I can’t understand what makes a man hate another man, help me understand.
Depeche Mode, People are People

In a strange sort of coincidence, as I was reading a review of Steven King’s Guns (kindle single) the Depeche Mode song, People are People popped up on my Pandora 80’s Pop Radio station.

The chorus seemed to work in direct contrast with the words, “Steven King Don’t Know Shit” that I was reading on my screen.  People read, and hear, what they want to hear and read.  The reviewer said that Steven king was ‘trashing our 2nd amendment.’  In fact, Steven King doesn’t even talk about the 2nd amendment in his long form essay.  Instead, he says keep your hunting rifles and your hand guns.  Those aren’t the weapons used in these horrific mass killings.  He’s only talking about eliminating the ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ the ones with tens of rounds.

Seriously – just answer this question: If you want to keep a gun in your home for ‘self defense,’ how many bullets do you need to kill an intruder?  One or two is probably going to do the job.  I’m sure we can all agree, thirty rounds is a bit of an overkill. (pun intended)

That is all Steven King is talking about.  If any of these mass murderers had to stop and reload after eight rounds or so, it would give some brave soul the time to stop them.

While my opinions are different from Steven King’s, the essay was excellently written, thought-provoking, and, I think, fair and balanced.

About the format: if you don’t know about the Kindle Single, you are in for a treat.  (I often think, that for as much time as I spend siting in front of this window to the world, I am actually living under a rock.)  I thought Kindle Singles were just self published books.  They are not.  They are, as Amazon puts it, “Compelling Ideas Expressed at Their Natural Length” and are ‘published’ by Amazon.   Not sure about the ‘compelling’ part, but I like the natural length part.  No longer do ideas of ‘unnatural length’ have to hide away in unread magazines or over-priced compilation form. Now with the beauty of the E-Book, they can be enjoyed and read just like their short story and novel length siblings.

And they’re cheap!  Guns only cost me 99 cents. I suspect it will cost you the same amount too.  Awesome.

Most of the non-fiction-essay-genre that gets published in old-fashioned book form these days takes an extremest position.  It makes sense: if a publisher wants to make a lot of money, they have to do so with bold, headlining, obnoxious statements. The great thing about the Single and other e-book formats, is that it costs almost nothing to distribute.  An author is free to write something more reasonable and still get it out there. And everyone makes a profit.

Steven King is a great author and a highly empathetic man.   He exudes honesty in everything he writes.  In Guns, he takes all sides into consideration, and he falls only slightly left of center.

No matter which side of the gun issue you are on, if you are willing to read thoughtfully, with an open mind, you will enjoy Guns.   And perhaps if we all read more books like this one, we could have more reasonable discussions on the issue.

2 thoughts on “Title: Guns, by Steven King

  1. Actually – I think his rep for violence makes him uniquely qualified to address this topic. Certainly no one is going to question his level of expertise.

    Uh – maybe I should have rephrased that… 🙂

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  2. I’ll definitely have to read King’s opinion. But am I wrong in thinking it’s ironic (being careful with that word..) to hear from him on this topic? Think of the pages and pages of gory, bizarre violence he’s written!

    .. And here’s my favorite quote-taken-out-of-context from your post today: “Guns only cost me 99 cents”. Awesome.

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