Rhetorical Appeals in Repeal the Second Amendment

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American citizens are familiar with the words The Second Amendment, and speak about it with strong feelings. Gun control and gun rights has become more of a controversial issue since the recent increase in mass shootings, deaths, and injuries. In ‘Repeal the Second Amendment’, Ron Elving argues that although many American citizens want more gun control, changing or removing the Second Amendment would be impossible because of the difficult amending process. Elving’s initial goal is to inform his audience, which are the American people in favor of repealing the Second Amendment and the people who want to keep it, what it would take to repeal the amendment and persuade them to agree. He makes his appeal by using ethos, logos, and pathos and gains the readers trust by using emotion, including credible sources, and citing facts from scholars, President Trump, and members of Congress.

Elving begins by explaining the strong and sometimes bitter feelings Americans have towards the Second Amendment. He goes on to talk about recent shootings that have caused people to fight about gun rights and gun control. He argues that many people are in favor of repealing the Second Amendment, but Elving gives reasons on why it’s not possible. His solution to this problem would be to add restrictions to the Second Amendment, but this is also an issue that would not be so easy to make happen. Towards the end he also gives many examples of what America would have to overcome if there was no more Second Amendment. They would face challenges and it would physically be impossible to take away individual gun ownership in a country where so many citizens own guns- and care passionately about their right to do so? (Elving). Although he does a great job making his argument, he starts to lose his momentum when he talks about the Zombie amendments (Elving). By bringing these up, he strays away from his main argument and loses his influence and emotional response from the audience. He then picks it back up and drives his argument home. Elving does a good job making emotional appeals by bringing up past shootings and using words that would appeal to someone’s emotions. He does a good job making logical appeals by using statistics and credible sources, and does a good job making an ethical appeal by using basic vocabulary that anyone with basic knowledge could understand.

Elving’s use of pathos in this article successfully appeals to the reader’s emotions.

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