Rhetorical Analysis of Gabrielle Gifford's "A Senate in the Gun Lobby's Grip"

1094 words 5 pages
Bryce Vanderyacht
English 105
Diane Goodman
September 19, 2014
Congress is Shooting Blanks As the gun control issue began to heat up a timely find was made, a poem by Carl Sandburg. The first half of the poem reads, “Here is a revolver. It has an amazing language all its own. It delivers unmistakable ultimatums. It is the last word. A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it. Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it. It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful. It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision” (Doyle, 2013). This is an incredibly powerful poem that encompasses the terrifying power of a gun. Those who wield it hide behind and rely on its power as they commit horrible
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Second to ethos, pathos is also widely used throughout the article. Gifford tugs at the audience’s heartstrings by discussing the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, and also briefly talks about the shootings in Colorado, and other venues of gun violence in recent history. These situations captured headlines and had people at home glued to their screens. The author knows this and played it to her advantage, evoking an emotional response from her audience in order to persuade them to see the Senators like she does: useless. The diction provided adds to this emotional response. Phrases like “…lives ended in a hail of bullets,” “…grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook,” and words like “Massacre” (Giffords, 2013). This diction mixed with the author’s blunt and straightforward syntax creates a tone of despair within the article, and forces the reader to seek reform, exactly what the author’s purpose of writing this piece was.
The final and least present rhetorical element is logos. The author chose to focus on her own credibility and the emotional response of the audience on this very touchy subject. Rather than drown the reader in statistics and numbers, Giffords chose to hone in on the audience’s emotions and feelings in order to create a reaction, and ultimately a response. That being said, she did include some numerical values. When talking about the influence of interest groups in the political process she