Tuesday, April 08, 2008

R.I.P. Charlton Heston!

His impact upon us as an actor was profound. His impact upon us as a gun advocate was equally so.

Mick Hume writes:

"Charlton Heston's obituarists worry that his acting career might be “overshadowed” by his controversial stance against gun control. Let's hope so. Most of Heston's movie roles were as stiff as his chiseled jaw. But his rock-like defence of the right to bear arms was worthy of an award.

I say this not as a right-wing Republican, but as a Brit of the Left. Hollywood liberals demonised the man who was Moses for his pro-gun views. But that only shows how illiberal they have become. Anybody who retains enough liberal spirit to believe in individual freedom as the basis for a civilised society ought to have stood at Heston's right hand on this issue.

Yesterday's headlines charting Heston's decline “from civil rights supporter to gun lover” missed the target. He switched from supporting John F. Kennedy in the Sixties to backing Richard Nixon in the Seventies and Ronald Reagan in the Eighties. But defending the right of Americans to bear arms was consistent with his earlier defence of black civil rights.

Both sides in the debate make the mistake of treating guns as independent actors. The antis blame legal access to guns for America's violent crime - yet Israel and Switzerland have higher gun ownership rates but lower homicide rates, while Mexico or the Philippines have tighter gun controls but higher murder rates. Meanwhile, Heston's National Rifle Association peddles the alternative fear-fueled fantasy that more legal guns must mean fewer crimes.

In fact, attitudes to gun control reveal less about what we think of guns than people. Critics of the Second Amendment, enshrining the US citizenry's right to bear arms, express much the same prejudice as those who criticise the First Amendment on free expression. They all believe that other people - and especially Americans - cannot be trusted with “too much” freedom.

The revolutionary founding fathers of America took a rather different view of the people (even if they did exclude slaves). As James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, Americans enjoyed “the advantage of being armed” over “almost every other nation... [where] the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms”. Mistrust of the masses explains why tyrants have backed gun control ever since, from Adolf Hitler to the oppressor apes in one of Heston's famous films.

Hollywood illiberals such as George Clooney and Michael Moore made a career of sneering at the ageing Charlton Heston, which was almost enough to make me join the NRA. True, many of Heston's conservative views might be as dated as his movies. But a willingness to take up arms for human freedom is one reason why we still don't live on the planet of the apes."

The beat goes on.....Gun control ANYWHERE fails to accomplish the goals it purports....lowering crime. John R. Lott, Jr. and Eli Lehrer DETAIL Canadian and Australian failures!

The liberals fantasize about the elimination of crime by taking away guns...ignoring the facts.

Heston understood!

Bless you sir, and maybe I'll take out my H & R Tamer tonight and fire a salute into the air in your memory.....then place it back beside my bed where it resides...both while at home and while in our RV traveling!

R.I.P. Mr. Heston! You will be missed.....by the movie viewers....AND by gun advocates.