Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns

879 words | 3 page(s)

Molly Ivins was a liberal newspaper columnist from Texas who was popular for her criticism of politicians as well as the conservative culture in her native state. Her syndicated columns appeared in about 350 newspapers and she was not afraid to break the decency limits in her writings (Seelye). In the article Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns, author Molly Ivins argues that guns have no place in an ordinary citizen’s hands and even the Second Amendment didn’t intend so (Ivins). Ivins doesn’t only present her own arguments for gun control but also counters several arguments made by the opponents in favor of gun ownership, primarily the Second Amendment. Ivins accuses the opponents of gun control to not even pay proper attention to the wordings of the very amendment they so enjoy referring to.

Molly Ivins makes a convincing argument that the Second Amendment has been misinterpreted and gun control is in the best interests of the country. Ivins remind us that the Second Amendment intended arms to be possessed by trained militia and not the ordinary citizen but with arms comes great responsibility which most of the citizens are not well-equipped to handle. Ivins expresses amaze at the fact that even young people are assumed to be part of the militia and allowed to possess guns. Ivins claims that the founding fathers would never have allowed guns to be possessed on such a wide scale if they were alive today and those who try to interpret founding fathers’ intentions only mislead the public. Ivins also takes the opportunity to address some of the arguments made by the supporters of the right to possess guns.

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One of the argument Ivins tackles is the automobile argument whose misuse can also lead to accidents and deaths. But Ivins reminds the opponents that the right to own and use automobiles is well-regulated to ensure that they do not fall into irresponsible hands. Ivins also adds that while automobiles have advantages for the society, guns in the hands of private citizens have none. Thus, the comparison to automobiles is flawed and in fact any comparison should suggest stricter gun regulations, just like automobile ownership and use is regulated.

Ivins also adds that we live in a different society where most of the population lives in urban cities and the ownership of guns in the wrong hands only increases the potential magnitude of disaster. Ivans also argues that the argument that guns don’t kill people is illogical because the presence of guns increases the probability of it being misused. Ivins suggests that gun owners should be required to go through intense training in order to better understand the rights that come with guns.

It is apparent from the article that Ivins had liberal values. Even when writing on serious issues like gun control, one cannot help but notice the sarcastic attitude towards those she disagrees. Ivins comes as blunt in her opinions but at the same time her article also showed she paid attention to the opponents. Ivins writing style is polarizing and while she may appeal to those who have similar views, her style is not suited to winning opponents.
Ivins aimed this article at mostly the opponents of gun control. Ivins seem to assume that gun control opponents are too literally fixated at the language of the Second Amendment and not evaluating in historical context. Ivins also seems to imply that opponents of gun control are selfish who are putting their own interests over the interests of the country.

Ivins satirical style, especially in the beginning of the article, may also have been influenced by the fact that she considers non-liberals to be of inferior intelligence as compared to liberals. Ivins also seems to imply that gun owners are mostly irresponsible which may be why she suggests they should go under strict training, just like the ninja master who owns skills that can be used to kill. According to Ivins, gun control owners do not understand the magnitude of the responsibilities that come with gun ownership, thus, the state should step in with stricter regulations in the best interests of the society. Ivins also assumes that gun owners basically want to fulfill their psychological fantasies and the claim for self-defense is merely a ruse. Not surprisingly, both the title of the article as well as the last line in the body of the article suggests gun owners to instead get dogs.
Gun control is now one of the major political issues and almost every imaginable argument has been made on both sides of the issue. In fact, Ivins makes some of the same arguments but one cannot help but notice that she is really skilled at reasoning. Even when Ivins makes the same arguments that others with similar positions have made, she invents new rationale to support her position. Ivins also has command at language and use the words and rational that can be understood by anyone. Her article would have been much more effective if it were not for her condescending tone against gun owners throughout the article.

  • Ivins, Molly. Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns. 1 November 2013 .
  • Seelye, Katharine Q. Molly Ivins, Columnist, Dies at 62. 1 February 2007. 1 November 2013 .

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