I was surprised to hear of Stephen Kings publication of "Rage" and then to find that it had some influence in multiple shootings afterward. I applaud him for pulling it from publication because of this.
First, I should say I am a centrist, one of the meager minority in our country according to King, and I would advocate for some forms of gun control myself, though King doesn't include many ideas that might actually help our gun problems, with the exception of background checks. In summary, he advocates limiting magazine capacity to 10, banning assault weapons, and comprehensive background checks. The background check is a no brainer, and no thoughtful person can make a case against that one. However, the term 'assault weapon' doesn't have a specific meaning. People include such things as flash suppressors and barrel shrouds, pistol grips, collapsable stocks, etc. None of these will have any effect on casualties in a mass shooting situation. The Clinton gun ban was also vague in it's definition, stating: "In general, assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that were designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use." Before we proclaim that we should 'ban assault weapons' we need to clearly define what that means. For most people it is a catchy term and sounds like something that should be banned, and it seems King is in that group. Next, limiting magazine capacities to 10. He presents no evidence at all that this ban will be effective. What is the point of banning something (relinquishing our freedom) if it won't have any effect. First, there are literally millions upon millions of magazines already existing in the US. Is the government going to grandfather them, or confiscate them? If they confiscate them, do we actually think the criminals will hand theirs over? Or that they won't be able to smuggle new ones in? Outlawing drugs has been real effective at keeping those off the streets... Also, in the age of 3D printers, a magazine is simply a piece of plastic and a spring that holds bullets. You could very easily print your own. Finally, he claims that the australia gun laws have been a success. In fact, the conclusions drawn by the vast majority of people looking at the issue, including snopes and factcheck, 15+ years after the ban went into effect, that there is no measurable difference in murders or gun violence. Great Britain's statistics after it's gun ban are similar. Oh, and one more thing, if you'll pardon the rant. He asserts that nobody wants to take your revolver, your hunting rifle, your sporting guns, etc, and seems to think that anybody who thinks otherwise is a crazy, paranoid idiot. I beg to differ. They tried to ban guns in Chicago and Washington DC, and that included all of them. When it finally went to the Supreme court, in spite of the fact that we have a second amendment and the court is supposed to uphold the constitution, these banning laws were voted unconstitutional by a vote of 5-4. That's right, if one of those 5 justices had voted the other way, then guns would be banned in 2 cities, and the precedent would have been set that politicians had the power to ban guns in defined areas. Are we honestly to believe that it would have remained only in Chicago and DC? No, I assert very strongly that we, pardon the pun, dodged a bullet on that supreme court decision, and that there are plenty of people out there who would love to take away our guns...and will continue to try.
Everyone in this country needs to read or listen to this essay. Whether they agree or not, it's so full of information and reason that it forms a necessary jumping off point for debate and communal understanding.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
It seems important to mention one's "creds" in writing reviews of Stephen King's "Guns" so I will start with mine: I served in the US Army, and was honorably discharged as a SGT/E-5. I qualified Expert with an M16 (the civilian equivalent is an AR15), and I'm still proud of that.
I also have a copy of "Rage", in the compilation of "The Bachman Books" that I purchased the year it was published, 1985. I remember reading "The Bachan Books" the same week I purchased it. I loved "The Running Man" and liked "Roadwork", and while the plot of "Rage" was intriguing, the writing was so sophomoric, it was painful. I found out later King wrote "Rage" while he was in high school, so there was an explanation. I read "Rage" once again, in 1996, when I heard Michael Carneal shot classmates in West Paducah, Kentucky. It sounded so much like the story I'd read 11 years earlier, I wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining the similarity. I wasn't.
King's essay "Guns" starts with a scathing social commentary, "That's How it Shakes Out." It doesn't matter if the first station you've got programmed into your remote is FoxNEWS and Ann Coulter is your dream date, or if you are so far left you contribute frequently to KPFK: the media cycle for mass shootings is the same.
King argues forcefully - and sometimes vulgarly - for gun control. King is a gun owner himself, and does not want to disarm the country - but he does want assault weapons banned, and large magazines banned; and he wants background checks.
What King argues isn't new or innovative, but the writing is vintage King. There are phrases I remember from "The Shawshank Redemption" (the movie adaptation, not the original novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption") and the unabridged edition of "The Stand." There's also a theme in the first and last section of "Guns" that runs through "The Library Policeman" and "The Ten O'Clock People." The theme was chilling in the stories, and the probability it's a reality is startling.
[If you found this review "Helpful", please push the Helpful button. Thanks!]
I am undecided on this issue however I was disappointed with my favorite story teller's attempt to cobble together a cogent argument. For someone that can easily move between horror, fantasy, and baseball, his efforts fell short given his capabilities. Very disappointed.
First chapter . . . Shakedown, had merits.
Writer, Reader, Former Bookseller (RIP Borders)
Not what you would expect, given the source. It's actually the most balanced and reasonable argument I've heard amidst the current fervor. Direct, but not preachy. Definitely worth 45 minutes and whatever the token cost.
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
I have to say that objectively, I enjoyed this short listen. And I do respect Stephen King as a fellow gun owner, but I disagree with his politics, as mentioned in the book. I did enjoy how he correctly portrayed the media as ratings-hungry and immorally uncaring.
It was a surprise how "fair" Stephan King is in "GUNS". Although I do not agree with all he says, he is sympathic with gun owners.
Christian was very believeable and interesting.
I would reccommend it to gun owners as well as non owners.
This was presented as an unbiased opinion on this issue. You pay to be yelled at, called names and abused by this author. I have many of his books in my library and absolutely love most of them. This is not an unbiased discussion.
Yes, the narrator did a very good job.
It did have a few good points before he started acting angry about people who disagree with his opinions.
Why does everyone that has access to the media feel they are an authority on politics. Is there anyone that can have a discussion or express their opinion without getting angry with people who do not share their view?
Big Stephen King fan.
Yes and No, It tends to reiterate many of the tired old arguments from both sides, bringing both sides towards the middle but not introducing anything new to the debate which is very useful for those of us not paying attention, but for those of us who do, not very stimulating.
The performance of the narrator was very passionate which kept your ear and made the listen very enjoyable.
The short nature of it made it a good listen while I did some quick house chores.
The author does a good job of bringing the far right/left wings more towards the center, and surprisingly I agree with many of his statements. One thing I was disappointed to see was the failure to address one critical problem with gun laws and the 2nd amendment. The primary reason it was put in place was in reaction to the dismal prospects at the start of the revolutionary war. i.e. a public with inferior weaponry subject to rule by the government because they had no realistic prospects of taking on such a well armed government. How they pulled it off was a miracle really. The 2nd amendment is there to ensure the government fears the people, not the other way around.The authors proposal only makes rational sense if you are willing to forgo that position. If you are willing to subject yourself to a law enforcement that can out-gun you any day of the week. Not a problem when everything works right (which for the most part it does and has but there are notable exceptions) but the alternative, I believe, is the exact reason it was put in the constitution.
Yes I definitely would. It's Stephen King for crying out loud.
Indifference would be the best word.
Meh meh meh.