“Invincible Ignorance” by Thomas Sowell appeared in The Bismarck Tribune as apart of his syndicated column on December 24, 2012. Are gun control laws effective? Are guns really the problem? Or is it people that are the problem? Sowell answers each of these questions and states his opinion strong and clear. His tone, diction and background all play roles in his rhetorical strategy for his article. Gun control was a huge topic in the year 2012 and continues to be as we move into 2013. On December 14, 2012 there was a mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut where 20 students and six educators were killed. The shooter was said to be armed with a “military-style rifle and two handguns”(“Connecticut school shooting:,” 2012) .
This shooting along with many more in the past have brought about the topic of gun control. The Newtown shooting of course instilled fear in parents, for 20 innocent children were killed, and they will fight for stricter gun control laws. Sowell believes that “guns are not the problem, people are the problem”(Sowell, 2012). When he says people, he doesn’t mean just those who improperly use guns but also those who find it their business to get gun control laws passed no matter what. There are two types of specific gun control advocates personalities that Sowell mentions. There are the “innocent ignorance”(Sowell, 2012) and then there are the “invincible, dogmatic and self-righteous ignorance”(Sowell, 2012) that both come out when these mass shootings occur.
He calls them ignorant based on the fact that throughout the world and throughout time there has been gun control laws placed and murder rates have actually increased. Countries such as Russia, Brazil, and Mexico all have strict gun control laws and there murder rates are much higher than the United States. Sowell gives parents the call to write for they are worried for their children safety. They would be considered the innocent ignorant for they are only basing their judgment off of an incident that may or may not have personally affected them. They are making their judgment not knowing the crude facts he states. Does Sowell really have the credibility to make a strong argument against gun control?
Thomas Sowell is a well established economist. He has three degrees in economics and is currently an economic professor. He is also a syndicated writer, meaning he writes on the main topic of the week. If that recent mass shooting didn’t occur would he have written on this topic? Regardless Sowell makes some very strong points. Sowell was very opinionated and came off as informal from time to time. He believes people are the problem, not guns; for people kill people and guns are just the middle man. Even though I agree with that notion, I still believe gun control laws should be in place to hopefully prevent another Newtown scandal from happening. Sowell would probably consider me an innocent ignorant gun control advocate.
Then again he probably would consider me just ignorant based on that fact that I have read his article and know what happens to countries with gun control laws in place. That bring me back to his tone of informality. To call your readers ignorant would not be considered very professional. Sowell produced a very informative article, even though he can be thought of as unreliable on this topic. Based off his tone and diction, aside from his credibility, Sowell would not have gotten through to many readers of his audience. No one likes to be belittled regardless if what you are saying about them is true or not. As stated before I agree with some of his points made, but if I was not already in agreement with how Sowell felt on gun control this article would not have swayed me to think any other way.
Sowell, T. (2012, December 24). Invincible ignorance. The Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved January 17,2013, from www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic Connecticut school shooting: survivor says gunman shouted ‘let me in’. (2012, December 18). Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9752006/Connecticut-school-shooting-survivor-says-gunman-shouted-Let-me-in.html