Book Review: Guns by Stephen King

Last month I got sucked into a Twitter spat about US gun laws, after their most recent mass shooting. From a British perspective it just boggles the mind that the same cycle repeats with nothing done about it. I was ten when the Dunblane shooting happened, and I remembered being stunned and scared, but reassured that afterwards stricter gun laws passed. There hasn’t been a similar event since.

In the US, they happen with depressing frequency, and the pattern repeats over and over again. It’s this pattern that forms the first chapter in Stephen King’s essay on guns. With a depressing, cynical view King runs through the routine of what happens in the wake of a mass shooting.

Like King’s fictional work there is no shortage of flair on show and his writing is skilled and engaging. King’s stance on guns is pretty moderate, and governed by common sense. He understands the need for sensible controls on guns but accepts that little will change in the current climate of US politics.


It’s here King suggests a novel idea that both political wings should be forced to watch the other’s media for a year in order to close the gap a little and encourage a proper conversation.

Throughout King shows wit and passion, writing convincingly and entertainingly he cuts to the heart of the problem and suggests possible solutions but mainly he points out the idiocy of some view points. It is a man who is tired and frustrated by the seemingly endless cycle of tragedies and inaction.

King also discusses an old novel of his that dealt with a related topic and was found in the possession of some shooters. He talks about his decision to pull it and his feelings about it.

It’s a quick read but well worth it and King impressed me with it.

Verdict: Impassioned and sensible, King writes a great essay about gun violence and the reasons why nothing seems to be changed. It’s an entertaining and involving read. 9/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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