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Chester County Press

Real-life Horror in Maine

Image courtesy of Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photo

When news broke about the mass shooting in Maine last week, this editorialist thought of Stephen King right away.

The only reason that I even knew that Lewiston, Maine even existed, before the real-life horror perpetrated by Robert Card on Oct. 25, was that King mentioned the town in several of his bestselling novels, including his first book, Carrie.

King, one of the most popular and prolific writers of all time, sets many of his fictional horror stories in places like Derry or Castle Rock—haunted places that are populated by vampires and ghosts and killer clowns.

Robert Card’s act of terror as he killed 18 people and injured 13 others with a high-powered rifle is more terrifying than anything King’s imagination has ever conjured up. Those who were killed ranged in age from 14 to 76. Four of the victims were deaf.

There were plenty of warning signs that Card was a danger. 

King has often spoken out against gun violence and he did so again in the hours after the mass shooting in his home state. The author noted that Lewiston is less than 50 miles from where he lives.

There were numerous other mass shootings in the U.S. leading up to the Maine mass shooting, but we’ve reached the point where three or four people being shot by assault-style rifles doesn’t even make the news.

King made these observations after watching real-life horror unfold in his part of the world: “It’s the rapid-fire killing machines, people. This is madness in the name of freedom. Stop electing apologists for murder.” In a follow-up tweet that he wrote in all caps, King said, “THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN OTHER COUNTRIES.”