February 13th, 2013
In the article, “Teaching Kids to Kill”, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman argues that video games and media violence are the roots to violence occurring worldwide. Grossman establishes credibility, evokes emotional responses, and appeals to his readers` ability to reason in an effort to persuade his readers to agree to put an end to violent visual media.
Grossman appeals to ethos by introducing his expertise and citing other sources other than himself. For example, Grossman declares “I spent almost a quarter of a century as an Army infantry officer, a paratrooper, a Ranger, and a West Point Psychology Professor, learning and studying how we enable people to kill” (Grossman 2002). Grossman explains how he spent twenty five years trying to understand how people are empowered to kill. Most people associate time and experience with wisdom, therefore since he spent so much time in one area, he is bound to know a lot about it. People will listen to what he has to say, because he has been in that line of work for so long. Since he is an expert in the field of military and law enforcement, he can speak on violence and people are more probable to listen to what he has to say, whether it is opinion or fact.
Furthermore, Grossman also cites other sources in his article. He elaborates upon a study that the “Journal of the American Medical Association” (JAMA) conducted on the impact of TV violence (Grossman 2002). The insertion of JAMA`s study expresses that Grossman is mindful of other reliable sources that are interested in the issue he is discussing. The fact that he is an expert in certain fields dealing with violence and that he is mindful of others who share the same opinions as he does, helps to persuade his audience to agree with him. It seems as though he knows what he is talking about, and he has others backing his argument up.
Grossman appeals to pathos by including narratives meant to evoke feelings of sadness, pity, and disapproval; and also maintaining a very serious and disapproving tone throughout the article. For instance, when telling about the Jonesboro shooting, Grossman talks about how a mother who “Had no friends, no husband, no family with her as she sat in the hospital alone.” The article goes on to say, “I just came to find out how to get my little girl`s body back” (Grossman 2002). Immediately after reading that excerpt, feelings of sadness and pity for the woman are inflicted in the readers` heart. Grossman also gives another example when he tells of the case study in Paducah, Kentucky. Michael Carneal stole and took a .22 pistol to school and fired eight shots at a high school group, hitting eight kids (Grossman 2002). After reading about this case study, a sense of pity for those that...