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)
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.
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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.
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.
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?
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.
Fast pace and fast. Not a wasted word. You will cling to the narrators voice for a fast 45 minute ride.
Stephen King seems one of the first people to simply bring this contemporary issue under the light of logic. It is amazing how most people (attmitingly myself included) hang on or have hung on to at least one incorrect assumptions on this debate. Assumptions that have been spoon fed to us by the media, special interest and politicians on self serving missions that happen to be at odds with fixing the problems.
Mr. King throws abucket of water on this issue in a cool, down to earth prose that show how political polarity and otherwise immature childishness has made BOTH SIDES of the arguement hopelessly divided. How thier lack of accountability and misconceptions have lead to lofty goals that are all but inachievable even with full compromise from the other side.
This essay is brief, salient and just a tad snarky. Stephen King is not anti-guns in general, he just exposes the truths about what they are, what they do and what really happens when you do or do not own them. He suggests a course of action that doesn't force Americans to give up their 'constitutional rights'.
I found this essay very well constructed. I live in Sandy Hook so this issue is quite close to my heart. In my opinion Mr. King presents an excellent narrative of how all sides approach this issue and then outlines a "realistic" view of how and why compromises and changes to the law should occur.
I appriciated this well balanced essay on gun control. Open discussion without hysteria is what this country needs and this is a good place to start.
I don't know why I get so surprised every time he writes something that isn't scary ( And I love his scary stuff) and it is REALLY GOOD WRITING! He is such a good writer and this is right to the point. I wish everyone had to read it.
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