Friday, March 25, 2011

How Ethos, Pathos and Logos is used in this letter.

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.  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.
He uses Pathos here as he used his own life experience (i.e : Losing a child in a gun accident). He also sets a good tone in the first few lines, Making his status seem higher than it actually might be and thus using Ethos as well.
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.
He uses Logos here as he provides details and statistical data to prove his point and make the congressman understand where he is coming from.
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. 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. 
He uses Logos again in this paragraph until the last line, wherein he uses Pathos. He did this to give more flavour to his text, and appeal to the congressman in more ways than just logic.
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.
He uses Logos again here by giving more statistical data, But I noticed that he might have used Ethos again, because with all the data he has given, the congressman was likely to believe him already and he gave a point which is not so clear in the first line. "Self-defense is commonly cited as a reason to own a gun."
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.
He uses Logos and Ethos again by getting information from people who had Doctorates and providing statistical information.

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?
He uses purely Pathos here. Again, he mentions his son and he can make the reader feel further pity for him.
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.
He states his expected outcome from writing the letter and uses no theory of rhetoric in the last paragraph, to end the letter.
Yours sincerely
John Simmons
I feel that signing off sincerely makes the use of Ethos to give the reader an impression that you are of high status.

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