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Bowling For Columbine: Rhetorical Analysis

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The documentary Bowling for Columbine demonstrates how America is very comfortable handling guns, he also talks about the consequences of this behavior like the “Columbine high school massacre” and many others school shootings and events that have happened because of this type of behavior. Michael Moore proves his point by interviewing people that attended the school and people like Carlton Herston, Trey Park, the president of the national rifle association and rock artist Marilyn Manson and many others. He also explores issues regarding violence in the united states and how people in America are afraid of each other even more than in other countries. Michael Moore also shows that video games and easy access to firearms make for the high violence rate in America.

Moore show just how easy it is to obtain a firearm, in this documentary, Moore shows how student Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were able to obtain very easily four firearms, even though they had a criminal record and juvenile detention and drug dependencies. Moore also shows another example of how easily it is to obtain firearms in America and a great way he showed this was by making an example of a bank giving a free gun just by opening an account and the bank having a vault with over 500 firearms. He also talks about a particular municipality that makes gun ownership mandatory. He also shows the number of people that are murdered by guns every year and in comparison, to any other country America is over by 11,000.

A scene from this amazing documentary that had an impact on the way I look and guns and made me really think about today’s society was the “Wonderful World” scene. This scene proves how Americans do not use weapons for self-defense but rather for violence or fear. This also relates to the events of September 11th where a big tragedy occurred, and a lot of people died but even after this tragedy they continue to destroy and attack counties on a regular basis. The use of this particular song complemented by footage of the shooting and scenes like the body of a death men and text saying: American Military kills 4 million people, makes a strong contrast and sets the mood for this documentary, this song talks about the wonderful world but the audience thinking is this really a wonderful world with all the violence and all the killing?

In April 1999 student Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a shooting rampage and they killed 12 students and also one teacher then they committed suicide, this is the opening scene for Moore documentary and it serves as a way to show Moore point of view in blaming NRA for the violence and the shooting in the Columbine accident. Moore also talks about the way America handles disagreements with other countries and talks about the use of weapons of mass destruction for the purpose of peace when in reality is making the situation dangerous and creating more violence and is far from peace.

Moore is pro-gun control and he gets his point across in this documentary very well, but he lets the viewer discover that by themselves. He never says guns are bad for the following reason he even shows other countries like Canada with much less violence as an example of the crime in Canada and the much higher crime in America. He wants the audience to decide for themselves what’s fair and what is not, to do this he uses the appeals, in particular, Pathos. He shows acts of violence and unjust terrible things that make the viewer angry and more likely to choose by themselves the idea he is trying to convey. An example of Pathos he used in this documentary was when he was talking to NRA leader Charlton Heston and he shows him the picture of a six years old girl that was murdered by a young boy , by doing this the audience notice how unfair and sad the death of this little girl was and how Charlton Heston doesn’t seem to change his mind about this subject because he even made an appearance in columbine which is where this girl was murders. This makes the audience angry and more likely to change their mind about firearms. Moore also uses references and makes use of rhetorical and persuasive devices to gets the audience in favor of changing some gun laws and also to make his argument even more clear.

Moore uses Pathos to get his point across but he also uses Ethos, which is the credibility or ethical appeal by a means of convincing your character as an author. One example of this is when Moore talks about his childhood and how guns where very influential during his childhood and adult years, and how he is a member of the Rifle Association, this could of have made him biased on his opinion of guns but instead he takes a neutral stand and lets the reader make their own decision by providing statistics and data .I have always thought guns are not good and are more likely to put you in danger than to protect you but after watching this documentary I am more aware of the reason why gun control is necessary for America. I also think it’s very difficult for people to change the way they see guns because this documentary was made in 1999 and it’s been almost 20 years since the realization of this documentary that won awards and was very well received and I’m sure it did have a positive impact but ever since this documentary was released the amount of violence and gun violence has probably increased significantly. The school shooting has become more frequent and mass shooting have also been happening all over America. This event should work as a warning for every citizen to take a stand and make a change just like Moore did when he made this documentary.

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