Canadian Author Tim Wynne-Jones on Gun Violence

While thinking of what to write on for this week’s post, I looked to one of my old blogs where I wrote more colloquially on young adult literature because I wasn’t being marked on it. From there I reintroduced myself to the lovely Tim Wynne-Jones.

Tim Wynne Jones Author Portrait
Cute, right?

Tim Wynne-Jones is a Canadian author who has written more than 20 novels within the genres of adult to young adult to children’s lit. The one that I am most interested and am going to speak on today is a YA novel titled Blink & Caution and features two runaway children in Toronto. The synopsis of Blink & Caution according to Wynne-Jones’s website is as follows:

Two street kids get tangled in a plot over their heads — and risk an unexpected connection — in this heart-pounding thriller by Tim Wynne-Jones.

Boy, did you get off on the wrong floor, Blink. All you wanted was to steal some breakfast for your empty belly, but instead you stumbled on a fake kidnapping and a cell phone dropped by an “abducted” CEO, giving you a link to his perfect blonde daughter. Now you’re on the run, but it’s OK as long as you are smart enough to stay in the game and keep Captain Panic locked in his hold.

Enter a girl named Caution. As in “Caution: Toxic.” As in “Caution: Watch Your Step.” She’s also on the run from a skeezy drug-dealer boyfriend and from a night- mare in her past that won’t let her go. When she spies Blink at the bus station, Caution can see he’s an easy mark. But there’s something about this naive, skinny street punk, whom she only wanted to rob, that tugs at her heart, a heart she thought deserved not to feel.

Charged with suspense and intrigue, this taut novel trails two deeply compelling characters as they forge a blackmail scheme that is foolhardy at best, disastrous at worst — along with a fated, tender partnership that will offer them each a rare chance for redemption. (

(From my instagram @mackenzie_croft)

Throughout Blink & Caution the topic of gun use and gun violence is heavily situated within the protagonist and antagonist’s actions. So not to spoil the character development of Caution (the female protagonist), I will only say that Caution is plagued by the horrible guilt that she is responsible for the death of her brother in a freak gun accident. This role she plays in her brothers death transcends into dictating every move she will make throughout the duration of the story.  In the Afterword, Wynne-Jones writes of the real life happening that inspired the  motivations behind Caution’s running away from home.


While I agree with Tim Wynne-Jones in that guns kill people and help people kill other people, I want to know the opinions of my readers. In the comments below, what is the importance of gun violence representation within literature? Is it people or guns who kill? One of the most interesting pieces of writing information that I have heard came from Veronica Roth who in turn was told so by her editor. The advice was that a gun should not be in a scene of writing unless it is going to be shot. What does this say about the inevitability of violence when there is gun participation in literature and in common society?


4 thoughts on “Canadian Author Tim Wynne-Jones on Gun Violence

  1. Take the gun away and you have hundreds of other ways to do the deed. Yes, guns really have no other alternative use, but the act of killing and murder is not always a black and white issue. And many mediums have gone into the politics of discussing this. Are you shooting to save someone? Yourself? It is also a tool to critique and assess morality. Do they deserve to get shot? Is this part of something bigger then the victim? The oppressor? The presence of guns reflects our malevolent nature as a species, but so do many other tools of violence. But mediums can also use these tools as commentary against their use, a dark form of satire than can teach through fictional example. Which is why their presence can be an important and borderline crucial aspect to include.


  2. I agree with the afterword in the image above. My belief is that guns do the killing.

    wilywarywriter stated in the previous comment that there are hundreds of other ways to do the deed. Very true, but not so simple. If I was going to kill you with a knife I have to move myself into your personal space and gather up the rage to make physical contact with you and plunge the knife into your skin. There are very few people on this planet who can deliver on that personal contact moment.

    Tell the terrorist cell leader that he has to walk into the shopping mall and stab/strangle the 100 people he wants to kill instead of finding some gullable sucker to strap on a bomb under their coat. He would curl up like a potato bug.

    I will also contest that mankind was never ready for the responsibility that goes with the existence of guns. We are not wired to kill indiscriminately. The person on the “wrong end” of the gun dies instantly. The person “right end” of the gun dies a slow, drawn out death that could last 50 years. i am glad Wynne-Jones addresses that in the Afterword

    I think I am supposed to comment on your writing, etc, but you should take the fact that we actually read the article and remembers the nuts and bolts of it as a compliment to your writing and the lure of your topic.

    Keep up the good work.


  3. “Is it people who kill, or guns?”

    Both. People will kill people. As Frank said, guns make it easier–fewer people are likely to have the nerve to get up close and personal. I guess, given the context of the story, and as Devin mentioned in his comment, guns have no purpose but to kill. A knife is a tool that can be used as a weapon, while a gun is simply a weapon. In this particular story, which is I assume a firearms accident, yes, the gun killed someone. There was no intent for the brother to kill his brother (which is heartbreaking by the way). Gun safety is something that needs to be improved, and probably the smartest way to move forward with that (at this time and in this political climate) is through better ways to keep legally owned firearms out of the hands of curious and/or stupid youth.


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