Topic 2 Additional Reading
Specialists in communication are often hired to clean up problems created by unthoughtful messaging. While advocates dedicate significant amounts of time and energy promoting causes, they often struggle to clearly identify their logical positions. To further the problem, in light of clear arguments advocates commonly utilize informal fallacies to persuade their target audiences. These weaknesses tend to create easily avoidable communications crises. The first step is to identify the communicative problems.
For this assignment, identify a social issue you are personally interested in learning more about, advocating for the cause, or are against it, and identify fallacious reasoning.
Research an advocate (individual or organization) that promotes a relevant social issue. Identify the organization and explain the relevancy of the social issue.
Show the steps you took to translate the position/argument you researched into a clear logical form by writing out the logical premises and conclusions from the material presented by the advocate.
Identify a minimum of five informal fallacies that are made by the advocate. Explain the fallacies themselves and how each functions.
At least two academic peer-reviewed sources are required for this paper.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
Organization Advocating For Gun Control
One of the most debated social issues in contemporary American society is the gun control issue. According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) (2019), a non- profit organization that collects data related to gun violence, by the beginning of September, there had occurred 283 mass shootings across the US in 2019. By September 1, the GVA estimated that there had been 37,662 total shootings incidents, which had resulted in 9,932 gun deaths and 19,868 injuries (GVA, 2019). The rising incidence of gun violence across the US, characterized by mass shootings, has therefore fueled a contentious debate between the proponents of the 2nd amendment, which gives Americans the right to bear arms and the opponents of this article of the constitution who want to gun control laws adopted.
With the rising cases of gun violence across the US, vibrant advocacy groups that oppose gun violence have emerged. These organizations have therefore set a goal of ensuring that the 2nd amendment is repealed and that the USA adopts stringent gun ownership measures like other first world countries such as the UK and Australia. One of the organizations which have been a great proponent of gun control is the Americans Against Gun Violence (AAGV) organization. The AAGV has been utilizing policy advocacy, engagement, and research so as to ensure that they rid America of gun violence (AAGV, 2019).
Translation of the Position/argument of the AAGV
The position taken by the AAGV to advocate for gun control can be deduced from the logical premises which the organization has consistently provided. The logical premises provided by the AAGV are of the argument that gun control is the only solution to the gun violence crisis which the US presently finds itself in. The logical arguments which AAGV provides are in support of gun control include the argument that gun related deaths in the U.S will be at least ten times higher than the rates in other fist world countries such as the UK (Jehan, Pandit, O’Keeffe, Azim, & Joseph, 2018). The AAGV takes it as its responsibility to reduce the number of gun-related deaths in the U.S to levels equal to or below those of other first world countries. AAGV posits that it supports common sense in firearm possession regulation, which will include adopting more stringent gun control laws across the U.S. The AAGV also posits that the US should follow the example of the UK and Australia, which would entail banning the civilian ownership of automatic and semiautomatic weapons and even all handguns such as the case of the UK (AAGV, 2019). AAGV also posits that convincing evidence has shown that owning guns does not improve the net protective value. Therefore the argument that one should carry a gun for self-defense should not be acceptable in the U.S. The AAGV also argues that the control of civilian ownership of firearms should be followed by stringent regulation of the use of lethal force among law enforcement officers. Finally, the AAGV argues that the Second Amendment is not an obstacle to the adoption of more stringent firearm control laws but the 2008 Heller decision (AAGV, 2019).
Five Informal Fallacies Made By AAGV
In its advocacy efforts, the Americans against Gun Violence (AAGV) organization makes numerous informal fallacies in a bid to get their messages across and to sway public opinion in support of more stringent firearm laws. The first fallacy is the fallacy of logic (Finocchiaro, 2015). In their argument that lots of gun violence incidents have been witnessed in the US, the AAGV argues that the cause of these deaths is all Americans having access to firearms. However, this argument is a fallacy of logic because correlation is not causation. Social phenomena have multiple conjoined causes, with the availability of guns not being the only cause of increased gun violence in the US. The second informal fallacy made by the AAGV is the hasty generalization fallacy (Zurloni & Anolli, 2013). The advocacy group generalizes the rising cases of gun violence in their use as evidence of less stringent gun control measures without scientific evidence. In its bid to show that stringent gun control measures are needed in the US, the AAGV also concerns itself with circular logic as the third fallacy by offering reasoning for its argument to restate the argument. In this regard, the AAGV only advocates for stringent gun laws in the US without offering sufficient backing of their arguments using evidence. In its advocacy, the AAGV also makes numerous informal fallacies relating to emotion. One of these fallacies which is the fourth fallacy is the advocacy group’s appeal to the pride of American citizens by portraying the US as being left out by other first world countries such as the UK and Australia in the quest to curb gun violence. The AAGV also blatantly applies the appeal to pity fallacy as the fifth fallacy in their bid to demonstrate the social importance of their campaign for more stringent gun laws (Finocchiaro, 2015). The AAGV highlights numerous stories that trigger pity and fear among Americans so as to force them to support the advocacy group’s position of more stringent gun control measures and laws in the US.