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Running head: Should Teachers Carry Guns in School 1

Should Teachers Carry Guns in School

The University of Texas at El Paso
Brett Laird

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There are many ways to get your point across to your intended audience and
in doing so it may alter the effectiveness of the argument. The ways include using
different types of discourse genres, and different rhetorical strategies. This paper
will be examining these tools through the outlet and societal question and issue
should teachers be allowed carry firearms on campus. The types of discourse
genres this paper will be analyzing include the genre Typography, by using an
Article from the Huffington Post web-site Every Teacher in America Should Have a
Gun written by Steve Siebold, and the genre Iconography by looking at the video
posted by DNews on the web-site called Should Teachers Carry
Guns? Along with the genres, this paper will be examining and analyzing the use of
the three major rhetorical strategies: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, and their affect on
the effectiveness of the argument.
The first genre that will be analyzed is the Typography, or the article by Steve
Siebold. This article is called Every Teacher in America Should Have a Gun and is
text simply self-titled. Every genre has a target audience and a purpose, other wise
there would be no reason to actually create that argument and publish it. The
audience targeted by this article is not as simple as it may seem. The audience, or
audiences if you will, include Educators (teachers, administration, etc), parents,
and lawmakers. The reason behind this group of people being the target audience is
that these people are directly or indirectly in charge of the education system. The
audience already knows the current situation in their individual societies, and they
normally have the power to change that situation. The purpose of this article is to
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persuade the audience to take action and if possible, allow teachers to carry guns on
campus. The audience in this instance is reading this article, and is deciding for
themselves if teachers in their educational system should actually carry guns on
campus. This goes back to the audience being the people in power and making the
decisions. If the article can effectively persuade the audience, then they may have a
shot at getting their purpose accomplished. The language used in the article is one
that is simple, with very few terms that could cause some confusion that is informal.
The article Every Teacher in America Should Have a Gun by Steve Siebol
uses, the normal ethos, pathos, and logos routine, establishing credibility, provoking
emotion and applying logics, in delivering its purpose. The author of the text
includes ethos into the article and tries to establish credibility. He does this by
reporting facts and statistics from previous school related shootings. But more
importantly he does this by referring to interviews with a high-scale, very
respectable reporter by the name Chris Matthews. The text also refers to interviews
with law enforcement including a sheriff. All of these attempts to establish
credibility by referring to credible sources and people helps establish and represent
ethos in the article.
The author attempts to use pathos in the texts and does so efficiently. The
authors main attempt at evoking emotion from the audience is by asking loaded
emotional questions. An example of a loaded question in the text by Sibol (2013) is
How many more times are we going to hear about a crazed gunman walking into a
school armed and ready to kill? How many more innocent children need to die
before we wake up and prepare our teachers to fight back? These questions really
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hit the hearts of the audience, especially parents reading the article who fear that
one day it might be their child. These attempts at evoking emotion are clear and
plentiful in the text and definitely appeal to the pathos of the article.
The use of logos in the article is a little bit harder to find. The authors
attempt at applying logistics to the argument is one of little importance. The only
logistics in the article would be the use of numbers from a previous school shooting
in which the author cites that a student killed two classmates and injured seven
others at his high school. These numbers are the only example of logistics in the
article and help to add numbers to the text to help reiterate the message.
The structure and delivery of the article helps lend itself to the effectiveness
of its message. It is ordered in such a manner that first it helps to establish
credibility, with ethos, so the audience will trust the author and message, then it
evokes emotion, with pathos, so that the audience will have a deeper investing in the
message, and then it provides logistics into the message, with logos, so that the
reader will better understand the message. It works very well for the article and
helps the effectiveness of the article.
The second genre, Iconography, this paper will be examining, and analyzing
is the video by DNews called Should Teachers Carry Guns? The
audience for this article would be the same as the article previously analyzed. The
audience would be Educators (teachers, administration, etc), parents, and
lawmakers. Again the reasons are the same being that these people are in charge of
the decisions being made when it comes to the educational system. The purpose of
this article is not to persuade, but rather to inform the reader. The audience is only
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supposed to be informed enough to make a logical point of view decision off of the
knowledge gained from the video. The language is very informal and does not have
any language that would be confusing.
Just like any other informative piece, this video uses the three rhetorical
devices, ethos, pathos, and logos, in the video. The use of ethos in the video isnt
really present but the video does appear to be credible because of the sources cited
throughout the video. The video jumps straight into the reporter talking. She only
introduces herself by name, but not title. This leaves the audience with the thought
can I trust this reporter and the information she is giving me? This is the main flaw
in the video because the whole video is informative, but if the person giving you the
information doesnt establish that you can trust him or her, then is the information
even worth listening to? The only attempts at ethos would be the fact that the
reporter cites hers sources as she is conveying information and this is the only thing
that gives you the sense that you can trust her and her information.
The videos use of pathos is very limited as well. The video is intended to
inform, not persuade and the use of pathos to evoke emotion is normally used to
persuade. This is a good and bad thing for the video. It is good because it makes you
realize that the video and information being conveyed to you is unbiased and is only
there to inform, but it is a bad thing for the video because you then lack the
emotional tie to the information and the audience might get bored and stop paying
The largest use of rhetorical appeals in the video is the use of logos. The
whole video is almost completely logos. From start to beginning you are receiving
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cited information including statistics, facts, figures, stories, and logistical
statements. This helps the audience to understand the information being conveyed
and helps you to grasp the idea. Logos is clearly displayed in the video in
comparison to ethos and pathos.
The structure and delivery of the video is very important when analyzing its
effectiveness. The fact that it nearly skips over ethos and pathos, and is saturated in
logos helps the audience to understand completely that they are receiving
information and not a persuasive argument. This helps the reader to trust the
message more, and understand it better.
Whether or not you believe that teachers should carry guns on campus, you
can understand the attempts made by both genres presented above. The article
Every Teacher in America Should Have a Gun by Steve Siebol, and the video by DNews called Should Teachers Carry Guns? both represent
examples of rhetoric used to convey a message. The use of rhetoric in conveying
messages affects the effectiveness of the message, and this can either be beneficial to
the message, or detrimental.

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Sibol, S. (2013). Every teacher in America should have a gun. Huffington Post.
Retrieved from
DNews (2013). Should teachers carry guns. DNews. Retrieved from