Rhetorical Analysis of “Guns and Schools” (Post #2)

The direction in which Kevin Sack (The Author) plans on taking his article:

No matter how you slice it or dice it, guns in school or around schools are just bad news. On May 21, 1999, Kevin Sack wrote an informative article, “Guns and Schools: The Overview; Youth With 2 Guns Shoots 6 at Georgia School” in which he goes into depth about a fifteen-year-old who walked into a campus with two guns and open fired. This event took place at Columbine High School in the indoor commons area in the morning. Six students were wounded but luckily no one was killed. The article mainly focuses on the uses of repetition and onomatopoeia, as well as imagery in order to illustrate the intensity of situation to the audience.

Appeals to the Audience:

Guilty (Solomon In Court) versus. The Non-Guilty Columbine High School

Kevin Sack makes strong appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos to stress the importance of keeping guns off of campuses as well to inform how just how one unstable teenager can affect an entire school. Kevin Sack is also extremely diligent, because he properly implements rhetorical devices and keeps a clear and concise purpose throughout. Rhetorical devices is an important way in which he communicates and connects himself to the readers. As readers, we want to learn from the writer. Kevin Sacks points are all useful to help readers learn details from that day at the school because of the implementation of back-and-forth conversations he has with close friends and associates of the shooter. These conversations successfully give an assessment of the shooters mental health. He recalled Thomas saying, “I really don’t have a reason to live anymore”. The article points out that this is most likely due to troubles with his girlfriend. The more the article uses insider information such as this, the more the readers stay engaged and feel an emotional connection.

Numbers and Repetition used as Pathos:

How can these pictures be PATHOS?! Well, go ahead and read for yourself.

Sack uses repetition, which actually ends up making the readers connect emotionally, and is a useful rhetorical technique. These numbers are each symbolic of serious matters at hand. Some examples of Kevin Sack using numbers in his sentences are when he’s talking about to the conditions of the injured individuals from that day, “four of the students remained hospitalized… Three were listed in good condition… One was listed in satisfactory condition… Two others sustained minor wounds… 150 students in the commons at the time…12 to 15 rifles in a wood and glass cabinet in the basement…” All of these numbers draw the reader’s attention and give enough, if not too much, information that we need to familiarize ourselves with the specifics of that very day. Numbers overall seem to help visualize the sad truth he is identifying.

Putting Yourself Into the Shoes of The People Affected by the Shooting

The imagery used in the article is very effective for helping readers to get a good idea of the circumstances from a visual standpoint. It shows how the situation felt for those involved. People are better at relating when we are given images to go off of most of the time. Also, onomatopoeia gives us a great sense of the sounds of the gun, therefore making us more aware of what it would have been like to be in the shoes of the one or all of the people on the campus. Kevin explains the gun sounds when he writes, “pow, pow, pow, pow.” Another student thought that the sounds were just firecrackers. Each and every student had a different idea of what was going on. Kevin makes readers able to feel what it was like in the moment from the perspectives of the eyes and ears of the young teenagers.