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Charlton Heston, Great Defender of Gun Rights, Dead at 84…

April 6th, 2008

Charlton HestonCharlton Heston, well known to the general populace as a great actor who starred in a ton of movies, most notably Ben Hur and Planet of the Apes, died last night at the age of 84. According to Wikipedia, Charlton Heston made some 100 movies. You can see a short list of his popular movies, as published by the AP by clicking here. Though this is quite a career for anyone in Hollywood, it is not these accomplishments that make his passing noticeable to this writer.

Charlton Heston had a major impact on the political climate in the United States, particularly in regards to his defense of the 2nd Amendment. Charlton Heston served as the high profile president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) for five years, ending his presidency in 2003. Heston, with his popularity, was able to make conservative politics popular. He helped to develop the NRA into a major force, lobbying for gun owners in Washington D.C. He had, perhaps the greatest impact in the 2000 elections, when gun rights and the 2nd Amendment were a central issue. At the time that he stepped down from the NRA, Jeb Bush, then Governor of Florida, credited Heston for President George Bush’s election to the U.S. presidency. He said:

“Were it not for your active involvement, it’s safe to say my brother may not have been president of the United States.”

According to an article by the Associated Press, Al Gore lost the election because of this issue. Statistics show that nearly half of voters in the 2000 election were gun owners, and of them 61% voted for George Bush. Voters from households that did not own guns voted for Gore at a rate of 58% to 39% for Bush. Charlton Heston, with the power of the NRA, was able to make gun rights a main issue in that election, and they have actually changed the way Democrats now portray the issue. Al Gore was staunchly against gun rights, and ran on a strong anti-gun platform. But, the democrats learned quickly. In 2004, John Kerry put on a flannel shirt and acted like he knew what he was doing with a shotgun. That was about as realistic as Michael Dukakis poking his head out of a tank to act like he supported the troops.

In the current election cycle, the democratic candidates are following in Kerry’s footsteps because they learned that they cannot win an election without the support of the pro-gun contingent of this country. Hillary Clinton has now started claiming that her father taught her to hunt when she was growing up in Arkansas, and she “even shot a duck”. Again, that is completely disingenuous on her part. After all, Bill Clinton did a hatchet job on gun rights during his eight years in office, and we did not once hear about Hillary’s great love for hunting and the shooting sports. Barak Obama has tried to appear to be in favor of gun rights as well, touting his “belief” that guns are an integral part of our American culture, used for sporting applications as well as self defense. However, when he actually has a chance to vote on the issue, he votes in favor of restricting gun rights (such as the gun ban in Washington D.C.)

These changes in the Democratic Platform are a direct result of the work that Charlton Heston and the NRA did from 1998 on. They are truly a force to be reckoned with! Heston’s work for the 2nd Amendment endears him to gun lovers and outdoorsmen. The NRA benefited greatly from his work and his popularity. He made a great splash when he told the NRA convention in May of 2000 that the government could have his guns when they “pry it from my cold dead hands.” This has become the rallying cry for many gun rights advocates, and has shown up on countless bumper stickers.

I for one am glad that there are those that will fight so hard for our rights to keep and bear arms.

6 Responses to “Charlton Heston, Great Defender of Gun Rights, Dead at 84…”

  1. What a great american! Thank god for people like Charlton Hestin. He will be missed.

  2. Very informative post.

  3. I was sad to hear of his passing. Great post!

  4. […] 6th, 2008 · No Comments Jami wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptHillary Clinton has now started […]

  5. It is very sad that he passed away. Mr. Heston was a great man and I applaud all of the things he did to help protect gun rights. He sure ruffled a lot of feathers, but I loved every minute of it.

    He will surely be missed.

  6. I still remember that scene in Fahrenheit 911 when Michael Moore confronts Charlton Heston, who completely brushes him off. Heston was an awesome dude..sad that he’s no longer with us..

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