“Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns” Analysis

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Molly Ivins, in her Op-Ed called, “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns,” argues for an absolute abolition of civilian gun ownership. Ivins begins her argument with a sarcastic attitude toward gun laws in the United States. She calls herself “not antigun,” but immediately announces that she is “proknife. ” She seems at first to offer an unbiased view, claiming not to want to outlaw guns completely, but when she admits to thinking people should simply replace guns with knives, she reveals her humor with almost a slap in the face.

Ivins continues with a healthy view against guns and in favor of knives, which would “promote physical fitness” as a person would have to chase down his or her victim in order to commit a stabbing. She almost takes a stab at the obesity problem our nation of gun owners has created, making fun of the relative laziness of using a gun to solve problems. Her point that “knives don’t ricochet” further emphasizes her idea of the superiority of knives as weapons.

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Here, though lightheartedly, she addresses the tragic outcomes of accidental shootings by mentioning how unlikely accidental stabbings would be. While Ivins demonstrates her humorous, sarcastic flavor in the first section of her article, her tone shifts subtly to a more serious attitude in the next. Molly Ivins declares her frustration with gun laws and gun advocates in the next section of her article. She claims that guns, just like cars, are known to “wreak great carnage,” but are still legal, even for people without “enough common sense” to use them properly.

She addresses here the common counterargument that cars are just as dangerous as guns, but no one questions whether they should be legal. However, she ultimately responds to that argument with the point that at least cars have some other use than violence, which is the only purpose of a gun. She sneaks in another joke, when she suggests purchasing a hoe to defend against snakes, but her bitterness still seeps out in her further response that the argument that “guns don’t kill people” is “patent nonsense.

The harsh language she uses here directly exposes her anger and resistance to her opposition. By utterly dismissing the opposing view, Molly Ivins degrades it to the lowest level she can. Tense, upset, concerned, annoyed, rebellious, frustrated Another sample: A. Student Mrs. T. Chur English 1301 12 November 2009 Molly Ivins and the Knife Patrol Molly Ivins, in her Op-Ed, “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns,” argues that the United States should ban all civilian gun ownership. Ivins begins her article with a tone of frustration toward gun owners and gun advocates in general.

Some of her first statements involve the comparison of guns and knives, wherein she claims that “knives don’t ricochet” and mentions the unlikelihood of accidental stabbings. Her sarcastic approach to the tragedies that can occur when untrained gun owners mishandle their weapons reflects, though with some humor, her ultimate frustration and annoyance that these tragedies are allowed to happen in the first place. This statement begins her rant against the unwinnable battle surrounding the gun control debate.

Her use of rhetorical questions in the sixth paragraph is also representative of her sarcastic response to those who argue that their interpretation of the Second Amendment is exactly literal. She asks snidely whether they are “channeling” Thomas Jefferson to know exactly what he intended, suggesting that gun owners support “teenage drug dealers” and gang warfare. Ivins allows her language to descend into the realm of words like “wacky” and even “hooey” to describe gun owners and their interpretations of the Second Amendment.

Her condescending attitude reveals her irritation and somewhat even her lack of control of her own emotions in this situation. Her language is not objective or unbiased, but full of bile and disrespect. While Ivins begins her article with clear frustration, she soon progresses into a more aggressive attitude. In the next section of her article, Molly Ivins becomes combative. She continues her personal attacks with a direct statement of “truth” that “there is no rational argument for guns in this society.

By labeling this sentence as “truth,” she dismisses even the possibility of logic on the other side. She effectively converts her own opinion into an expression of fact. She next takes on the opposing argument comparing guns to automobiles. She responds that guns should be tracked and licensed as rigorously as automobiles are. She suggests that at present, gun owners are not required to be “presumably sane and sober adults” as car owners are. This suggestion sets up an image of gun owners as the opposite, insane and drunk crazy people running around firing weapons at random.

She completes this image at the end of paragraph eleven by pointing out that guns have no other useful purpose but violence, thereby adding vicious intensity to this already harsh image. She addresses home tragedies that “end in murder” with a sarcastic, almost humorous tone, referring to a “good foot race,” which downplays the seriousness of the violence to which she refers. This belittling of her opposition is a direct schoolyard attack, straight from the big bully handbook of how to make your enemy feel small.

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“Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns” Analysis. (2017, Mar 24). Retrieved from


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