English 103: Professor Diller
Banning Assault Weapons How is it possible for the American government to ban a children’s chocolate egg candy, yet allow assault weapons to roam the country freely? That is what the advertisement made by the Moms Demand Action organization questions its audience. The shocking and heartbreaking ad pleads their viewers to step up and take action by protecting their youth and future nation from fatal artillery. Emotional audience appeals, fallacies such as scare tactics, either-or, overly-sentimental appeals, and a claim of police are all easily identifiable within the photograph. The combination of appeals, fallacies, and claims in this advertisement are used in hopes of eliminating the usage of assault weapons in the United States. The emotional appeal, known as Pathos, is demonstrated by generating the emotions of fear and worry. A young boy and girl, no older than the age of nine, are standing side by side in a classroom. Classrooms are for learning and growing; however, the boy is holding a candy egg with a toy inside of it while the girl is holding an assault rifle next to him. This photo would be considered a human interest because anyone with children could easily replace the models as the children of their own. By doing this, the organization can induce the emotion they desire from their audience. Worry is immediately felt when you see the girl, stone-faced, handling the weapon with such ease. The feeling of fear is brought on soon after when the question of what she is doing with it arises. Scare tactics were used to show the danger our nation’s children could face when in contact with weapons. The text above the photograph asks its viewers to guess which of the two items showcased are illegal due to the protection of children. Sadly, the answer is the Kinder chocolate egg because the toy inside is a choking hazard; therefore, a child in contact can die if they ingested it. That is the point they are making with the rifle. A child can even more easily die if they somehow came into contact with an assault weapon, such as the one she’s holding. Not only are the two objects held in the arms of the children important, but the background is what breaks the heart of parents and authorities alike. The use of overly-sentimental appeals was emphasized most by the classroom. As stated before, classrooms were created to help children grow and learn in a safe environment. Parents trust their children’s teachers for six hours of the day. Along the walls are handprints with children’s names, an agenda for what was to be expected on Tuesday, and desks in which the young students are supposed to be sitting, paying attention to their trusted adults. All of this provides an almost too-real visual of what a normal day of a child’s life should be. What makes this overly-sentimental is the fact that the two children are in the most innocent of places while one is holding the most deadly and surreal weapon any human being would be frightened of. It is a heart wrenching moment as the viewer wonders what happens next. It is almost as if the organization is saying either children get a good education or they get involved in some sort of deadly altercation.
The either-or fallacy is slightly shown in the advertisement. The background set could have been a park, a home, or even a plain colored background. Using a classroom shows the potential all children have when they are growing up. Filling their minds with knowledge and understanding is the only responsibility they have at such a young age. This is why it could be seen as either-or; either the law for artillery gets banned or our youth lose out on a proper education. Losing out on education can be from a number of reasons that involve the law on assault weapons. Children can become distracted at school because of the fear they feel from the violence close to home. They can also because…