The essay ‘get a knife, get a dog, but get rid of guns’

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Molly Ivins' Article on Gun Control

Molly Ivins' article "Have a knife, get a puppy, but get rid of guns" is an amusing and timely tale about the gun control controversy. Ivins expresses her feelings about weapons in her article, implying that they should be regulated rather than enforced. She backed up her message with a deep belief in her audience that weapons can hurt families and therefore favors the use of a knife or dog (Ivins, 2005). The author employs the theme of parody to engage her audience, and the bulk of the audience agrees to agree with her real, although inflated, claim. Therefore, despite the sarcasm used in the essay, the main plot of the story focuses on the need to abolish the use of guns in the society.

Structure and Contradictions

The structure of the essay is well organized and reflects the consistency of the main plot of the story. However, despite the proper layout, Ivins displays confusing views that moves back and forth from her main idea. The contradiction reflects when she begins by indicating that she is not against guns 'anti-gun' (Ivins, 2005). Later on, she strongly provides sentimental arguments about the use of guns and convinces her audiences to get rid of it. Despite her strong reasoning, some of her arguments regarding the abolition of guns did not concur with most of the audience’s beliefs.

Audience and Sarcasm

In a general opinion, the main audiences addressed by Ivins regarding her theme are the gun owners. This is because Ivins uses a stream of facts to attack the use of guns and the gun owners. Her use of sarcasm to ridicule the gun users provide a clear evidence that she was against them. In her narrations, she provides an expression regarding coming with a knife to a gunfight showing that she despised the gun owns and backed up the knife advocates.

Physical Fitness and Laziness

Ivins’s assumption regarding the gun owners is that they are not physically fit as the knife users (Ivins, 2005). She illustrates an example indicating that a person with a knife needs to chase and be involved in order to kill the intended person. However, a gun user is regarded as lazy and promotes no efforts to ensure the killing is done. This is because killing a person using a gun is quick and less involving. Therefore, the gun users are not considered 'physically fit' since they do not need to chase their victim as compared to the Knife users. She relates the guns users to the obese people who cannot perform any instantaneous activity, thus referring them to be lazy (Ivins, 2005).

Satire and Impact

Ivins manages to attract the attention of the reader through building a sarcastic perspective and entertainment. As the essay continues, her satire revolves into a serious conversation that leaves the audience thinking on their feet. The language involved in the essay is somewhat casual, convincing, and connects with the audience. Indeed, her main argument that guns should be restricted did not fully convince their audience since she blamed the change of the second amendment, something that could not be done. Despite being written over a decade ago, her message on the issue of gun control manages to trigger sense to the later generations.


Ivins, M. (2005). Get a knife, Get a dog, but get rid of gins. Guns everywhere Guns.

October 25, 2022

Government Sociology

Subject area:

Gun Control Message Audience

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