Friday, March 25, 2011

Analysis of Letter by Brendon Goh ( 07 )

Dear Congressman

I have been so impressed with your past voting record, and I am hoping that you will continue to make excellent decisions on behalf of your state.

( Pathos is used to make the congressman happy to judge better and hopefully listen to you )

As a concerned parent who lost a child to a gun accident, I am writing to urge you to support the gun control legislation that will be on the November ballot.

( Ethos to show that you know what you are persuading )

The problem with guns is fairly straightforward: they make it easy to kill or injure a person. Did you know that, according to the F.B.I., approximately 60 percent of all murder victims in the United States in 1994 (about 16,000 people) were killed with firearms? According to estimates, firearm attacks injured another 70,000 victims, some of whom were left permanently disabled. In 1985 (the latest year for which this particular data is available), the cost of shootings--either by others, through self-inflicted wounds, or in accidents--was estimated to be more than $14 billion nationwide for medical care, long-term disability, and premature death. It is much higher now.

( Ethos to show that you know and understand the facts well and give you more credibility as well. It is also Logos as he uses facts to try and persuade and argue to show that the congressman should listen to him based on the facts. Pathos as well to make the congressman feel shocked so as to feel that something is not right and needs to be changed. )

One of the problems with making it easier for citizens to have handguns is that in robberies and assaults, victims are far more likely to die when the perpetrator is armed with a gun than when he or she has another weapon or is unarmed. Opponents of gun control will say that this does not matter because most criminals buy their guns on the black market. However, not only do a number of criminals purchase guns legally, but the majority of those that do purchase them on the black market are buying guns that were purchased legally and then stolen—ones that would therefore not be on the black market if our gun control laws were more strict to begin with.

( Logos as it is more information and facts about the argument and also Ethos to show that the author has known the facts well, done research before and know about this. )

Did you know that residents of homes where a gun is present are 5 times more likely to experience a suicide than residents of homes without? The fact remains that a gun makes it easier to commit suicide in a fit of rage, depression, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

( Pathos to make the congressman feel shocked about the facts )

Self-defense is commonly cited as a reason to own a gun. This is the explanation given by 20 percent of all gun owners and 40 percent of all handgun owners contacted for a household survey conducted in 1999. However research has shown that a gun kept in the home is 43 times more likely to kill a member of the household, or friend, than an intruder. Furthermore, when a civilian tries to use a firearm to resist a violent assault, it actually increases the victim's (civilian’s) risk of injury and death.

( Ethos to show your facts well and Logos to show that this is part of your persuasion to get the congressman to help to change.)

A study of 743 gunshot deaths by Dr. Arthur Kellermann and Dr. Donald Reay published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that 84% of these homicides occurred during fights in the home. Only 2 of the 743 gunshot deaths occurring in the home involved an intruder killed during an attempted entry. The evidence revealed in the Kellermann study is consistent with data reported by the FBI. In 1993, there were 24,526 people murdered, 13,980 with handguns, yet only 251 justifiable homicides by civilians using handguns.

( Ethos to show that you know your facts quite well and that you have done a lot of research before, thus making yourself look credible, and also Pathos to make the congressman realize about this and feel shocked and also thinks that a change should be made. )

The reason that I have such an intense interest in this topic is that my son was killed by a gun (not my own) that belonged to a person who only wanted to protect his household, but it fell into the hands of a child by mistake. Do you want to be responsible for supporting legislation that would make more such incidents occur?

( Ethos to show why you are actually doing this and Pathos to let the congressman feel that this should not happen again. )

Knowing all this, do you really think we can continue to allow citizens to buy guns so easily? If we continue making it so easy, our nation will continue to have gun-related domestic fatalities. I believe in our rights as citizens of the United States, especially the right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are unquestionably threatened by making it easy for the common citizen to buy a gun. Please, please vote for stricter laws.

( Pathos to make the congressman feel that he should vote to change the laws of buying a gun. )

Yours sincerely

John Simmons

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