Emma Gonzalez Calling for Gun Control Legislation

Speeches are delivered to encourage people to act and change the existing status quo. The speech under analysis was given during a rally in Fort Lauderdale where a school shooting claimed 17 students’ lives. Emma Gonzalez, the speaker, was a senior student who survived the shooting. In her emotional and appealing speech, the girl provides evidence supporting her claim and making her speech a potent address to a wide audience, including students, policymakers, gun producers, and the community. The major purpose of the speech is to encourage young people to voice their concerns and fight for their right to live. Emma Gonzalez advocates for the enactment of particular laws that will regulate gun sales properly, especially the policies related to effective wellness and background checkups.

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The speaker begins her speech by asking for a moment of silence in the House of Representatives for the souls lost during the school shooting. This deed appeals to the emotions of the audience by making them realize the sadness and gravity of the shootings.

A moment of silence symbolizes respect for people who have died in tragic events and often lasts at least one minute. There is immense power in silence because it does not contain any statements or suppositions related to beliefs. Furthermore, it does not need to be interpreted in any language, which makes it an acceptable form of paying respect as opposed to spoken prayer, especially at gatherings involving people of varying religious and cultural backgrounds (Alford, 2019).

The speaker then proceeds with emotional contraposition of the positions of gun owners and students or other potential victims of mass shootings. The teenager emphasizes that it is very easy to obtain a gun and prepare for a crime in Florida (Gonzalez, 2018). The student refers to young people claiming that their right to live seems to be outweighed by some individuals’ right to own a gun.

The speaker’s pathos is intermingled with quite relevant logos. Gonzalez (2018) notes that stricter law proponents’ arguments tend to be dismissed due to certain structural flaws. She also reveals her anger and disappointment that the gun control debate is brought to the fore only after the shootings and dozens of tragic deaths. This argument is a strong appeal that sparks thoughts about the consequences of the status quo. Returning back to logos, the student argues that the USA is one of the few developed countries that have a website with mass shooting statistics instead of having effective laws preventing such crimes.

The speaker notes the intolerable outcomes of mass shootings in schools. She states that some students are dead due to the shootings, some are in hospitals, and others continue suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Even worse, students who try to continue with their daily lives suffer from panic attacks that are triggered by hovering helicopters during the vigil. She asserts that imminent change will be effected through the tireless efforts of the school board, members of faculty, family members, and students. The speaker makes effective use of pathos when she claims that she intends to fight against the existing norms in order to prevent future shootings, which can be an inspiring call for her peers (Gonzalez, 2018).

The girl then continues with the discussion of conditions that could have been analyzed to prevent the shooting and so many deaths. The primary focus is on the mental health issue and certain social isolation of the shooter. The teenager insists on the need for stricter gun control regulations and effective background and medical checkups. It is noteworthy that the association between people’s mental health, socioeconomic status, and other domains that contribute to the problem has been acknowledged (Metzl & MacLeish, 2015). The young speaker employs this well-supported argument concerning the complex nature of the problem and emphasizes that various stakeholders are responsible for the shooting that took place at her school.

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After the discussion of the stakeholders involved in the process, the student concentrates on the role politicians play in aggravating the problem. Gonzalez (2018) starts this part of her speech with another emotional statement concerning the financial side of the issue. She calculates the cost of an American’s life by dividing the money received from the National Rifle Association by the number of victims.

The girl mentions other decisions made by President Trump and his personal responsibility for all those shootings that take place. Donald Trump is unlikely to change his political agenda in this respect because he repeats that he is willing to protect people’s right to own guns as described in the US Constitution (Gerachty, 2019). The speaker paid attention to other cases when politicians enacted or repealed policies that contribute to the problem, given that obtaining a gun is becoming easier as the days go by.

The final part of the girls’ address is very emotional and reveals her commitment to stand up to her perspective. She stresses that youths, who are often depicted as a group of self-oriented people, should make their voices heard. She identifies all factions that suppress the fight against controlled gun ownership, especially politicians who are funded by the NRA.

The speaker calls out some of the implausible excuses that politicians use to condone continued mass shootings, for example, conceding that mass shootings are inevitable, admitting that strict gun laws do not eliminate shooting, and stating that children do not understand the workings of the government or gun violence. In this instance, Gonzales appeals to the emotions and reasoning of the audience, which prompts the crowd to respond by saying that such leaders should be voted out of power.

In conclusion, it is necessary to note that Gonzalez delivers an emotional and effective speech claiming that US gun control legislation is inadequate and should be amended, especially regarding mental health checkups. The speaker employs pathos and logos to support her claims. She mentions the complexity of the problem and the adverse impact of the current political agenda. The teenager also pays attention to the financial side of the matter, accusing gun producers of bribing politicians. She finishes her speech with a potent message to her peers, who are encouraged to act and ensure their voices are heard by politicians.

The address is very expressive but well-supported with evidence, which makes it an inspirational speech that can spur collaboration and implementation of the needed changes. Although the speaker is an adolescent and addresses mainly her peers, the message brought out in her speech appeals to a wide audience. It is also important to add that the overall mood of the message is negative, given that the students confront opponents of gun control legislation. The girl’s anger and determination are passed to the audience, which helps the speaker to reach her goal and provoke the listeners.


Alford, C. F., Balkan, O., Deylami, S. S., Honig, B., Hsueh, V., Johnston, S.,… Temin, D. M. (2019). The democratic arts of mourning: Political theory and loss. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

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Geraghty, J. (2019). President Trump will address the NRA convention again this year. National Review. Web.

Gonzalez, E. (2018). Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: ‘We call BS’. CNN. Web.

Metzl, J. M., & MacLeish, K. T. (2015). Mental illness, mass shootings, and the politics of American firearms. American Journal of Public Health, 105(2), 240-249.

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"Emma Gonzalez Calling for Gun Control Legislation." StudyCorgi, 4 June 2021, studycorgi.com/emma-gonzalez-calling-for-gun-control-legislation/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Emma Gonzalez Calling for Gun Control Legislation." June 4, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/emma-gonzalez-calling-for-gun-control-legislation/.


StudyCorgi. "Emma Gonzalez Calling for Gun Control Legislation." June 4, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/emma-gonzalez-calling-for-gun-control-legislation/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Emma Gonzalez Calling for Gun Control Legislation." June 4, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/emma-gonzalez-calling-for-gun-control-legislation/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Emma Gonzalez Calling for Gun Control Legislation'. 4 June.

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