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Guns

Narrated by: Christian Rummel
Length: 48 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (181 ratings)

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Summary

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.

Critic reviews

"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)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • M
  • Wakefield, United Kingdom
  • 29-03-13

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

True Horror.

Amazing animated essay by the master of horror. Covers why he pulled 'rage' from the shelves and his own balanced reflections on gun crime in today's political era.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful message

This essay should be mandatory in all schools across the globe. Stephen King tries hard to atone for his publication of Rage, not apologise but atone.
Well worth a read. I'd recommend it to anyone.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A topical read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A very topical audiobook. Short, but as with Stephen King, you don't need to drag things out. He tells you how it is, in his view and it's a realistic balanced view. He doesn't mince his words and it's a subject that is at times difficult to listen to. But, if you're prepared to listen to it, then you'll likely know more than before you started.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Worth a listen

certainly put things in perspective as an English man looking in on the gun nuts!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Guns, S. King

Left me speechless. Superbly argued by King and passionately read. It should be compulsory listening to all NRA members.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well thought out.

Well thought out reasoning to the slaughter in the USA. How the gun culture will change is anyone's guess.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Guns by Steve King

Just another reason to love SK. The fact he packs heat and still offers a coherent argument ... Come on folks sort it out for fs.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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  • Gary M. Watson
  • 22-12-17

Started well

It started well, with promise of new insights but devolved at the end to time worn assertions. It was like he just got tired of the topic after the first cup of coffee wore off. Disappointing.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ghost
  • 11-03-13

Starts with logic, ends with diatribe

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

While he started with some wonderfully logical points, the writer broke down and relied only upon some misinformation, miscategorizations, and inaccuracies at the end. Had he stayed the course he could have made a compelling argument for his viewpoints.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

The descent into typical talking points and arguments against the 2nd amendment instead of the same analysis he brought to the first few paragraphs.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

In the beginning there was a coherent and emotionless argument analysed. In the end, an emotional rant without any supporting facts, all opinion.

What character would you cut from Guns?

Not applicable.

Any additional comments?

The Author should differentiate between facts and fictions and opinions. "Assault Rifle" is a term coined by the media, not an actual description of the weapons used in recent shootings. Also, no "Automatic" weapons were used, nor are any weapons used in these actually military weapons- rather they are simply hunting caliber semi automatic weapons that are modified to LOOK like a military weapon.

If proponents of gun control would simply admit this portion of the debate ahead of time and stop using inflammatory and pejorative sentences and words designed to frighten readers/listeners genuinely honest debate can ensue about reasonable measures being taken to better equip society in limiting access by the mentally ill to weapons that can be used to harm multiple people in short time frames- which would include chemicals, explosives, and arson tools as well I would imagine, if the debate is to be genuine.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura
  • 15-04-13

Too biased...

What disappointed you about Guns?

Stephen King is imaginative but he babbled on about gun control in an illogical manner.

Has Guns turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

What aspect of Christian Rummel’s performance would you have changed?

I think Christian Rummel was set up for failure having to narrate this dribble. Mr. Rummel added fiery disdain that was enjoyable but the 'script' doomed his performance. I would read something else he narrated.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No. The narration was good...Mr. Rummel could read a gothic novel or thriller and be amazing. I think Mr. King should have had his "editorial" reviewed prior to publishing. It was not organized and fluid and more of a soap box forum that a critic of gun control and legislation.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dragon
  • 05-02-17

get your facts straight

it's a good story to listen to as long as you keep in mind is some idiot that don't know the difference between a magazine and a clip or semi-auto and an auto. what do you expect it is Stephen King

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Cyrano
  • 20-05-16

A Horrifying Essay

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Christian Rummel?

Stephen King has been one of my favorite authors since I read Night Shift, shortly after it was published in 1978. This being the case, it would be dishonest of me to suggest that after reading "Guns" I would be less likely to order another one of his books. But it's also true that when I do, it will be with newfound reluctance.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

What has always attracted me to Stephen King's novels and short stories is his writing style. I used to tell people that King wrote so well I would enjoy anything he wrote - fiction, nonfiction… even his laundry list. I can't tell them that anymore. In writing. "Guns", King has added his name to the growing list of entertainers (be they singers, actors, athletes, or authors) using success in their primary endeavor as a platform from which to espouse their political views. The problem with doing so is that no matter which side of an issue you support, you alienate half of your audience. Now I should've known better than to listen to this story. Having listened to several of King's recent novels, his political leanings were clear to me. But after listening to the first few minutes (offered as a free sample) I thought his essay might be primarily an indictment of the media (something long overdue, in my opinion). The first few minutes of "Guns" did indeed highlight much of what's wrong with the media today. Following this, King called for a tempering of extremism on both sides of the gun control issue. I began to relax and think that this might not be so bad. Unfortunately, my thinking was premature. As "Guns" continued, King abandoned his moderate stance, and launched into a diatribe against guns. In attempting to persuade his readers/listeners, King relied primarily on emotional arguments rather than facts.. And when he did attempt to provide facts, he often got them wrong.

What three words best describe Christian Rummel’s performance?

As the narrator, Christian Rummel turned in a workmanlike performance. Toward the end of "Guns" his tone became somewhat strident and shrill, but he may have just been taking his cue from Mr. King.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Guns?

If I were King's editor, I would strongly recommend against the publication of this story. After all, why alienate half of your customer base? Of course, as successful as King has become, I suspect he has little concern over the fact that expressing his political opinions may hurt sales. And considering the disdain in which he holds his fans, he may even take pleasure in the idea.

Any additional comments?

Additional comments? It's clear that in writing "Guns" King is treading unfamiliar ground. "Guns" is rife with inaccuracies, and in at least one instance, the most recent example he could find to support his contentions was from 1959. I wouldn't go so far as to call "Guns" a screed, but In my opinion,calling it an essay is like calling a tabloid a newspaper.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • VERB
  • 01-04-13

Falls short

Of course Stephen King has a great voice and reading style, but this essay falls very short of being complete. He mentions several things early on that he fails to follow through on. He is misleading in that he draws the reader in by leadng you to believe that it just might be an unbiased essay. It could not be further from the truth. Before you reach the end he shows a very mouthy liberal bias. His essay becomes very foul mouthed and then it becomes hard to really listen to it. Yes, Mr. King, you should stick to your fiction books.......and clean up your potty mouth. The essay was almost worth the 69 cents I paid for it.

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Holcomb
  • 14-03-13

King is more Liberal than I thought.

Like most liberals; King believes the world will just naturally fall in line and be good little boys and girls and the rest of us should trust them and our Government with our lives. He dosen't believe the greatest danger is from our own Government. He believes we don't need and 30 round magazines to shoot deer or home invaders and he's right. deer rarely shoot back and criminals who invade our homes usually come and go rather quickly. The gentlemen who penned the second ammendment saw a real danger from the old addage
" Power corrupts" and the Obama administration is one of the best examples since Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon. The Government already has planes, tanks, ships and bombs. Don't take what little defense we have, Mr. King......

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • TLGM
  • 03-03-13

For thee but not for me

What did you like best about Guns? What did you like least?

King at least admitted he has 3 guns. Too bad he didn't mention what type of guns his family's bodyguards tote.

Love the bragging about how firearms assaults have decreased so significantly in Australia since their gun ban. Why didn't you mention the TRIPLE digit rise in rapes, burglaries, etc that have INCREASED since Australia implemented gun control. Criminals LOVE self-important liberals making their jobs easier.

Love how you man-upped in taking your book, Rage, off the market, while simultaneously refusing to admit any personal culpability. How many times was Rage found to be a factor in gun violence prior to your removal of it? 2 or 3? Why didn't you remove it the FIRST time, Stephen?

Love how you educated us on how gun laws in early Hitler-Germany were about like they are here now.........well except those pesky Jews couldn't own ANY type of gun. Yeah, just like the good old USA..... Not.

You need to get that other foot back in the red state, Stephen.

You are much like the sweet, self-important character, Sheldon Cooper, on The Big Bang Theory; except, he is sweet and he doesn't toss in all the "f*** and s*** and a**hole words you are so fond of using.

My now-deceased father fought in WW2 and he saw first hand what they did to the unarmed Jews and others you so callously dismiss. Daddy used to say that a man used filthy language when he had nothing else worth saying.

AR-15s are not for deer hunting; they are to stop a violent government if, and only if, that government leaves no other choice. Stephen King is an ignorant man whose own contributions to our culture is violent entertainment. He loves the cash but angrily - and in my opinion - violently, rejects any personal responsibility.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

It was as I expected. Stephen King loves the sound of his own typewriter.

Do you think Guns needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No but it probably won't stop his now-familiar bloviating.

Any additional comments?

No.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary T. Nirider
  • 11-03-13

I can't believe I just paid to read an editorial

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Nothing could have made this a 4 or 5 star listen, but I was hoping for more than a one.

Any additional comments?

I bought this because it was Stephen King and I expected a thoughtful discussion of a serious topic. It was well written and the narration was fine but the material was nothing more than talking points promoting his personal opinion. If you are looking for a big name to reflect your personal point of view, he's your guy However, you might want to give that money to a group that will use your donation to actively effect legislation. If you are looking for an impartiality, new ideas, relevant background or insight into the subject of gun control, turn on your tv and listen to commercials for free.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Terry T Fee
  • 18-02-13

Emotional RAGE

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Interesting to see how he tries to escape blame for writing his book RAGE. Like a true emotional Left Wing writter, he never mentioned the thousands each year who have sucessfully defended themselves with a gun against intruters.

Problems we face in the USA:

1. During the LA Riots, the police defended no one.
2. There are more bad guys with guns than police.
3. The Mexican Cardel is at our doorstep.
4. The Jews could not do anything against the Germans....no guns.
5. We don't keep criminals in jail very long and they our repeat offenders.
6. We punish victims more than criminals.
7. We give more money to prisoners than we do to educate our children.
8. We have no Capital Punishment.
9. Etc.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Write down the number of people who are saved because they had a gun.

33 of 38 people found this review helpful