The greatest tragedies will bring people together and also set them apart at the same time. The United States is one of few developed countries that have a constitutional right to have firearms. It is cultural and historical, causing it to contain controversial feelings. There are proper ways to react to these events politically and far too often individuals become too emotionally charged to make a radical decision. For example, following the tragedy of The September 11th Attacks on the World Trade Center, the government passed the legislature in a matter of three days which included various laws allowing for spying on citizens and monitoring them. Years later, the people realized what was included in this legislature and ultimately began to fight it. Ben Domenech explores the boundless results of mass shootings and their effects on a country but uses the text to aid logical appeal to an emotional crowd in his commentary The Truth About Mass Shootings and Gun Control.
The top of the article has a clear statement before it dives into the works of it, “Crime and killings have fallen as gun ownership has increased.” Before he begins to talk he makes it very clear that he is sticking to logic here, using a statement that has scientific evidence. But once the article begins he tries to emotionally connect with the reader through logic. He explains how after a mass shooting occurs there is a short period of time where the country is unified because of the tragedy. The issue is that once period of sorrow has passed we become enraged. Through this we begin to divide, beginning to blame one another’s values and attack each other. He begins to use an anecdote to make an example of this human nature. He begins to speak about the Sandy Hook shooting where Adam Lanza, quoted as an honor student with no criminal past, murdered his own mother, and took four of her firearms and shot twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school. From the beginning of the commentary, it is clear that Domenech is pro-gun since those individuals appeal to real statistics as to emotions. Yet he has to use emotionally charged speech to let readers know that although he is pro-gun that he is just as outraged as the gun-control advocates. Domenech claims how Adam Lanza, “…for reasons we may never know, decided to rob the world of the lives of 20 children and six adults”. Through this language, it is clear that Domenech is trying to appear genuine, with an understanding of this tragedy. Whereas most pro-gun individuals make heartless statements of how tragedies like this are just a way of life, Domenech pushes how he is a man of ethics by appearing so concerned and disgusted with the shooting. He begins to become more politically charged as he describes how the left will begin to talk about gun sales and video game violence while conservatives talk about how God is missing from the average family and the American family dynamic is lacking. He takes hits at both sides saying how it is natural to want to do anything to prevent the next mass shooting. He claims that this is emotionally charged thoughts and does not tie into any logical results. Domenech explains how no matter what people want to believe; no law would have prevented this deranged man from murdering these people. He says that laws will not make an insane man sane. Sometimes we have to accept that bad things happen in this world and there is not anything we can do about it. People from the left start to talk about bringing back 1990’s US gun control. Domenech shows how Americans are skeptical that taking away these rights will only limit themselves from being able to protect themselves and follows that statement up by affirming that they are right. Although not completely targeting the conservative crowd in this commentary, this reassures them that they are not wrong for wanting to protect their rights. Domenech shows how politicians are taking these tragic events and using them to push their own agenda which will negatively affect the general population. He brings back up strong logical appeals by reminding the reader that these policies might affect the continuous drop in crime and the rise in public safety from the last 20 years. Mass shootings have become an epidemic in a time where peace is so common in American neighborhoods. He says how even though it seems like these events are occurring more and more often, when you look at the statistics, the rate of mass shootings has been consistent for the last 30 years. He makes it a point to say how the media blows these events out of proportion and how they are almost occurring every day. Through this, it makes a point to the reader that although the media may hype up the occurrence, their claims are not completely true. Domenech uses the research of a Ph.D. researcher to back up his claims, appealing to Domenech’s trustworthiness since he isn’t simply making up facts on the spot. The research concludes that mass shootings and homicide rates are their lowest since the 1960’s and that they were at their highest in 1929, before most modern day high-powered weaponry existed. The researcher uses an anecdote of a man who went to an office building with an automatic shotgun and wounded 32 people, killed 6, including the town mayor, during a 30-minute standoff. He finalizes his statement with the fact that the shooting happened in 1915. This goes to show that recent advances in gun technology is not the result of more mass shootings. As he later talks about in his paper where Senator Diane Feinstein has proposed legislation to ban firearms, specifically by name, that committing shootings does not require modern day technology. He also points out how Feinstein’s proposal would’ve never prevented the outcome of the 1966 University of Texas Clock Tower shooting, nullifying its effectiveness. Many people claim that our founding fathers had never planned on seeing such advances in technology in a lifetime, yet Domenech shows how this can apply for many things such as the 1st and 4th amendment extending to The Internet or motorized vehicles, respectively. The researcher blames the media for causing people to believe that the mass shooting rate is rising, which leads to political policies being put in place. Domenech continues to back up his claims with research from criminology professors from prestigious universities, giving him a strong background to work with to prove his points. He also begins to point out how gun control in other countries has not worked well. In reality, yes they have lowered shootings, but generally, the rate of violent crimes rises once guns are banned and shooting rates drop. Throughout the commentary, Domenech constantly backs himself up with logical appeals while still coming across as a man of strong emotional feelings, bringing himself credibility by, for lack of better words, being a decent human being.
Pro-gun individuals are often seen as heartless people who do not sympathize with those who lost their lives from mass shootings. Domenech is addressing the whole country, but more specifically the left. The left can be characterized by conservatives as people who far too often think with their emotions instead of reason, leaving them to believe conservatives have no emotional appeal. Through this text, Domenech is trying to reel in those who are too emotionally charged to think logically by using solid scientific evidence. Throughout the commentary, he builds his trustworthiness and personal character by using solid evidence and the studies of renowned professors to debunk common myths about gun control. As the paper progresses he uses more studies and research to back up his own statements, as opposed to using emotionally charged language the entire time. The combination of his logic and emotions creates a harmonious environment for the reader to follow along with. He attempts to connect with his audience through those emotional appeals to reel them in at the beginning of the paper and fights back with logic throughout it.
Ashton Kendall Harris Citations
Domenech, Benjamin. “The Truth About Mass Shootings And Gun Control.” Commentary 135.2
(2013): 25-29. Literary Reference Center. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.