“One only wishes Wayne LaPierre and his NRA board of directors could be drafted to some of these [violent] scenes, where they would be required to put on booties and rubber gloves and help clean up the blood, the brains, and the chunks of intestine still containing the poor wads of half-digested food that were some innocent bystander’s last meal.”
So wrote horror writer Stephen King in a Kindle essay Friday entitled “Guns.”
“[P]lenty of gun advocates cling to their semi-automatics the way Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson clung to the shit that was killing them,” King wrote in his 25-page essay.
Not surprisingly, there was a lot of hypocrisy in King’s piece noting “to claim that America’s ‘culture of violence’ is responsible for school shootings is tantamount to cigarette company executives declaring that environmental pollution is the chief cause of cancer.”
“It took more than one slim novel to cause [these teenagers] to do what they did,” King said.
As Slate noted, “He points out that the top 10 books and the top 10 movies in the country do very little to glorify gun violence, specifically, and also cites a slight dip in the sales of some gun-centric video games, concluding that ‘Americans have very little interest in entertainment featuring gunplay.’”
That’s not what King said in 1999 after the massacre at Columbine when he spoke at a Vermont Library Conference saying, “[T]he amp-cult atmosphere of make-believe violence in which so many children now live has to be considered part of the problem. We may like our Jackie Chan movies, Walker Texas Ranger on TV, and the ultra-violent survivalist paperback novels–not to mention the pseudo-religious novels in which the Tribulation Days promised in the Book of Revelations are depicted in gory detail–but we need to recognize that these things are hurting us, just as so many of us had to recognize that our cigarettes were hurting us, much as we enjoyed them.”
In fact, King himself had direct experience with this.
In 1977, under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King published “Rage,” a book about a Maine high school senior who kills his algebra teacher and holds the class hostage.
In subsequent years, numerous school murders occurred around the country with the assailants saying they had gotten the idea directly or loosely from “Rage.”