Battleground America And Gun Control Dishonesty

977 Words 4 Pages
In light of the recent Sandy Hook and Chapel Hill shootings, the politically charged gun control debate has once again been brought to public attention. Change of some variety is paramount, as violent tragedies like these should not be accepted as the norm. However, both politicians and civilians dispute over the form that this solution should take. Are stricter gun control laws the answer? Jill LePore and Charles C. W. Cooke each answer this question in their articles, “Battleground America” and “Gun-Control Dishonesty”, respectively. LePore writes for The New Yorker, a well-known liberal magazine, and addresses an educated, liberal audience. Cooke, on the other hand, is a writer for the conservative National Review. Although both publishers …show more content…
LePore paints a vivid picture of the turmoil left in the wake of the tragic event, “That evening, St. Mary’s Church opened its doors, and the people of Chardon sank to their knees and keened.” Her effective use of language to garner an emotional response is a strategy she utilizes throughout the article, continuing to list accounts of shootings in the past decade such as Trayvon Martin, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Oikos College, and even John F. Kennedy’s assassination. LePore hooks and reels in her readers with these heartbreaking American tales, and seeks to spark consciousness of the danger of guns. In stark contrast, Cooke asks his readers to listen to him despite their emotional response the recent tragedies, restating the claim of Washington Post ’s Kathleen Parker that, “’Nothing proposed in the gun-control debates would have prevented the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School,’ […] and almost everybody knows it.” He entreaties his audience to ignore the knee-jerk reaction of emotion and …show more content…
He acknowledges and validates the worry for safety given by liberal politicians, but qualifies the argument by disputing the claim that violence rates would be lower had stricter gun control laws been in place. He continues on to state the last ten shootings (between 1999 and 2012), and the facts about the shooters’ use of guns. All guns used in these shootings were either purchased legally, or stolen or altered in a way that was outside government control (Cooke). Logically, it seems to be clear that background checks and other gun restrictions don’t necessarily weed out the possibility of shootings, when many of them in the past have been first time offenders. For the readers of the National Review, the vast majority of which are conservatives, this is exactly what they want to hear. This is confirmation that their stance on gun control is the correct one. Cooke is not the only one to appeal to reason, however, as LePore also did her research. She discusses the National Rifle Association and it’s President, David Keene, at length. She poses the question of whether the N.R.A. has negatively influenced the public, pointing out that even Keene’s son is serving time for firing a handgun at another vehicle in a road rage incident (LePore). She goes on to argue that easy access to handguns is one of the contributing factors to the United States’ high violence rates.

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