Johnny, Get Your “Guns”

No.  Not those guns.  This “Guns.”

Best-selling author, Stephen King, has waded into the messy discussion on gun violence and control.  He did so with a short, pointed and sometimes tersely written essay which looks to find a reasonable middle ground in the highly polarized debate.  King brings a unique perspective to the discussion, having pulled a book from circulation which may have influenced a couple of high school aged shooters.  He also has a background (similar to mine) of having grown up in a red state, while personally leaning to the left, so he’s able to bring a bit of balance to the discussion.

The book opens with a jarring account of the formulaic response to a shooting. The following pages take a look at both sides of the issue while King peppers it all with his keen insight.  He closes the book with a thorough review of three recommendations which he’d like to see implemented: background checks, limiting clip size, and banning assault weapons.

The standard response will be that these options would encroach on personal freedoms.  I’ll let former Poet Laureate Robert Frost answer that one.

“If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom.

A few of my favorite lines from the essay:

On U.S. politics:

American politics has managed to catch itself in one of those fiendish Chinese finger pullers we used to buy in the dime store when we were kids, and as a result, two muscular and capable hands can do no work.

On the NRA:

The NRA doesn’t come right out and say the victims are also to blame for thinking they could live in America without a gun on their person or in their purse, but the implication is hard to miss.

On cowards:

Superhero movies and comic books teach a lesson that runs directly counter to the culture-of-violence idea: guns are for bad guys too cowardly to fight like men.

The Kindle Single is only a buck.  I implore you to dedicate the hour or so to reading it and to try to do so with an open mind.

Parting Thought

All of the recent talk brought an old song back to mind, or rather a video.  Metallica’s “One” utilizes scenes from the movie “Johnny Got His Gun,” which tells the tale of a soldier who returns from war limbless, faceless, deaf and mute, but with his mind fully intact.  A poignant reminder of the horrors of war and violence in general.

Here’s the Metallica video:

And the full movie for good measure:

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