Ethos is used in the final stages of her article as she asks such questions as “What will the cost be? ” She addresses the issue of the right to bear arms and the implications for this right concerning the increase of gun control. In doing this, she alludes to a quote from Stephen P. Halbrook’s book entitled That Every Man Be Armed. The quote reads: “Because an organized militia is necessary to the security of the state, the people have the right to possess weapons” (552).
However, she argues against this right as being extended to the general public in peace time, insisting that this right has to do with the “presence of a ‘well-regulated militia’ as a safe-guard of democracy” (551). Therefore, since the people in general are neither organized in the military sense nor trained to use weapons and act strategically, the control of guns for use in the general public does not mitigate the “right to bear arms” as provided by the constitution.
This explanation of the issue extends ethical nature of the argument in favor of gun control. Sarah Thompson begins her own article with the ethics of gun control and by giving the issue slightly racial turn. She argues that the idea of guns as being threatening and evil arose after the time of Prohibition when guns fell into the hands of black persons. She writes, “Guns were seen as a threat to society only when they were possessed by blacks, and the history of gun control closely parallels the history of racism” (Thompson, 537).
This attacks the control of guns as being an evil exercise as it is closely connected to the unethical behavior of racism. Thompson explains the context in which guns are allowed to become evil. She attributes the problem concerning guns to the prohibitive aspect of certain laws that create a situation in which a criminal sub-culture can be born. Further ethical analysis introduces the gun control following the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. Thompson notes that the laws compared almost word for word with similar gun control laws of Nazi Germany (538).
The ethics of the situation is highlighted in her idea that in removing certain rights from the lives of citizens, they are likely to resort to “unlawful” means in order to regain those rights. Such unlawful means are generally dependent on the use of force—and this force is facilitated by the use of guns to harm people. Thompson also uses pathos in her appeal to the sentiments connected with the people’s money and with their presumed rights. She highlights the fact that studies into gun research meant to support the concept of gun control were funded by the tax dollars provided by the United States citizens.
She pinpoints this as an act of betrayal by the government, and indicates that citizens are to be outraged because of this. She writes, “Our government officials, sworn to uphold the Constitution, used our money to try to deprive us of one of our most Constitutional rights” (Thompson 539). The use of this language is meant to stir the emotions of the reader by implying that government workers in doing what they have done have performed an act of betrayal and have underhandedly tried to pillage the people by stripping them of something that is undeniably theirs.