Whats it all about?:
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.
What did I think?:
I am a big fan of King’s work and was very interested to read what he had to say re: gun legislation being “anti-gun” (is that a term?!) myself. What followed was a thought-provoking, dynamic essay with a snippet of King’s trademark humour and eloquence. I absolutely loved it. I was intrigued to read about his thoughts on pulling his book “Rage” which he published under his pseudonym Richard Bachman, involving a school shooting. This was after a couple of real life shooting incidents, the first where the shooter quoted a line from his novel: “This sure beats algebra, doesn’t it?” and another where a copy of the novel was found in the shooter’s locker. Of course he felt like he had to pull the novel – in his own words:
“My book did not turn them into killers, they found something in my book that spoke to them because they were already broken. Yet I did see Rage as a possible accelerant, which is why I pulled it from sale. You don’t leave a can of gasoline where a boy with firebug tendencies can lay hands on it.”
King does note that most Americans who insist on their rights to guns are most likely decent citizens, but reasonable measures must be taken to avoid tragedies like the school shootings. Barack Obama has recently suggested a set of complete and universal background checks, banning the sale of clips and magazines that have more than ten rounds, and ban the sale of assault weapons like the Bushmaster and the AR-15. Indeed, in Australia, after a series of stricter gun laws homicides by firearms have decreased by 60%. And considering 80 people in America die of gunshot wounds each day, its definitely food for thought.
I’ll leave the final words to Stephen King:
“I read a jaw-dropping online defense of these weapons from a California woman recently. Guns, she said, are just tools. Like spoons, she said. Would you outlaw spoons simply because some people use them to eat too much? Lady, let’s see you try to kill twenty schoolkids with a fucking spoon.”
Guns is published as a Kindle single by Amazon. All proceeds go to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):