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Bleg – Rhetoric of Gun Control

(for some reason, Firefox saved this entry in the window I was using to write my blog posts today – so I was able to find it, fix it up, and now I’m posting it.¬† thank goodness.)

For the topic of my final paper (which, unfortunately, is not my final exam…boo), I’ve chosen to talk about the Pro-2A vs. Pro-Gun-Control use of rhetoric.

Specifically, the use of logos (logical, factual arguments), pathos (emotion), and ethos (credibility) for each “side”.

The conclusion that I’m coming to in reading articles in both the media and in blogs, as well as from speaking to people, is as follows:

-Pro-Second-Amendment Advocates (i.e. gunnies) are more likely to use logos first. State facts and figures in detail, refute arguments before they come up, etc. Ethos is stronger from the get-go because of this. Pathos isn’t pulled out unless absolutely necessary, and even then it’s not THE argument, but a supporting part of the argument. As far as bloggers go, 2-A bloggers are more likely to write about many other things in addition to guns, because for them, it’s just like talking about their cars or something.

-Gun-Control Advocates are more likely to use pathos first. They attempt to appeal to emotion. When facts are stated, they’re usually very broad and heavily-edited to suit their argument. On the surface, the use of pathos before logos results in people not listening very carefully during the actual fact-stating…this appears to be by design, in order to quell the number of questions about the truth of the argument. Any ethos from this side of the debate is questionable when figures are looked at in greater detail.

Now, here’s where you guys come in – this thing has to be 10 pages, and that’s not a problem for me, but I can only argue one example from each side in my main point.

This means I need a SPECIFIC situation that has caused an uproar of some sort on both sides (even though gunnies don’t “roar”, they speak calmly…haha), so that I can compare and contrast the reactions.

I would also like permission from a couple of you to use certain things in my paper. Marko and Tam, I’m looking at you. Obviously, proper credit and links would be given at the end of the paper in my references. Let me know in comments if you’re up for it, and I’ll let you know exactly what I’m looking for (or what I’ve already found that I want to use).

So. Anyone got any ideas? I’m considering the VA Tech thing…

9 comments to Bleg – Rhetoric of Gun Control

  • VA Tech is a good example, but in my most humble opinion too recent and too obvious.

    How about the passage of the Stand Your Ground law in Florida?

  • Bob S.

    The liberalization of concealed carry laws might be an acceptable subject.
    It has a decades long history, multiple states, with 2 states without for comparison.
    Heller vs DC amici briefs would be an excellent source for handgun ban data, a subset to laws concerning ownership and carry

  • Squeaky Wheel

    ibex – I need simple. I’m at a relatively liberal school, and the more complicated I get, the less likely anyone’s going to know what I’m talking about. VA Tech, to me, is a good example, because it’s on a college campus, and involves people that are of the same general age as the folks who will be reading this paper. I’ll look at that Florida law, too, though. Thanks!
    Bob S. – Waaaay too much information on that one…I’m limited to 10 pages (that’s weird that I’m typing that…lol), and I have to thoroughly describe an aspect of each argument, and while I can use multiple examples on the scale of pathos and logos, if they get too complicated, I’ll lose my audience. DC v. Heller, as an argument, may work, though. Thanks!

  • You could use Dunblane, Scotland or Port Arthur, Australia. Lots of pathos after those incidents.

    Might not be the direction you’re wanting to go

  • Snap

    Columbine comes to mind. That was a big deal prior to VA Tech.

  • Tam

    Feel free to quote anything of mine that seems helpful on the topic.

    (And don’t forget the Montreal shoot ‘em up at the Ecole Polytechnique, for comparison and such, since it happened in heavily gun-controlled Quebec.)

  • Squeaky Wheel

    Rusty – I am going to include some figures from countries where gun control is a lot more stringent, so I’ll look at those. Thanks.
    Snap – Because I’m presenting this to college students, I want to be sure that they can identify with the victims AND the perpetrators, whomever they may be…but including an example of Columbine may be possible. Thanks.
    Thanks, Tam. I appreciate it. I’m basically going to use you as an example of a female (you know, the nurturing gender) who’s all too happy to help shatter the notion that guns are only for redneck male hunters and bible-thumpers. :-)
    And yeah, Quebec came to mind for use in examples of places where gun control has obviously failed, along with Chicago and Japan.

  • The two instances I mentioned were actually the catalyst that solidified the gun control movement in those countries.

  • chris

    the concealed carry on campus debates are rife with the kind of things you are talking about and that is from both sides of the argument…

    im about to write a 8-10 page paper on bad gun laws, so im kinda in the same boat