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John Anderson's gun tattoo (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

The tattoo above adorns TTAG reader John Anderson’s arm. The image is from the Jae Lee art for Marvel’s Dark Tower comic book series, an adaptation of Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass. I have no idea of the significance of the image; the last time I read a Stephen King novel my pets almost died from neglect. Tattoo Junkies in Dover, NH inked our boy. Click here to see original art upon which it’s based.

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  1. I’d rock a Roland Gilead tat .

    On the subject of Stephen King, his movie adaptations tend to show civilian use of guns in a positive light….unlike the authors personal perspectives. I thought that’s funny enough to merit mention here.

  2. Wizard and Glass is the 4th book in Kings Dark Tower series.

    That would be Susan Delgado in the tattoo, and if she’d actually been armed when she met her end, things might have been quite different.

    You should read the series.

  3. “pets almost died from neglect”

    Stephen King is an idiot when it comes to guns IMO but I do have to admit most (not all) of his novels are indeed downright gripping for a few days at a time.


  4. The books were based on “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” by Browning. Robert Browning, not John Moses Browning. It’s one of the creepiest epic poems ever written.

    • On the contrary, it is a beautiful if dark poem, the use of an ancient Scottish folk tale to spin an allegory of the challenge faced when a man sets himself to write, as Browning and his peers did. Most can be said to fail one way or another, and he expects as much for himself, but nonetheless insists on giving the attempt a meaning, the effort to free a virtuous beauty, which brings to mind Goethe’s Faust, and the effect of Gretchen on Faust, eventually stated as the effect of beauty which brings forth the greatest achievements of a man, though no conclusion or finality results. The vanity of the efforts is no condemnation, for the pursuit itself is the point.

      Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it toll’d
      Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears
      Of all the lost adventurers my peers,— 195
      How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
      And such was fortunate, yet each of old
      Lost, lost! one moment knell’d the woe of years.

      There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
      To view the last of me, a living frame 200
      For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
      I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
      Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
      And blew “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.”

      But just to make this a complete “Clockwork Orange” day, after reading Browning’s “The Ring and the Book” Anthony Burgess wrote “We all want to like Browning, but we find it very hard.”

      • I admit, Ralph, that the poem could have been an allegory of marriage, his admired writers ruined one by one, broken on the ever tightening rack of perfidious wiles, the illusion of beauty proving false, the journey vain, the pains of the questing knight simply the inevitable accidents born of an unavoidable and destructive chemistry, the end a gray doom, referring either to his failing eye sight, his quest object’s actual hair, wiry and tangled, or…my script training ….the clouds parting….rays of sunshine….is it the gray metal of the gun collection he started building once he wised the hell up? Indeed, a tale with a happy ending. Drinks all around! (I had a depo today. It takes hours to wind down.)

  5. Not to pick nits, but I do believe that the ATF doesn’t consider black powder revolvers to be firearms. Technically.

      • Can felons own them (legally)? They’d still make a pretty good house gun. I don’t suppose they’d be too concealable, but felons can’t get CCWs anyway.

        • It probably varies from state to state, but all the ones I know of say absolutely not, go to jail, do not pass go, …Just because it is not a “firearm” for regulatory purposes (i.e., ATF rules) does not mean it is not a firearm or other deadly weapon for the purposes of the criminal law.

      • Rolande’s guns weren’t blackpowder, the cartridge was close to the books 45 Winchester (lol.) King doesn’t know guns very well.

        • That tat depicts an 1875 remington which was a cartridge revolver. The cartridges were loaded with black powder and lead bullets. By federal law any gun made prior to 1899 is kosher to own without permits, checks, etc. Modern cartridge repros of these types are considered firearms and need the appropriate paper work. Modern muzle loaders are legally considered non guns. Even in CA I can mail order one to my door, no questions asked.

          As for felons owning muzzle loaders or pre 1899 guns? haven’t a clue.

        • That’s the one firearms mistake I allow King in the series, because of the nature of the series. Infinite worlds spinning infinitely, many featuring only slight differences. In the world of Jake the Boy and the Pusher, Winchester may have been the company to make the .45 caliber revolver cartridge known in other worlds as “.45 Colt”.

          The fact that the real reason for .45 Winchester is because of King’s ineptitude is negligible when you think of it that way.

          The rest though? Some of it made me cringe.

  6. That’s a lovely and evocative piece of artwork. I don’t think that I’d want it permanently on my body though.

  7. I do not aim with my eye;
    He who aims with his eye has forgotten the face of his father.
    I aim with my hand.

    I do not shoot with my hand;
    He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I shoot with my mind.

    I do not kill with my gun;
    He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
    I kill with my heart

    stephen king – the gunslingers creed (dark tower series)

    • …and this is why King in real life is so anti-gun. “Well, suppose its true, this little bit I wrote. And, well, I know my heart, so if gun in hand I then could aim with my hand, shoot with my mind, and kill with my heart….oh nooooooo! No gun in hand!” Kind of the liberal meme, literary edition?

      • I live just down the road a sneeze from King. I’ve met him several times, formally and informally. Nice fella, larger than life in figurative way and in a real one. Seriously, he’s a giant. He definitely leans left and I know he supported Obama in 2008. After that? I never heard much about his presidential hopes and dreams. It’s just hard for me to believe that he’s all the way anti-gun just based on where he comes from. He grew up in Durham/Lisbon Falls which is as small town Maine as it gets. It’s practically mandatory for residents to own rifles or shotguns there, if only to chase of black bears and damn kids on their damn scooters. Some of King’s most devoted fans are hunters and guys that like to shoot rats at the Lisbon dump. It would surprise me if His Kinginess never plinked cans out in the wilds of Durham. He seems like a guy he would like guns quite a lot in a borderline sexual way, like the rest of us. My point? Don’t have one. But I did buy a Mossberg 590 today. I really just needed a way to get that out there. Thanks for listening.

        • He is probably like many celebrity types. Doesn’t really care all that much until there is a major event like sandy hook where they feel the need to have a knee jerk reaction. In other words, most days he probably doesn’t care. He does give off a vibe in his books that only really well trained people can use guns effectively. The gun guys here will at least enjoy the first book if not the next few in the dark tower series. Yes there are a lot of inaccuracies with firearms, but a lot of models and brands of many things don’t line up in the books(other than guns) and they explain that. So I give it a pass. The “finger trick” for reloading a single action seems dubious at best as well, but again its basically a fantasy novel so I give it a pass.

  8. I did love that series. never wanted to carry revolvers more than when reading that. or yeah and maybe I tried to throw two frisbees at once but thats later in the series.

    • I would say a tattoo goes too far(its their skin not mine though), but the dark tower is a pretty amazing series. The last couple were a little mehh, but I think everyone here would at least enjoy the first one(The Gunslinger). I don’t think I would like king as a person, and I certainly wouldn’t like him politically, but I do like the characters(specifically Roland) he created in this series.

    • I only skimmed through the comments section to see if you would come out of the woodwork to say something negative. You never disappoint Paul.

        • My point is why say the negative about a fellow ttager? That’s on his body for the rest of his life and you are basically saying poor choice. It goes back to kindergarten: if you don’t have anything nice to say….

  9. The gun scenes, as I recall, were groaners. Single-action revolvers with swing-out cylinders. Sandalwood grips (sandalwood? That’s for incense, not grips). Ruger .44 caliber automatics. I’ve seriously considered writing King and offering him unpaid firearms consulting, but he doesn’t like “gun nuts.”

    • “I’ve seriously considered writing King and offering him unpaid firearms consulting…”

      This. 1,000,000x this. What would be so damned difficult about hiring a single firearms literate person to read select passages, the only ones involving firearms, and correct flamboyant mistakes that publishers and editors refuse to do it? I mean, it’s not like the internet is suffering from a lack of gun nuts. And I don’t mean they need to spend thousands hiring some self titled expert, just someone with operable general knowledge of firearms/ ammunition/ gun laws/ gun stores that can fix the most egregious errors.

      Manual safeties on Glocks, full autos at LGS’s, suppressors turning gun shots into puppy farts (somehow eliminating the sound of the action), the seemingly un-killable myth of bulletproof car doors, Clint Eastwood/ bodies flying through the air after being shot, dual wielding ANYTHING, God Mode accuracy of anyone with a scope on their rifle etc… These aren’t even the more technical of mistakes that are made, like your comment about single action revolvers. I can’t imagine how miserable Civil War buffs who also like to read are. Seriously, I’ve gotten to the point that any book involving a .50 caliber Desert Eagle that doesn’t involve the wielder being ridiculed, I usually stop reading.

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