Evaluating Jordan’s Reasoning
In the United States, thousands of preventable deaths and injuries occur every year, and what do we have to blame? Guns! Elise Jordan is an American journalist, author, and editor who focuses on political issues -like gun control- and is known for her segments on MSNBC and articles in Time magazine. In 2018 she published an informative article in Time magazine labeled, “I’ve Supported the Second Amendment My Whole Life. It’s Time for a Reasonable Control”. Jordan’s article uses real-world examples, personal experiences, and provides a solution that people on both sides of the issue would agree on. The article focuses on the lack of gun control and the problems it has created and provides sufficient evidence arguing the need for gun regulations. Jordan convinces her readers that sensible gun control is necessary to minimize gun-related deaths. She does this by connecting to her readers by effectively using evidence and pathos, creating a friendly relatable persona, and using ethos.
To successfully convince readers that gun control is necessary to correct the issues guns have created, Jordan sufficiently integrates evidence into her article. Towards the beginning of her article, Jordan implements evidence from the Gun Violence Archive that states, in a span of five years “at least 438 American men, women, and children have been shot in school shootings” (Jordan 3). This evidence uses a reliable source that helps convince the readers of the problems guns have created in society. To further back up her claim, Jordan uses an example of the destruction a gun caused in a high school. In paragraph 4, Jordan narrates the incident of the Parkland shooting at a high school in Florida, where a gun was accessed too easily and was used to murder numerous people inside the school. By using a recent example of gun violence, Jordan’s audience can better relate to the situation when a gun was used improperly. Additionally, these real-life examples do not only prove the severity of gun violence but also connects to pathos. These examples create the feeling of sadness and frustration in the reader to help them understand how harmful guns are without proper regulations. Jordan effectively uses reliable evidence and pathos to defend her argument that guns have created a problem and helps establish there needs to be a solution.
Additionally, Jordan was able to convince her readers that guns need to be better regulated by creating a persona that depicts her as an average person the reader can relate to. She is able to accomplish this by using her own experiences. From the start of the article, Jordan produces a persona that she is an average person. The article starts by Jordan announcing she “grew up around rifles, shotguns, and handguns. My family lived on the outskirts of a small Mississippi town” (para. 1). The opening paragraph reveals that Jordan is an average person who the reader can connect to. Jordan creates a persona that she is well educated in this topic and therefore, can be trusted. Jordan continues to draw from this idea by using many of her and her family’s own experiences.
Jordan’s article consists of many personal experiences with guns and as a result, the reader can better connect with her and support her argument. Jordan argues that guns are too easily accessible and supports the claim with her family’s own experience. Jordan states that a “relative purchased an AR-15 in a legal person-to-person transaction with no oversight or paper trail whatsoever” (para. 4). This statement shows the reader that Jordan is close to this issue and is trustworthy in this issue because her family has seen the problem firsthand. Her family’s personal experience in gun ownership reveals to the reader the lack of regulations when purchasing a gun. In paragraph 9, Jordan compares the extensive steps she experienced to obtain Accutane to her father’s effortless process of purchasing an AK-47. The personal story of wanting Accutane portrays Jordan as a normal person and provides an example that the reader might be able to relate to. This example also adequately demonstrates to the reader the current flaws in how guns can be purchased, by comparing them to something less destructive but much harder to get. By writing on her own experiences, Jordan was able to convince her readers she is a reliable source they can trust. By creating a knowledgeable, average person persona she successfully proves that their guns are too easily accessible and there must be greater restrictions on guns to solve the current problem.
Lastly, Jordan can effectively argue the need for regulations on guns by using ethos. Jordan conveys her character’s trustworthiness to the reader by looking at the argument from the opposing side and gathering their thoughts on the issue. Jordan interviewed many gun owners on their views on gun regulations and many were “open to banning bump stocks and high-volume magazines, stricter background checks and increasing the age limit to 21 for buying AR-15 and other semi-automatic rifles” (para. 12) Jordan adequately debunks any problems that the opposing view may argue is preventing these regulations from being issued. In the following paragraph, Jordan also claims many gun owners believe implementing gun control is necessary. By providing evidence showing current gun owners support reasonable gun control, it convinces her readers that gun control is necessary. By using ethos in her article, Jordan displays her trustworthiness to the reader and strengthens her argument by looking at both sides of the argument. Jordan considers gun owners’ views on better regulations, which overall strengthens her argument by showing her readers she is a trustworthy source and weakens the opposing view.
Overall, Jordan wrote an impressive argumentative article by using appropriate evidence, using pathos, creating a persona by presenting herself, and looking at both sides of the argument. Jordan’s variety of writing methods helps the reader understand the problem with America’s lack of current gun regulations and why we must implement regulations to decrease gun violence.