Essay on Louisiana Gun Control

Submitted By knacca2
Words: 1125
Pages: 5

Louisiana Gun Control Newspapers, both online and printed, are accessed by a reader to become informed on current events and issues occurring within the global, national, and local worlds. Newspapers are written to present the information that the public desires; however, the author sometimes tend, to present the information with a biased view, whether it is intentional or not. If one is not careful when he reads an article, he, can be unknowingly, swayed by the author’s views. Generally, the authors will utilize numerous literary devices to manipulate the reader’s emotions. As a result an author can successfully persuade a person to agree with the point of view that he is trying to convey. In the article “Louisiana gun bill would require sharing of mental health information,” Lauren McGaughy appears to present factual information; but through her interview, imagery, style, rhetorical mode, and style, she persuades the audience to side with her point of view: the bill should be passed. McGaughy’s article from February 8, 2013 in The Times-Picayune newspaper is about a bill that was filed a week earlier. The bill states that mentally ill people have to notify the public safety authority and the FBI of their situation (McGaughy 1). The author reports that the state would have to send the information to federal programs when someone is deemed to have a mental illness as in the following statement:
Burns' bill would give court clerks 30 days to alert the Department of Public Safety and Corrections when a Louisiana resident is deemed mentally ill through judicial proceedings, such as when someone is acquitted by reason of insanity or when a person is determined to lack the mental capacity to proceed with a criminal trial. The bill would then require this information to be forwarded within the next 30 days to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS (McGaughy 1).
The style of incorporating the factual information gives the reader knowledge about the bill so the reader knows the context of the interview, which is included later in the article. The reader knows that gun control has been a major topic recently because of many tragic shootings taking place both nationally and locally. Several states have been pushing to enact laws in response to the general public’s outrage after these awful events. McGaughy includes cacophony within the article through her usage of the words “stauch,” “frightened,” and “unlawful” (McGaughy 1). By utilizing these harsh sounding words, she conveys to the reader a frightened tone; this frightened tone is a persuasive technique used by McGaughy to sway the reader in favor of the passing of the bill. Furthermore, in her attempts to alarm the reader of the dangers of lax gun restrictions, McGaughy incorporates words with negative connotations such as “ill,” “insanity,” and “shootings” (McGaughy 1).
McGaughy also utilizes a sympathetic tone and the literary device of imagery by mentioning the recent shootings in the statement “thus preventing incidents similar to the high-profile shootings of recent months” (McGaughy 1). Due to McGaughy’s strategically placed imagery, the reader sympathizes with the victims and begins to side in favor of the bill.
McGaughy presents the reader with countless reasons supporting her position on the issue of gun control; however, she fails to present the reader with the opposite side of the argument, which subsequently persuades the reader to side in favor of the bill. In the second paragraph, she incorporates yet another literary device: rhetorical mode. McGauchy quotes Representative Henry Burns, a proponent of the second amendment claiming, "There has been a breakdown in the communications and the conveyance of mental illness information to the appropriate authorities in place that would be involved with concealed weapons permits and also weapons purchase"(McGaughy 1). This type of rhetorical mode is one of description