Should Teachers Be Armed?


“Ben Carson Advocates Arming Kindergarten Teachers” (msnbc)

With the recent increase in school shootings, a debate on whether or not teachers should be armed in the classroom has arose. Like any controversial topic, media sources all across the political spectrum has covered it. It is important to be able to recognize the persuasive techniques and rhetoric that is in these news articles. In the editorial by Jane Timm, presidential candidate Ben Carson’s opinion on arming teachers is described. Right after a gruesome shooting at an Oregon community college, Ben Carson stated “If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere. I would feel much more comfortable if I knew on that campus there was a police officer or somebody who was trained with a weapon,”. Pathos is used in this statement by appealing to the emotions of fellow parents about the safety of their children in elementary schools. Carson also states how gun control can lead to tyranny and proceeds to explain how German citizens were disarmed by their government right before Hitler’s regime slaughtered millions of Jews. This is an obvious use of pathos since Carson is obviously trying to invoke fear in the audience’s emotions.He also uses the appeal to tradition in saying “American citizens have been armed for hundreds of years and they have been free for hundreds of years”. Ben Carson’s stance on gun control and arming teachers is very conservative and is shown through his opinions and rhetoric when addressing these opinions.

I rhetorically analyzed this editorial from MSNBC, but I also chose to analyze some interesting tweets by President Trump:

snooptrumpTweet #1 @realDonaldTrump 3/15/17

“Can you imagine what the outcry would be if@SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!”

President Trump is notorious for his controversial tweets where he attacks people who oppose him. Yesterday he tweeted this response to a music video where Snoop Dogg pretends to shoot a fake donald trump character with a toy gun. The most prevalent use of rhetoric in this tweet is his use of logos and the fallacies along with it. President Trump uses the Against the Person fallacy when he says “Snoop Dogg, failing career and all”. This statement simply attacks Snoop Dogg and has nothing to do with his main argument. Snoop Dogg’s career has nothing to do with whether or not he would get jail time for what he did if he aimed the gun towards Obama instead of President Trump. Trump also uses pathos by saying he is being treated unfairly compared to Obama. He wants his followers to feel sorry for him and support his claim that Snoop Dogg was out of line for his actions. Although the tweet does not specifically mention race, you can tell that he feels like Obama is protected from personal attacks because he is African American. No matter how you look at it, President Trump’s tweet was completely opinion based and obviously showed his frustration to all the hate he gets on social media.

Tweet #2 @realDonaldTrump 3/4/17nbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runners

“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

Like many of his tweets, President Trump is throwing out another accusation towards Obama. Ethos is used when he accuses Obama of tapping his phones. He uses the Presidential position to persuade his followers that his accusation is true. According to Politifact Obama was not involved in the tapping although multiple news outlets were reporting the same claims. This tweet also contains a weak analogy between Obama’s wiretapping and the Watergate Scandal. Trump is attempting expose former president Obama by comparing their situation to a Scandal that was obviously much higher scale. Against the person fallacy is also used in his abusive statement “Bad (or sick) guy!”.


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