Choosing Children Over Guns

Every author has a goal when they begin writing and that is to connect with the readers on all levels. An emotional level is the most effective level a writer can engage with the reader and have the reader express a concern that they were not thinking before. The author’s tone has the potential to make a reader have a change of opinion, and adding a logical sense to that can add a more powerful argument. In the editorial, “Will America Choose Its Children Over Guns?”, The New York Times Editorial Board expresses the urgent matter of reforming gun control by addressing a tragic moment in history, using an exhausted tone that indicates there needs to a change and utilizing a logical appeal that depicts the lives of the children at stake. The exhausted tone and urgent matter of school shootings are brought together by this New York Times editorial, making the reader feel the emotional aspect to come together to put down the guns and rethink gun control laws – for the sake of the children.

The topic of gun control is very controversial and will spark debates by people in every direction. The editorial jumps into the topic by discussing the Parkland High School shooting that occurred in 2018, which resulted in the killings of 17 people. The reader can feel the importance of this subject when the author states that America is witnessing a moment where teenagers are petrified by the mass murder of someone with easy access to a weapon that was meant for a war zone and not a school. The article describes how common this problem is by stating that students should start going to school with bulletproof bags strapped to their bags. After the massacre, the students took the responsibility into their own hands by marching in Washington D.C.

The march was so empowering that celebrities even joined. The editorial states how powerful young people are to make their hopeless elders take action. It also refers to the importance of the Vietnam War protest led by young people by stating, “Young people, initially reviled by establishment forces as unwashed, longhaired traitors, energized an antiwar movement that swept the country and, even if it took years, ultimately ended America’s misguided adventure in Southeast Asia.” This indicates that if the younger generation keeps pushing and fighting, they may change how guns are distributed – making history. According to The Washington Post, President Trump saw the coverage of the student protesters and ordered that regulations be written to ban bump stocks, which are devices that can make an automatic weapon out of a semiautomatic. The emotional and urgent tone expressed by the article makes the reader feel as if this is not enough and that we need more laws put into place before another shooting occurs and makes the world mourn again.

The Editorial Boards has displayed an emotional and exhausting feeling throughout the entire article, causing the audience to understand that there is a bigger problem to address and that we need to take action. The use of pathos appeal is important when delivering an important message because it can spark anger, which can prompt action. They have quoted a 12th-grade student named Faith Ward, “I was born 13 months after Columbine.” Columbine was another school massacre that occurred in 1999, that took the lives of 15 people.

Ward stated, “This is all I have ever known. This culture of being gunned down for no reason, and this culture of people saying, ‘Oh, let’s send thoughts and prayers’ for three days, and then moving on. And I’m tired of it.” The tone of the paper is expressed as emotionally exhausted and sad, with certain word choice, such as “tired” and “exhausted” are seen to be used repeatedly. The repeated word choice is used purposely to show these incidents have been happening for decades and nothing has been done about it, making the author and children exhausted for mourning the same incidents every year. There also is a feeling of anger that is felt throughout the article. Anger is built-up from the constant of nothing being done at the expense of innocent children. Emotional appeal can be seen as a way of grabbing the heart of the reader. Also, the use of logos can attract the reader to construct logical reasoning to think a certain way.

By providing appalling statistics in an article, it can alert the reader by thinking of the possible unknowns, which is vital because it makes the reader see things in a clearer way. Reports made from the journal Pediatrics stated that gunfire, each week, kills an average of 25 children ages 17 and under. Also, a 2016 study from The American Journal of Medicine calculated that among two dozen of the world’s wealthiest nations, America alone accounted for 91% of firearms deaths among children 14 years and younger.

This is important to note because it mentions how dangerous guns are to the lives of innocent children. This informative aspect of the article alerts the reader to understand how common gun violence is to the killings of young kids. This is an informational piece the article wants the reader to digest, however, the reader can also feel how worn out the children are. The editorial board states that these kids have had enough. Enough of empty expressions, enough of ritualistic mouthing of thoughts and prayers for the victims, enough of living in fear, and enough of the craven politicians. The children are tirelessly calling out for help and are asking if their lives matter more than guns. Adding statistical data can make any paper more convincing in a way that logical reasoning can make a reader make a decision on what makes the most sense.

The editorial board has successfully used the power of persuasion to allow the audience to feel connected between themselves and the children. The article is distinctly organized by using a heartbreaking story, an emotional and exhausted tone and the use of alarming data to let the reader feel engaged and motivated to take action. In the piece published by The New York Times, the editorial board emphasizes the importance it is to reform gun control and make background checks stricter, to prevent any more massacres. The emotional tone used lets the reader feel the hurt that the students are feeling, which can provoke change. Also, the use of statistical data appeals to the reader by introducing logical reasoning. Enough is enough and America needs to tighten the gun laws in order to save our children.