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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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