Teret et al.’s “Making Guns Safer” Article Evaluation

Topic: Public Policies
Words: 847 Pages: 3


The question of whether guns should be allowed for the general public to purchase and use for safety reasons has been debated extensively, though with few conclusive outcomes. In his essay on the issue of gun safety, Nicholas Teret (1998) posits that the use of personalized guns could help address the problem of gun violence and the associated crimes in the U.S. Although the author’s key argument regarding the safety of personalized weapons could be seen as debatable, the overall structure of the argument is quite compelling, particularly, due to the opportunity to use statistical data and the reference to the existing official reports on the subject matter, as well as real-life cases.



The main goal that the author of the article pursues is obviously to discuss the issue of gun safety and propose a reasonable solution. Indeed, the article starts with the statistics concerning deaths and injuries inflicted by gun violence, thus setting the theme for the essay and the purpose thereof. Afterward, Teret (1998) confirms that his article seeks to encompass potential issues and offer a viable solution to the increasing threat of gun violence that the lack of consistent gun regulations may entail. Overall, the opening paragraph is well-structured and convincing, allowing the audience to embrace the extent of the gun violence problem.


The writing strategy that the author has chosen for his essay can be described as focusing on the logos part of the rhetorical framework, while also introducing a certain amount of ethos and Kairos, while minimizing pathos. Indeed, Teret (1998) seeks to maximize the rational aspect of the discussion by incorporating a thorough historical background on the issue at hand, representing both sides of the argument, and assessing the importance of innovative technology in managing the concern. For instance, Teret (1998) mentions at some point that “behavior modification isn’t the only possible solution. Another intervention is not being developed: a personalized gun, a weapon that will operate only for the authorized user” (p. 38). The described combination of approaches toward constructing an argument amplifies the extent of Teret’s convincingness, therefore contributing to his credibility and the trustworthiness of his argument.


Despite the generally well-organized and properly developed argument, Teret’s (1998) statement does not seem to represent the flawless solution that the author seeks to represent it as. Specifically, the statement concerning the introduction of user authorization to guns and other types of firearms appears to represent the solution to only one of the myriad of problems that unlimited access to guns creates. Specifically, Teret (1998) ignores the issue of guns being misused as a weapon of assault as opposed to that of defense. Furthermore, the problem of public shootings and similar tragic incidents is not resolved with the creation of authorized gun access. Therefore, while containing the necessary elements of logos, pathos, and ethos, the article also incorporates certain fallacies, particularly that one of omission, therefore misrepresenting the situation and offering only a partial solution that is likely to entail further complications.


When considering the argument that Teret (1998) makes in his essay, an article by Soni and Mahler (2020) was integrated into the analysis. Providing a critical lens to the issue of access to guns, the specified resource helps to embrace the associated complexities and outlines the advantages of gun control. At the same time, the source in question offers a measured argument. While Soni and Mahler (2020) still assert that gun ownership can be a possibility, they insist on stricter regulations as a necessity for ensuring public safety.

Audience, Objection, Counterargument

The article by Teret (1998) clearly targets general audiences with its effort to convince that technological advancements can be utilized to facilitate gun ownership. However, the article could also be seen as designated for state authorities to consider changing the existing gun ownership policies. The main objection to Teret’s (1998) argument is that technology does not safeguard unarmed people from attacks perpetrated by an owner of a gun. Without a paragraph addressing the specified concern, the article seems incomplete. However, to the author’s credit, Teret’s (1998) article does seem to focus on its core issue, namely, the use of technology in addressing gun violence, to a substantial extent. Therefore, though Teret’s research results can be debated, the paper still represents a strong statement.


By supplying a plethora of evidence ranging from specific cases to broader examples to statistical data reported by the statistics authorities, Teret (1998) manages to construct a compelling argument. Although the general structure of the article could use some improvements, particularly, in regard to rendering the opposing views and rebutting them, the essay should be acknowledged for its credibility and reasonability. Furthermore, the use of ethos, pathos, and logos is outstanding, with a clear and well-balanced appeal to the audience’s common sense, the focus on the emotional toll that the issue takes on the U.S. population, and the reference to authoritative sources. Overall, the article can be considered a compelling piece that addresses one of the core issues that the U.S. population has been facing for several decades.


Soni, D. B., & Mahler, M. L. (2020). Blockchain technology for a firearm registry. New Zealand Journal of Business and Technology, 2, 34-42.

Teret, S. P., DeFrancesco, S., Hargarten, S. W., & Robinson, K. D. (1998). Making guns safer. Issues in Science and Technology, 14(4), 37-40.

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