In the article, “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,” published by the Onion on November fifth, the author, Ryan Shattuck, suggests that gun violence in the United States is poorly controlled and able to be stopped with proper legal action. The article, an example of Juvenalian satire, is focused on the mass shooting that occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November fifth. The purpose of the text is to make the audience consider the overwhelming prevalence of gun violence in the United States and to criticize the government’s actions concerning gun control policies leading up to this point. Shattuck develops a caustic satirical tone through the use of overstatement and paradox in order to create dissatisfaction with the United States’ gun ownership policies among U.S. citizens.
Shattuck opens his article by emphasizing that the typical response of government authorities to this type of tragedy is so inadequate as to be comparable to doing nothing. He does this by exaggerating the lack of willingness in most American citizens to change gun ownership laws, such as when he states that the citizens claim there was “no way to prevent” the shooting, and when a fictitious citizen is described as saying, “there’s nothing anyone can do” to stop such massacres from occurring. He does this in order to highlight what he sees as the obtuseness of clinging to old laws about gun ownership and gun control. This criticism creates a contemptuous tone and causes the reader to reevaluate the adequacy of the government’s response to mass shooting.
Shattuck closes his article by questioning the beliefs of U.S. government officials and citizens regarding gun violence and their ability to do anything about it. He does this by warning that the United States is the only “economically advanced nation” to have two mass shootings per month occur over the past eight years. He includes this fact to remind the reader that other developed countries have much lower rates of gun violence than the United States and that they also have different policies on gun ownership than the United States. This supports the position that if the United States changed its gun ownership policies to be more similar to other those in other developed nations, its rates of gun violence would decrease.
Shattuck’s article criticizes the United States’ gun ownership policies by contrasting the prevalence of gun violence with the supposed “helpless” attitude of the country’s citizens and government towards changing anything. Through the use of overstatement and paradox, Shattuck attempts to persuade United States citizens’ to be in favor of stricter gun control policies and to think more carefully about their government’s ability to stop future massacres from taking place.
Shattuck, Ryan. “’No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”The Onion, Www.theonion.com, 5 Nov. 2017, www.theonion.com/no-way-to-prevent-this-says-only-nation-where-this-r-1820163660.