In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King's keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.
King's earnings from the sale of this essay will go to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Stephen King is the author of 11/22/63, Under the Dome, Carrie, The Shining, and many other best-selling works.
"The overwhelming response from readers of the Kindle Single edition of Guns underscores the great need for thoughtful discourse on the issue of guns in America…I’m thrilled Audible is bringing Guns to the quickly growing audience of audiobook listeners." (Stephen King)
©2013 Stephen King (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"There are a handful of subjects in America so emotional and polarizing that the national dialogue around them amounts to little more than a shouting match. Chief among these is the subject of guns. In this intimate and moving Kindle Single, Stephen King employs all his gifts as writer and citizen to address gun violence in America. But why should we care what Stephen King has to say? As it turns out, there are a number of reasons. Despite his "liberal creds," King is an unapologetic gun owner himself. He is also the author of a novel--published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman--that has served as a "possible accelerant" for at least four real-life high school shooters. King had his publisher take that book off the market long ago, but the guns and the occasional bursts of unfathomable violence remain. When division is everywhere, is it possible for someone to argue passionately for the middle road? That is what King seeks to do here--this is a frank and thoughtful contribution to a dialogue in dire need of voices from the 'all-but-deserted middle.'" (Chris Schluep, Amazon.com)
This reminds me of the Paul Wellstone funeral back in 2002 which started out as a memorial and turned into a Democratic National Convention. The sound bite you get for free is luring but it quickly turns into a hatchet job on the NRA and freedom loving Americans. I should have known to expect this since it was so prominently advertised. I could have turned on MSNBC and heard Chris Matthews spout this same tired drivel.
Someone who knows less about gun laws.
It did give some good information.
It was interesting that you mentioned all the murders in Chicago but neglected to mention the gun ban there.
I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this essay -- a sober and cogent look
and gun violence and the media's love affair with it.
Mr. King's thoughts are particularly interesting given his own "connection" to gun violence with young people and his book Rage.
Just as I was beginning to think that I was going to continue to receive a thoughtful and balanced conclusion to this essay Mr. King takes a decided left turn and suggests that the answer to this societal ill is to ban the ownership of certain forms of firearms and high capacity magazines.
How disappointing that this entire essay, which offers such a brilliant personal reflection on the subject of gun violence, ends with the parroting of the standard liberal mantra of banning guns. I was hoping for more.
Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
For anyone that knows me, they know that Stephen King is my favorite writer and I've read all of his books, but "Guns" is just another rant from a celebrity. There is no breakthrough new ideas on the gun issue that other pundits voice their opinion before. Just because it's Stephen King, this essay is getting good reviews. It's too bad that Audible is trying to make a buck out of 49 minutes from one author opinion on guns. Audible could had given this one away, but they didn't, even though its an Audible, Inc. production. Shame on Audible.
I'm a former great fan of King's early works who became disenchanted with what I considered excess use of gratuitous violence and far too much unnecessary "grossness" which turned me off from his later works. I bought Guns out of curiosity regarding his opinion on the subject, expecting him to take an unrelenting stand against any restrictions on firearms of any kind. Instead, he presents a thoughtful and reasonable position that suggests an accommodating middle ground. Without insulting the beliefs of anyone with an opinion on the subject, he prompts the reader to think rationally. It was gratifying to read an intelligent discussion sans the typical polarizing rants and ridiculously divisive insults so typical of most of what is written about this explosive issue. Than you, Mr. King.
The truth with facts would have made this book better.
Been honest and factual and not misleading.
Narrator was decent.
There was nothing good about this book but the narrator.
The book is written by another famous person who has limited knowledge about what he is talking about. He is misleading and not factual. He can not be this stupid so I'm assuming that he is misleading on purpose. He really needs to review what the second admendment is really about. Also he keeps saying the are trying to ban auto and semi auto guns. This not true at all. Automatic firearms have been banned since the mid 80's. Also he states that the teacher in her reference could have possible not been shot if the shooter would have had a 10 round magazine instead of a 30 round because it would have taken some time to reload, this is misleading. You can drop empty mag and pop new one in, in less than 3 seconds. He also speaks of how great Australia is since they have banned guns. What he forgets to tell you how violent crimes have dramatically risen. Also he states that these guns are not used to hunt. This also is not true. Seven of the 10 guys I hunt with use AR's to hunt with. You don't unload a full mag on a deer. I was very disappointed with his ingnorance because I do enjoy his books. Just another liberal agenda.
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.
Thrillers, Children's' fiction, Shakespeare...good Narrators "make or break" for me though. Love sharing a listen with my 10 year daughter!
This is just brilliant . An antidote to the: "You tube fodder" that the next Gen. seems to thrive on. (My kids included.)
If you have an opinion on gun ownership; listen to it.
If you hate guns; listen to it.
If you love guns; listen to it.
And hey ... it will only take 60 minutes of your time.
After reading King's memoir on writing, I thought I would give this a try and it was fantastic. What a bright, articulate man he is and so enjoyable to listen to.
Enlightning, controversial, smart!
The writer's point of view
Made me really think!
Great article.. I just wish everyone would listen to and with an open mind!
"Understanding the dilemma"
It is easy for some of us in the UK to laugh at the madness of 'gun control' in the US, but the situation did not develop over night and King tries to provide some sober insight into the problem. He is a gun owner in a gun owning society that tends to see its constitution as giving them a right to have any weaponry they desire. The country has developed its own neighbourly arms' race! Here in the UK, we can be made afraid thinking about bad people with guns, but, on the whole, prefer to try to remove their guns. In the US, they have bad people with guns AND good people with guns, and like the pigs and humans in 'Animal Farm', it is getting impossible to tell the two apart. King argues for a slow and steady retreat. Good luck to him.
"Worth a listen"
Not that anyone outside America would need convincing that guns kill people, but this piece is still worth a listen. With his approachable, easy style, King makes a few interesting points about the 'culture of violence' the media loves to talk about, and stands behind what president Obama is trying to achieve, without sounding unreasonable (although again- to people who live in countries with decent gun control, the propositions made in the US on how to curb gun violence might seem very mild). A great short listen.
"An honest essay"
Stephen King uses the full strength of his mastery of the English language, and his surprisingly extensive knowledge of all facets of the gun control debate , to give a very honest overview of the real issues facing governments and policy makers regarding guns. What King has to say about guns is probably not what you think.
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