Stephen King — best selling author of the very kind of violent books that gun advocates say contribute to gun violence — has penned Guns, a 25-page essay dismissing their criticism, while calling for universal background checks for gun purchases, and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
A self-described “blue-state American” who also owns guns, King is no stranger to how individuals can and do turn to art as inspiration for violence. During the 1990s, no fewer than four shooters read Rage — an early work King wrote in high school years and published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman years later — entered their high schools with guns, held students and teachers hostage, and in some cases killed them. The book chronicles how Charlie Decker, a troubled high school student with a “domineering father,” brought a gun to school, killed his algebra teacher, and held his class hostage — only to see his classmates experience a “psychological inversion” and come to his defense.
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