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 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.
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.
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!
Yes, brilliant writing as usual, very interesting arguments
Just an opinion that is measured and sensible and unbiased
I would have loved to hear Stephen King narrate this. Nothing at all to fault about Christian Rummel, but as a work of non fiction from Kings perspective, it sounded a bit odd with the wrong voice
I really enjoyed Stephen King's perspective on Guns in this essay. I'm not sure I agreed with it 100% but it wasn't presented in a way that made the reader feel like they must agree but rather presented a perspective and opinion that certainly was balanced with practicality. It's very easy to get emotional about this issue of Guns but unfortunately it's not an issue solution. I think this essay presents a constructive start to the dialog.
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.
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.
"Sane suggestions, but quite a rant"
Stephen King makes some excellent reasoned arguments for a way forward in the "gun control debate". In brief: controlling automatic weapons, only allowing public possession of 10 rounds, and background checks.
He also examines the mind set of some of the perpetrators - who had often been bullied, or else 'woke up' in disbelief and shock at what they were doing, and the book opens with a minute by minute account of a typical "event".
However, it's an angry essay, which descends at times into a rant of name calling. King openly discloses how some school shootings had copied details from his own published book "Rage", and while he claims to have no regrets over writing the book (which he withdrew from sale), I wondered if some guilt was fuelling his own rage at these atrocities.
"Guns, guns, guns ..."
As a European, I find it incomprehensible as to how the American public can justify allowing weapons to be a part of public life - but they do. Stephen King's take on the topic is honest and interesting. As a gun-owning liberal he manages to see beyond the hyperbole both sides of the battle hurl at each other, while grasping the reality of living in a society which is already drowning in more firearms than any army should ever need. An excellent and thought-provoking listen.
"One sane American"
Stephen King writes some amazing stories; they're brilliantly executed, he creates a wonderful interwoven universe where fans can delight in discovering the hidden character and locale connections and he imagines the most vulgar, disgusting, cruel, and nightmare inducing horror imaginable. BUT, in this essay he manages to be the ambassador for all that is sane regarding gun laws in the US. He is a human contradiction to the repeated excuse that media violence causes insanity amongst the people who shoot others. In this essay he uses his fame to good avail, making clear, rational points and offering some fresh perspective from someone who has at one point likely been branded a weirdo by those who believe that America's 'Culture of Violence' is the cause of killings. A very interesting piece worthy of your time.
"Almost a full-on rant"
This short audiobook is Stephen King's take on gun culture in the USA.
At times it almost seems like a rant but as you listen you realise that a lot of what he says just happens to be the truth.
The reading is very good and although a difficult (delicate) subject Mr. King handles it really well.
Add to that it's a snip of a price then what do you have to lose.
"Very interesting and surprisingly balanced"
King created a narrative of how he feels about guns, and how he feels about media and guns, and how these two interact in negative (or neutral, or complicated) ways. It was definitely worth the money, and the time. It's short, but I really felt he expressed some of the anti-gun (and pro-gun) arguments in such a way that I appreciated some of the complexity of America's gun culture, which as an outsider had previously looked incomprehensible.
A fresh perspective on the subject of guns in the USA.
As ever this has been written with such craft that even an essay on this emotive subject simply captivates.
"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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