Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stirring Emotions vs. Rational Debate

While browsing at Alternet looking for blogging fodder this morning, I glanced at the headline of one article, Gun Crazy: Firearms Proponents Want a World Where College Kids Carry Concealed Weapons by Liliana Segura.

Normally, I wouldn't have read an article on this topic, but the use of the phrase "college kids" irritated me enough to leave a comment. I did not comment on the content of the article, which I only briefly skimmed, because gun control, like abortion, tends to be a polarizing topic with both sides often arguing from emotion and refusing to even listen to what the other side is saying. Nor will I comment on the topic itself in this blog entry, as it doesn't relate to the point I'm making here.

My comment follows below:

College "Kids"?

The last time I checked, colleges and universities are attended by adults age 18 and over, not by children, i.e. "kids".

I'm guessing the use of the word "kids" in this article was meant to influence the emotions, rather than to set a tone of rational debate about the topic.

The author of this article has clearly indicated her bias in the title, simply by using the word "kids" instead of "students". It was meant to stir the emotions, rather than generate reasoned debate, which I find irresponsible. When discussing highly controversial topics that have a tendency to go downhill quickly into ad hominem territory, it's especially important to choose one's words carefully.


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