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The increase in the number of recurrent crimes and robberies using firearms has prompted the need to propose a policy that restricts the use of such, in an effort to reduce the crimes and increase security. If this policy is introduced, it will make it harder for ill-intentioned people to obtain firearms and guns to threaten security and rob people of their belongings. The aim is to persuade the parliament to approve this bill in order to effectively deal with the exigence.
RHETORICAL STRATEGIES TO USE
Rhetorical strategies are the methods are techniques used in making the presentation or an idea more effective and convincing. Convincing arguments incite action and thus the points put across gain support from the audience. These strategies need to be appropriate, relevant and effective in achieving the set aims of the presentation.In pitching the strict gun policy to the parliament, the minister or Member of Parliament (speaker) may use the following rhetorical strategies to convince and convict the other parliamentarians (audience) into supporting the policy:
a) Analysis of cause and effect: By deducing the events that lead to the rise in criminal activity (exigence) the speaker will be able to show how the cause (lenient policies on firearms and guns), relates to the effect (insecurity due to rise in crime). This strategy will show the parliamentarians how such leniency in the regulation of firearms has been responsible for the rise in criminal activity (W. W Norton & Company, p. 1).
b) Comparing and Contrasting: One of the most effective ways of persuasion is the deduction of the similarities and differences of different scenarios about the same issue. If the speaker was to give a situation where a citizen has been attacked by a robber, who is carrying a knife in scenario 1 and carrying a gun in scenario 2, and then state the possible outcomes of each scenario while concluding which one was more aggravated (the gun scenario, obviously), this would help convince the parliamentarians why it is important to have strict gun policies. In Bill Clinton’s DNC speech, she contrasts the you-are-on-your-own republican kind of government with the we-are-in-this-together by the Democrats (Poynter, pp. 1-6).
c) Clear definition and description of the policy: The term “strict gun policy” is too vague and as such, some parliamentarians may dismiss it simply because they do not understand what it means. Giving a clear picture of what the policy encompasses will allow the reluctant minds to explore it. The speaker may need to explain terms of the policy like: how far will strictness on gun possession go, how those of “high risk” profile be affected by such a policy, if ordinary people still be able to possess firearms provided they have the appropriate documentation, and if the government provide additional protection since they would be taking away people’s means of defending themselves (W. W Norton & Company, pp. 4).
d) Using real-life examples and instances to connect with the audience: By giving stories and examples of how innocent civilians have become victims of crime, simply because firearms were in the hands of wrong people, will appeal to the emotions of the audience. Giving a sob story will go a long way in gaining support from the audience in spearheading such a bill (TheAux, 00:01:12).
e) Use of sensuous, denotative diction in the presentation: Since the speaker wants to persuade the audience to take his side, use of sensuous (emotional) and denotative (specific in meaning) words and tone will help sway the vote to his side. Using words like victim, ask, innocent, vulnerable, poor will appeal to positive emotions of the parliamentarians. Use of pompous words like must, immediately, punished, equal may prove to be disadvantageous in this context (Ridolfo, p. 190.
f) Use of instructional language: This is helpful in making sure that all the parliamentarians remain attentive as the speaker pitches the strict gun policy. The speaker could, for example, say “This is a delicate matter. I want you to remember a time when security thrived. Now ask yourself if you want that kind of security now.” Bill Clinton used this very technique in his DNC speech (Poynter, pp. 1-6).
g) Addressing and dismissing critics: The speaker should address and dismiss critics to the introduction of the strict gun policy. This will not only help him gain credibility with his audience but also show how they are wrong. By providing a broad spectrum of views, the parliamentarians will not feel mislead or coerced into approving the bill. They will thus support the gun policy willingly as they have heard both sides of the arguments (TheAux, 00:02:35).
h) Logical appeal: The speaker will have to use real and concrete facts in establishing his reasons for the strict gun policy. This will help appeal to the reasoning and logic of the parliamentarians to convince them of the importance of such a policy (TheAux, 00:03:23).What has shaped the speaker’s response?From Edbauer’s definition of rhetorical ecologies, it is seen that the rhetoric is related to its immediate surroundings (Edbauer, p.31). From this, it can be deduced that the speaker’s own experiences and environment led him towards this proposition. It may be that one of his close friends or family became a victim of gun violence simply because there were no strict rules governing the use of firearms. Or better yet, his location of residence has a higher crime rate due to the extremely lenient laws imposed on the use of firearms.
This may have created an anguish that led him to the proposition of such a law. It may also be that this is merely a representation of what majority of the parliamentarians feel needs to be acted on and that he was just a deliverer of the almost unanimous proposition. Furthermore, Edbauer suggested that the state of exigences was one that changed constantly, dynamic in nature, other than the then held view that they were fixed (Edbauer, p. 33). So in this case, it can be deduced that the increasing number of crimes per time (change in state of exigence), is what prompted the speaker to propose the strict gun policy.Benefits from this intervention.If this proposal is effectively implemented in the delivery of the speech to pitch this idea of a strict gun policy to parliament, and the parliamentarians vote for the bill and it is passed, then the people, especially those in high crime rate areas, will be relieved of their ever-present fear and insecurity. The better security and low crime rates mean more businesses will be set up and more investors will want to invest in the areas, and as a result, the community will grow economically, socially and politically.
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