Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
In “Confessions of a Liberal Gun Owner,” Justin Cronin, an award winning novelist who teaches at Rice University in Houston, argues that despite being a liberal and for gun control, he is also in support of some gun ownership and in fact owns one for “the [protection of his] family” in his article that was published in the New York Times. By growing up in New England and being a liberal gun owner, he probably assumes that the majority of his New York Times readers is hostile and, therefore, wants to convince them otherwise. He states that his political views are mainly Democratic and he has “only voted once for a Republican” in his lifetime. Cronin also writes about his love for guns and includes “several reasons why it feels right in his hand” but still believes that “guns are generally under regulated”. Although Cronin has some strengths in his writing, I think he did not write a successful argument for his New York Times readers because he lacks logic and does not use persuasive examples of his main point.
Cronin’s essay does include a few strengths. It is true that he writes with a friendly tone and seems honest when he agrees that there should be some better sort of regulations regarding the purchase of guns especially, when it’s so easy to acquire stating that “he once bought a gun in a parking lot”. He also engages his New York Times readers more by stating that, despite being a liberal gun owner who loves guns and “enjoys shooting”, he is still a New Yorker just like them because “he’s the guy who goes to the range wearing metrosexual glasses and a Ralph Lauren polo shirt”. However, in my opinion, Cronin’s essay is otherwise unsuccessfully argued.
First, Cronin’s essay is not successful because he does not use logic that is convincing. He states that he owns a gun to keep [his] family safe but fails to give a clear situation where he had to use it, like a robbery but rather writes “a gun in a home represents a far greater danger to its inhabitants than to an intruder”, which is not compelling enough for his readers that he is trying to convince otherwise about the advantages of gun ownership. In addition, Cronin states that he hates the National Rifle Association and thinks “guns are under regulated”; however, he is also the same person who writes about “shopping for guns” and can distinguish them by their names and actually refers to them as “fascinating weapons”. Furthermore, he also states that the “White House’s administration’s proposals strike him as more symbolic than effective” but that would not stop him from “[protecting his family] from any type of crisis”, however, he fails to elaborate to his New York Times readers about the kind of crisis he is referring to.
Second, Cronin’s argumentative essay is also not successful because he does not use persuasive examples. He states that “my relationship to firearms might have ended there, if not for a coincidence of weather”. Cronin informs his readers that his relationship to guns could have possibly ended had it not been for the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita that almost hit Houston. One of his main supporting reasons for gun ownership is to “protect his family”; therefore, when Houston was hit by the Hurricanes, “he decided to move whole family to a different city” however, he later states that “Hurricane Rita made a last minute turn away from Houston”. He fails to persuade his readers with this support of his main point because he based it on a “what if” scenario and this only puts more doubt in the minds of his New York Times readers. Cronin also states that another reason to own a gun is, there is high number of sexual assault cases. He writes that “one in five American women are victims of sexual assault” but doesn’t explain this in depth and why his readers would need a gun in such a situation rather he returns to say that he’s a “proud father” because his daughter loves guns and shooting.
I don’t think Cronin’s argumentative essay is persuasive enough for his hostile New York Times readers who are against gun ownership and strongly support gun control.