In the most personal section of his essay, King considers the current debate about the effect of violent media on young men. In the 1970s, he published a novel called “Rage” under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. It told the story of a high school kid who takes a gun to school, shoots his Algebra teacher and holds a class hostage. “Rage” sold only a few thousand copies, but starting in the late 1980s, King began to hear about teenage boys who were inspired by the book to commit similar crimes in their own schools. He does not think that his novel “caused” these young men to kill, but he says, “I saw ‘Rage’ as a possible accelerant.” In response, he demanded that his publisher pull the book from publication.
He concludes with what he calls “a trio of reasonable measures to curb gun violence”:
1. Comprehensive and universal background checks.
2. Ban the sale of clips and magazines containing more than ten rounds.
3. Ban the sale of assault weapons such as the Bushmaster and the AR-15.