Rhetorical Analysis of “The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control)”

Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in The Atlantic is a review on how we need more gun control. Goldberg begins his career at the Washington post where he was a police reporter and is now a journalist and author (Calamur par. 5) He is currently the editor-in-chief for The Atlantic in which this article was posted. One of his main points in this article comes from his looks at several shootings such as the 2012 movie theater mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the state’s 1999 Columbine High School to where there were two students whom murdered 12 students and a teacher. He talks to gun control activist Tom Mauser whose son died in the 1999 Columbine massacre (par.8).

After the massacre in Columbine, the control of firearms suddenly starts to shift the culture. In his article, Goldberg states that “the Aurora massacre is noteworthy, even in the crowded field of mass shootings, as one of the more wretched and demoralizing the recent history of American violence, and I was surprised that the scene of the crime did not attract more attention” (Goldberg par.2). In “The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control)” published in December of 2012, Jeffrey Goldberg uses his experience with flashbacks, interviews with the victims, and statistics. He presents micro-claims throughout his argument to support his argument to support his primary claim regarding the issue of gun control.

The purpose of the article is to convince the NRA, gun shows and gun stores that they are required to do federal background checks on all buyers. Having background checks makes sure the guns are not being sold to mentally ill individuals. Jeffrey Goldberg wrote this article stating his opinion that Goldberg himself admits once to being a gun control supporter. Goldberg claims that Americans agree with the basic message from the National Rifle Association (NRA) about weak gun laws (Goldberg pars. 21-24).

Goldberg’s use of statistics really strengthens the argument with facts like, “there are an estimated 280 million to 300 million guns in private hands in America—many legally owned, many not (Goldberg par.24). Each year, more than 4 million new guns enter the market (Goldberg par. 24). These statistics show a steady increase in weapons in American and potentially even more dangers to the unarmed population. To support his argument, he also states that in 2004, Ohio allows people to carry firearms outside their home and the effect of this was constant firearm crime rate that stayed the same after the law pass (Goldberg par. 46). The best way Goldberg sees to prevent incidents such as columbine and Aurora, is through more guns, so that each individual can protect themselves instead of hiding away under a seat.

In the end, Goldberg claims the need for a method to avoid gun violence, and he proposes to do this by allowing more guns to enter the U.S. Many incidents have happened to where mentally unstable individuals shoot the public and that there is nothing they would do to resolve it. Overall, Goldberg made a compelling argument in this case, he questions whether more guns will lead to more gun violence, but he was ineffective. Though Goldberg begins the essay by persuading his readers of “The Case for More Guns (More Gun Control)”, but Goldberg seems to only make logical appeals, rather than being satisfied with each side. He describes in favor of more guns in good hands, including on college campuses, but he fails to assess the increase in accidental shootings or the risks of drug alcohol induced actions with a gun. Goldberg explains the increased number of concealed-carry permits to the declining homicide rate, but he does not suggest that improvements in medical care or law enforcement may play a role.

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