Written by Benjamin Domenech, the article, “The truth about a mass shooting and the gun control”, unravels the mysteries behind mass shootings and the ever-controversial topic of gun control. Gun control defines the regulation of who can sale, own, and/or use a gun. Domenech strongly opposes the killing that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school; however, he does not support the gun control campaign.
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He is opposed to the politicking of the issue to bring back the gun-control movement that existed in the 1990s. He further points out the ruling of the Supreme Court in the District of Colombia, which gave the right to individuals to own arms. The changing of the Second Amendment according to the author will deny the American people the right to own arms for the purpose of self-defense.
He feels that politicians take advantage of the current situation to voice their opinions; for instance, Obama used the issue during the 2012 presidential elections. The media has been blamed at large for exaggerating the occurrence and coverage of mass murder events, thus overstepping their rights to report. Christopher Uggen compares mass execution to a deadly disease that is much feared, but the effects are not so devastating.
Domenech also blames politicians due to their role in blowing the debate on gun control out of proportion. Domenech strongly believes that crimes involving guns have decreased while there is an increase in gun ownership. Using statistical data, he points out that crime rates involving guns have dropped drastically even with increase private gun ownership. Critique
The article is well balanced, and even though the author is against gun control, he is indifferent in his arguments. The route to mass slaying typically involves geezer hood of disappointment and nonstarter, which produce a “mixture of profound hopelessness and deep-seated resentment. Socially or psychologically isolated, mass murderers lack emotional support and encouragement from any person” (Domenech 26).
In most instances, mass shooters are very specific to their targets. Sometimes their grudge is directed to a class of masses such as “feminists, minorities, or immigrants who are believed to be stealing all the good job opportunities” (Domenech 26). If mass shootings were viewed through the lenses of a breakdown in relation to thought or emotion, then one would expect to find extreme mental illness in many mass murder cases.
Had these people been successful in their educational or career pursuits or “benefited from a strong support network comprised of family and close friends, then their professed mental illness would have been manifested in far less violent ways” (Domenech 27).
It would be unfortunate if people were to draw conclusions based on mass shootings due to mental sicknesses and the breakdown between thought, as such is a significant risk of exposure for such acts of fury. The situation would deteriorate further if the society became worried about the mentally challenged individuals. On the contrary, society should be worried about losers and lone wolfs.
Showing affection and understanding to such people may significantly assist these undeniable sociopaths to come to terms with reality and live normal lives, and perhaps avert other shooting sprees in the future. Risks by the writer
Domenech takes a risk by choosing to talk on a controversial topic like mass shooting and gun control. This topic is litigious as liberals and conservatives create sharp divisions in terms of handling the situation. In addition, the author chooses risky words like the “truth”. Conventionally, topics like this one do not have “one-fits-all” answer, but Domenech chooses to take this risk in a bid to win the attention of the potential audience to his abstract thinking.
He starts by lambasting both liberals and conservatives by noting that none of their suggestions towards curbing the issue of mass shooting has hitherto worked. He also berates the general population by noting that anytime an incident like the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting happens, people come out raging that “something” has to be done, only to fizzle out immediately after their emotions wane.
In addition, the writer risks by noting that politicians politicize incidences like ‘Sandy Hook’s shooting’ in a bid to appeal to the masses’ emotions and thus win elections without seriously considering the outcome of such emotional appeals.
Domenech, just like McGinty, Webster, and Barry (499), chides the media by noting that it makes unnecessary noise concerning mass shootings without hard evidence on the current trends, which is a critical risk for such an article.
As aforementioned, Domenech’s article is risky due to the controversy surrounding the topic of choice. In addition, the author spurs the controversy further by using provocative language with deliberately chosen words to kindle the audience. Throughout the paper, Domenech uses “unconventional” words, which would not fit in traditional genres of writing.
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For instance, he notes that the call to impose gun control is normally based on “emotion not reason” and this stance might provoke the audience, especially conservatives who push for such policies.
Domenech further likens the calls on gun control to “choruses” promoted by leftists, who in their minds think that such refrains will override constitutional provisions for people to have guns for self-defense. He uses words like “comic loophole” to underscore how absurd some suggestions can become like Feinstein’s proposal to rename firearms in a bid to fit the ‘illegal’ definition.
Also, Domenech takes a different approach to the way he addresses those that support gun control. He speaks plainly when reacting to Piers Morgan’s allegations that mass shootings are rampart in the US due to the Americans’ gun compulsions. Domenech forthrightly tells Morgan to “turn an eye” towards his country, the United Kingdom, and see the mess that gun control has created.
Traditionally, writers generalized arguments and a conventional writer would not have remonstrated Morgan for his seemingly misinformed opinions on the American matters. Domenech raises issues with the presumption that all murders happening across the United States involve a gun. Finally, the author uses tone as a risky element in his article.
Right from the beginning, it is clear that Domenech does not support the issue of gun control and the reader can tell that from the start of the paper.
This aspect is risky because a pro-gun control reader is likely to dismiss the article as a ‘liberal’ piece trying to propagate the seemingly inexcusable ‘license’ to kill more Americans by liberalizing the ownership of guns. Nevertheless, as explained in the next section, Domenech is quick to counter any risk posed by his stand on the gun ownership issue.
The writer manages his risks by presenting facts. For instance, he notes that those chorusing for the resurrection of the 1990s gun restrictions always forget the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling, which quoted the Second Amendment’s provision for individuals to own guns. In addition, Domenech quotes opinion polls that highlight the American’s skepticism on the calls to control gun usage and ownership.
The author also tracks the history of mass shooting from the 1930s to the present time and notes that the incidences have reduced significantly. Domenech also manages his risks by giving real examples of new legislations, which are bound to fail due to ‘comical loopholes’; for instance, Senator Diane Feinstein’s bill, which proposes the outright banning of 120 noted small-arms.
This bill will violate the Fifth and the Fourth Amendments, which would undoubtedly tarnish the courts if it sails through.
Therefore, the author manages his risks carefully by using facts to back his arguments and providing alternatives to the conventional approaches to the issue at hand. He first presents the dominant issues before offering alternatives by being impartial. Therefore, he takes a balanced approach in presenting the dominant and alternative perspectives.
Once more, the writer uses his evidence-based arguments to control the risky path that he adopts in dealing with Piers Morgan’s sentiments. As opposed to Morgan who uses generalized data on mass shootings in the US, Domenech uses data from scholarly materials for comparative studies on mass shootings and violent crimes in the US and the UK.
He quotes Joyce Lee Malcolm, a distinguished law professor and the author of the masterpiece, Guns, and Violence – the English Experience. Domenech also uses numerous databased arguments and examples to underscore his thesis that private gun ownership somehow helped in curbing crime incidences in the US, for when more people acquired guns, crime rates dropped.
In a bid to counter the presumption that all murderers in the US use guns, Domenech notes that the discussion surrounding gun control outstandingly fails to address the nature of weapons involved in these crimes. He then goes into details to unlock the myths surrounding “assault weapons” by giving diverse descriptions of the different weapons available in the market.
The reader decides whether the writer’s choices are risky or not. In this case, being the reader, I decided that the writer made risky choices as aforementioned. The choice of words and the tone coupled with the outright approach to issues underscore the risks taken in this article.
However, the overall effect of risk-taking in this article is positive, and it works as the writer provokes the audience to think critically on the raised issues by using indifferent approaches to the argument. The risks were taken in this article point the audience to a data-based way of thinking, as opposed to emotional jitters, which normally erupt every time a mass shooting incident occurs in the US.
The hard evidence that gun control probably leads to higher crime rates with the case study of the UK should make pro-gun control activists rethink their agenda, which is one of the outstanding positive results of the risks taken in this paper.
Finally, the risk is worth taking as readers learn of a different way of addressing the issues surrounding mass shooting and gun control, as opposed to reacting emotionally whenever an incident occurs. The writer is trying to contribute to a new way of thinking concerning the highlighted issues by taking the aforementioned risks in this paper.
Domenech, Benjamin. “The truth about mass shootings and gun control.” Commentary 135.2 (2013): 25-29. Print.
McGinty, Emma, Daniel Webster, and Coleen Barry. “Effects of news media messages about mass shootings on attitudes toward persons with serious mental illness and public support for gun control policies.” American Journal of Psychiatry 170.1 (2013): 494-501. Print.