Stephen King Joins Gun Debate, Explains Decision to Pull Novella ‘Rage’ From Shelves: Should Other Authors Pull Violent Content?

Living 2013/01/28 01:42:46
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Author Stephen King has often been critically acclaimed. But these days, fans, and people in general, may be more critical of the literary legend due to his recent comments on gun control.

King wrote an angry essay ("Guns"), which calls for gun owners, including himself, to support a ban on semiautomatic weapons in the wake of the tragic Newtown, CT shooting massacre in December. In the essay, King also explains his decision to pull his novella Rage from shelves. The novella was published in 1977 under the pen name Richard Bachman. Rage tells the story of a teenage gunman who takes hostages and it was linked to four school shootings between 1998 and 1996.

King explains that he asked his publisher to pull Rage "not because the law demanded it; I was protected under the First Amendment, and the law couldn't demand it. I pulled it because in my judgment it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do.”

He added, "it took more than one slim novel to cause (the shooters) to do what they did. These were unhappy boys with deep psychological problems, boys who were bullied at school and bruised at home by parental neglect or outright abuse. . . . My book did not break (them) or turn them into killers; they found something in my book that spoke to them because they were already broken. Yet I did see Rage as a possible accelerant which is why I pulled it from sale. You don't leave a can of gasoline where a boy with firebug tendencies can lay hands on it."

What do you think SodaHeads? Should other authors of violent content follow King's lead?

Read More: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/25/stephen_king_calls...

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Top Opinion

  • What'sIT 2013/01/28 02:28:29
    Stephen King is a rich elitist. He would stumble over a book about guns and ignore the fact that people have psychological problems or the fact that psych meds push them over the limit. The lies and hypocracy makes them feel good about themselves. And at the end of the day,. that's all that matters.
    Penn hollywood hypocrite

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  • xander 2013/02/05 04:27:20
    burn all the books, films and art first.

    then we take the remaining freedoms

    problem solved!

    all hail the glorious new world order!

    now those gun toting murderers can suck it!

    oh, still guns? oh, no longer free? oh, just a censored oppressed pleb still fearing for my life and with less reason to respect society?

  • mighty mouse ~PWCM~JLA 2013/02/05 01:51:58
    mighty mouse ~PWCM~JLA
    ...that is to say, they should not be forced to follow King's example. It should be,just like his decision, according to their own conscience.
  • Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆ 2013/02/04 23:56:08
    It's a little late for that. It also makes him a Judas Goat.
  • MentalGopher 2013/02/04 23:54:34
    I remember when he did this (it was right after the Columbine shootings). The ironic part is that his pulling 'Rage' off the shelves was the reason why I wanted to read it. And it's the reason why I bought a copy the first chance I got, which was when I was 13. What's sort of interesting is that it's not nearly as violent as some of the other stuff in the same group of novellas, much less some of the bestsellers for TEENAGERS.
  • Maya Zauberman 2013/02/01 22:50:40
    Maya Zauberman
    His response is understandable, but I don't think it's going to help much. These people were already broken before they read Rage. They had already made the decision to hurt others.
    It reminds me of a snowball, really. Once the ball starts rolling down the hill, it's very hard to stop it. Once those kids made the decision to harm others, and are set on it, it can be very difficult to stop them. Rage certainly didn't help, but I don't think that removing the book is the answer.
    Rather, why don't we try working on teaching empathy and kindness to kids, so we stop planting the seeds for future murderers?
  • Sheila 2013/02/01 19:00:08
    WHY?? A RATIONAL person KNOWS fact and fiction, and can tell the diffeence. An irrational person doesnt need a book to make them irrational.
  • Jared Fremlin 2013/02/01 15:57:25
    Jared Fremlin
    Love Stephen King, HATE his recent decision making!
  • TikkiPurdy 2013/02/01 13:41:29
    That's nit going to solve the problem.
  • ysosa96 2013/02/01 09:25:18
    Saying the books made me kill is like saying the fork made you fat...
  • Sheila ysosa96 2013/02/01 19:01:01
    !! I thought it was the guns themselves that killed...lol...
  • Somkey the Hores 2013/02/01 08:06:20
    Somkey the Hores
    SK has been a jerk for a LONG time. Screw 'im.
  • Just Jenn for Now 2013/02/01 07:12:09
    Just Jenn for Now
    Stephen, I appreciate the gesture, but it is completely unnecessary. No disrespect, I still love you and all.

    But in regards to the actual question of pulling violent content from the shelves: HELL. NO.

    Violent content doesn't spark crimes, people with mental instabilities do. There is no real evidence to confirm the linking of violent books, movies, or games to a majority of murders.

    If nothing else, these "violent content" works that creative minds produce act as an outlet if you ask me, be it through reading, watching, or playing. Yes, some of us like fictitious gore and violence. I sure as hell won't deny that I do, and many others do as well, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's the same as someone who favors romance genre, or mystery, action, etc.

    But I digress. Point is t's simply not worth the effort to pull violent material from the shelves. It makes about as much sense as trying to ban said material - and we've already walked through that muck of thigh-high BULLSH!T more than enough times.
  • moira.faulds.14 2013/02/01 05:32:01
    Except for Michael Slade. He writes low down garbage.

    King pulled his novella because of the unfortunate correlation to real events and he felt that it was the responsible thing to do. He knew his story wasn't the cause, just the same as the Beatle's "Helter Skelter" didn't turn the Manson killers into what they were.

    However, that was a very specific decision about the story content itself. All violent content (or sexual, or controversial) can't start being banned from publishing to control how the public might react. That would be a very clear violation of the Constitution.

    However, there are certain books and movies that glorify the worst kinds of violence, even some innocuous seeming shows like Criminal Minds and CSI Miami show such horrific violence I can't see how it could possibly be a positive thing.
  • Teri- Oregon 2013/02/01 05:07:58
    Teri- Oregon
    But now I have a book that will be worth money :)
  • deidara.trueart 2013/02/01 04:51:07
  • Somkey ... deidara... 2013/02/01 08:10:34
    Somkey the Hores
    Jordy Verrill is a lunkhead. So is Stephen King.
  • moira.f... deidara... 2013/02/06 03:01:33
    Why though? It's not relevant.
  • deidara... moira.f... 2013/02/06 03:06:50
  • moira.f... deidara... 2013/02/06 03:48:53
    That is true.
  • deidara... moira.f... 2013/02/06 03:50:07
  • stevmackey 2013/02/01 04:51:01
    God gave us brains to tell the difference between the real and the story or game. We are not apes. Grow up and use your brains.
  • Platinum Fangs 2013/02/01 02:41:48
    Platinum Fangs
    Should authors pull their romance novels because their readers might rush into hollow relationships that might never meet their expectations? Should mystery writers pull their products because unqualified civilians might try to solve crimes and ruin the results of an investigation? Should children's writers pull all their books because little girls might believe that they were princesses of a magical kingdom and that a nonexistent prince will come and save them?
  • Theador... Platinu... 2013/02/01 03:11:41
    Theadorris Knight
    You should be shot, comparing this nonsense to CHILDREN being shot and killed. get an education before you open your mouth.
  • Platinu... Theador... 2013/02/01 03:22:34
    Platinum Fangs
    My examples still stand. Violence being caused by fans of such works is one in a million. Not everyone, hell hardly anyone, who reads violent works walks out their door and starts acting like Frank Castle or Judge Dredd. Why should responsible people who enjoy reading stories of violence be punished for the discretions of a few?
  • moira.f... Platinu... 2013/02/06 03:01:55
    Well put.
  • COMALite J 2013/02/01 02:35:13 (edited)
    COMALite J
    Not as a matter of law, but a matter of conscience, as King did.

    I wonder if Adam Lanza had read this?

    For those who don’t know, the Civil War of the Marvel Superheroes happened over Congress passing a Superhuman (not just Mutant) Registration Act in response to a school massacre caused by some glory-seeking teenaged superheroes who cornered some major-league supervillains in the parking lot of an elementary school as part of their reality TV show.

    One of the villains was Nitro, who could explode himself with the force of a major military-class non-nuclear bomb, then re-assmble himself. He detonated himself on the schoolgrounds, blowing up the entire school and much of the surrounding area, killing over 200 elementary school children:

    There had been other events that had been building the public’s distrust not just of mutants but superheroes in general in Marvel Comics over the previous couple of years, yet this one was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as a major character says early on in the series.
  • stranger 2013/01/31 21:46:17
    s long as its not made a law!

    personally i think the violent culture is a great deal part of why so many people are killing others. all it takes is a someone with a screw loose, playing cod, and he won't distinguish virtual reality with actual reality, and he wil lshoot kids or groups, and not even care.

    guns aren't the problem, its society that thinks that watching violent movies and playing them is ok for their chidlren.
    IF movies and video games did not or does not affect kids negatively, or teach them something bad, then why was sesame street ever created? why is leapfrog around? if kids don't learn terrible habbits and violence from violent video games, then same is said with instructuonal movies and games, they won't learn from those either!

    grow a head progressives!
  • moira.f... stranger 2013/02/06 03:03:59 (edited)
    OK then how come we don't have the same gun death problem in Canada and watch the same violent movies and play the same video games?
  • stranger moira.f... 2013/02/07 14:34:49
    different culture, to a certain degree. besides those here too who play violent video games tend to have a more aggressive behaviour then those who don't.

    now if we had laws like in america and then they tried to implement gun control it would not work!

    besides, what good did the liberal gun laws work for that school in montreal? what did it do to prevent that? oh wait there was a few, on in the 70's and one just a couple years ago. weird, law breakers break laws, and what about a couple weeks ago? in the cinema? guy managed to shoot many people before anyone realized that the person next to them was dead. what good did the law do there?????

    oh wait, you probably did not hear about those, (there are many more too), you just hear the shooting in america and then accuse their (lack of) gun control as being the cause, look at Chicago and their gun control, how is that working out for them??????

    besides, obama wanting gun control is FASCIST! just like hitler!

    america accuse gun chicago gun working obama gun fascist hitler
  • moira.f... stranger 2013/03/10 11:14:26
    Hi, that school where Mark Lapine shot 14 female students happened 23 years ago. Canadians will mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on Thursday, which is the 23rd anniversary of the deadly shooting at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique that took the lives of 14 women.

    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/...

    It's a statistical fact that Canada has alot less gun related fatalies that the U.S. in spite of having lots of guns. That's because people have to get licensed, and insured, and can't pack concealed weapons unless they are licensed to do so. They have to undergo a background check to make sure not ex cons or straight out of the loonie bin. I don't think that's unreasonable at all.
  • stranger moira.f... 2013/03/10 22:00:53 (edited)
    canada also is statistically less populated then america, and more people die by knives and fists then guns in america! actually guns are very low for murder and suicide tools, the media and liberals just hate guns, they ignore all the deaths caused by other weapons and they just focus on guns.

    oh and i live in alberta, and their was a shootout three houses down from where i live, guess what, hand gun was involved, guess what, it wasn't registered! guess what, if criminals abided by law then we would not have a gun or murder problem today
  • Nat Turner 2013/01/31 17:56:47
    Nat Turner
    If you know your not going to like it, then don't buy it!
  • Jay Theyme 2013/01/31 10:08:15
    Jay Theyme
    Nobody can deny Stephen King has an epic work ethic. I think of an old SNL skit where King was explaining his writing habits which were getting up early, settling in and writing for 14 hours straight, smoking a doobie and writing for another 8 hours.

    But let's also get real here.. he writes baby boomer flashback novels about werewolves, guys with boners, scary rats and more horrific slaughter, bloodshed, monsters and trashy sicko stuff.
    And again - yes he is very very good at it! And relentless.
    But honestly STFU about politics and violence King.
  • Killing for Love 2013/01/31 04:26:16
  • scarfy 2013/01/31 04:09:23
    Another author to cross off my list.
  • flowercivic 2013/01/31 02:04:40
    OMG... This is the same author that has the car Christine parked at his house, has a separate house for his kids so they don't bother him, a fence with creepy gargoyles to give people bad vibes, and writes horror novels... Yet he pulled a book from 1977 about guns.
  • John Walker II 2013/01/30 23:33:27
    John Walker II
    I don't think King's explaination made much sense.
  • scarfy John Wa... 2013/01/31 04:10:46
    Hasn't made much sense for a while.
  • Margaret 2013/01/30 23:25:52
    Gun bans are more ignorant than most violent shows. It will not stop someone that is mentally unbalanced/depressed enough to want to kill others.
    When you take guns away you take away self defense.
  • moira.f... Margaret 2013/02/06 03:49:42
    Well, there's always pepper spray and tasers....
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