 28 Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2014. .
Kristof, Nicholas. "Our Blind Spot About Guns." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 July 2014. Web. 18 Aug. 2014. .
Please join StudyMode to read the full document