Novelist Stephen King has a lot of fans. They’re fans because of his horror fiction, a number of which have made it onto the big screen. That’s no small feat for a novelist since many perpetual bestsellers never get one converted to film.
But King has a lot of detractors, and not just because of his fiction.
I’m not a fan of either, first because horror isn’t my genre and his writing style just doesn’t work for me, and second, because he’s a vehement and vocal anti-gunner who rarely understands the topic he’s talking about.
Yet, as someone who lives in Maine and bases much of his work there, we shouldn’t be shocked that he has opinions after what happened in Lewiston.
Author Stephen King called out “madness” around gun control laws in the United States following two mass shootings in Maine Wednesday night.
A gunman opened fire at restaurant Schemengees Bar and Grille and bowling alley Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night before fleeing the scene, prompting a manhunt that continued into Thursday morning. The Associated Press reported 18 people were killed and 13 others were injured in the shootings, which rattled the state known for its low number of shootings in past years.
“It’s the rapid-fire killing machines, people. This is madness in the name of freedom. Stop electing apologists for murder,” he wrote, adding in a second post: “THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN OTHER COUNTRIES.”
Once again, King is writing fiction.
I say that because yeah, it actually does happen in other countries. Serbia, for example, had two mass shootings within days of one another. Japan, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, also had a mass shooting.
And I could go on for quite a while.
See, the problem with King, like so many other anti-gunners, is that they casually follow the issue and generally do so from within an echo chamber. They didn’t hear about Japan, for example, in part because it actually undermined their anti-gun arguments. The same is true of mass shootings just about anywhere else, to say nothing of mass murders carried out without a firearm.
So in their mind, this doesn’t happen in other countries despite clear evidence that yes, it does.
It might not happen as often, but neither does homicide, even without using a firearm.
Look, what happened in Lewiston was awful. Beyond awful. It’s made worse by the fact that, as of this writing, they still haven’t caught the alleged gunman. I can only imagine what people in Maine are going through knowing this guy could be in their neighborhood right now.
Hell, with as long as he’s had, he might be in my neighborhood right now.
Regardless, King’s pontification on gun control, ill-informed as it is, isn’t going to help.
In fact, you’d think he’d know better. King, for example, is well-known for having a drug addiction. I don’t bring this up to disparage him because he beat it a while back, and I respect that, but if he had no problem getting cocaine, why does he think gun control will stop bad people from getting guns in the first place?
He should know better.
And yet, here we are. He’s talking nonsense about guns from an ill-informed perspective and a lot of people think he’s got a point.
As a species, humanity may well be doomed.