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The Soup Nazi
04-25-2006, 4:46 PM
Today in English class, we had a homework assignment where each of us were given a fallacy which we would define, provide an example, and then explain that example. I was fortunate enough to get An Appeal to Pity.

So what else could I do but use Gun Control as an appeal to pity? Yeah, this is pretty rough stuff, but I hope it gets the point across, plus it educates my fellow peers when I know from personal experince that all public education ever does is force neo-liberal beliefs down your throat. Oh, and by coincidence, this actually applies to the topic I was given!

Appeal To Pity
An appeal to pity is a fallacy where a claim is intended to create pity, taking the place of actual evidence.

Example:
1. Guns are mechanical devices which can be used for self defense or for recreational purposes.
2. But guns are evil! People die because of guns and my son was killed in a school shooting! We should ban guns everywhere.
3. I guess people don’t kill people, guns kill people. Lets ban firearms.

This is an example of an Appeal to Pity. Speaker 2 used a tragedy to try to gain support for his views. An Appeal to Pity is used to try to exploit human emotion in order to cloud the judgment of those who normally make decisions with logical thinking.

Gun Politics is applicable to this. Pro gun control groups and Liberal Democrats often try to remind people of past crimes such as Columbine and the North Hollywood Shootout as a platform to establish restrictive gun laws, rather than providing actual evidence of gun crimes being directly related to the concentration of gun owners in an area. This is why “gun grabbers” state that they wish to stop “gun crime” rather than violent crime, attempting to portray the average American as a victim and firearms as evil devices. Often Americans are then convinced that guns cause crime and that “assault weapons” should be banned. However, scientific studies have been conducted that a criminal is deterred from committing a crime if he or she knows that the victim may be armed. This is linked to why where guns in banned such as Washington D.C. and the U.K., violent crime including gun related crimes have soared after the implementation of a ban, whereas in states such as Texas which are very lax about gun laws, and large concentrations of guns such as NRA conventions and gun shows, violent crime is almost non existent. Guns themselves don’t possess emotional qualities, they are tools which in the hands of a responsible person, can have uses, and in the possession of a negligent or malicious person, can have deadly results. It is much harder for us to accept human error; therefore it is much easier for those who are against gun possession to refer to past atrocities which involved gun related deaths. The deaths themselves distract people from the fact that deaths caused by car accidents and stabbings is much higher than gun related deaths overall in the United States, and yet laws haven’t been passed to outlaw automobiles or to from now on, break bread with our hands. It is the exploitation of human emotion which blows a situation which causes so little fatalities even without being compared to other sources of death in America out of proportion.

FreedomIsNotFree
04-25-2006, 5:33 PM
Nice job.....

glen avon
04-25-2006, 5:34 PM
I think your example fails. #s 1 and 2 are not inconsistent, and #s 2 and 3 are too similar.

this is constructive criticism, BTW. I think your premise is fine, you just need to restate your example.

The Soup Nazi
04-25-2006, 5:37 PM
Actually Number 3 was to demonstrate that Number 2 had swayed the opinion of someone towards being anti gun.

6172crew
04-25-2006, 7:13 PM
Maybe try using a caregiver who has taken is life w/ a firearm and left a spouse poor and on welfare.

Or use the example of the lady in the Sac paper who was left without her daughter because a gangbanger with a gun.
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060410/NEWS01/604100333

jdberger
04-25-2006, 10:54 PM
Pro gun control groups and Liberal Democrats often try to remind people of past crimes such as Columbine and the North Hollywood Shootout as a platform to establish restrictive gun laws, rather than providing actual evidence of gun crimes being directly related to the concentration of gun owners in an area.

Dump "Liberal Democrats".

Lots of liberal democrats support gun control.
It sounds like a pejorative.
It alienates half your audience before they even have a chance to hear your argument.


But guns are evil! People die because of guns and my son was killed in a school shooting! We should ban guns everywhere.

Try instead:
But guns are evil! My son was killed by a gun! We should ban guns everywhere.

Simple is better.

Well done.

Charliegone
04-26-2006, 12:59 AM
Dump "Liberal Democrats".

Lots of liberal democrats support gun control.
It sounds like a pejorative.
It alienates half your audience before they even have a chance to hear your argument.




Try instead:
But guns are evil! My son was killed by a gun! We should ban guns everywhere.

Simple is better.

Well done.


Yup. Its better to say "people like Diane Feinstein,Hillary Clinton, or Chuck Schumer than the actual liberal democrat.:D