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Charlton Heston, Defender of Freedom

By: Carl Langley
web posted April 9, 2008
GUEST COLUMN – I began my working years serving as an usher in my little home town’s theater and developed an attachment to the make-believe world of movies that lasted well into the 1970s.

I lost my love for the movies when Hollywood producers began churning out propaganda more than entertainment. It is a trend that continues to this day and it is a reason that movie attendance is on the downslide.

In the 1950s and 1960s one of my heroes was Charlton Heston, the great actor who died a few days ago from the ravages of senile dementia. He was truly a giant of an age when movies meant something.

I can still see Heston, standing there in the Biblical epic The 10 Commandments looking just as I imagined Moses looked when my grandmothers read the Bible to me in my early years.

Heston was anti-Hollywood although he made a fortune in movies. He was married to the same woman for 64 years, and they raised two children. His loving wife Lydia was at his bedside when he died.

I admired Charlton Heston for the stands he took. A child of humble beginnings like most of us, he served in the military during World War II, saw combat action, survived and came home to marry his first and only love.

Heston got into the movies like a lot of the giants of his time. He took up acting as a hobby and was a stage actor before going into the film world. It is said that Cecil B. DeMille, the great producer who focused many of his movies on the Bible and other wholesome aspects of American life, took one look at Heston and proclaimed him to be Moses.

Heston also starred in Ben Hur, another Biblical epic famed for his great chariot race with fellow actor Stephen Boyd, who tragically died at a young age. The two men fitted well into their roles as Roman centurions.

Although he was a liberal in his early years as an actor and was active in the Screen Actors Guild, he became, like many of his kind, more conservative with the passage of the years. His transformation affirmed the old adage that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.

After his movie career ended, Heston took on a new role, that of lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, an organization that defends the Second Amendment right of Americans to keep and bear arms. The right to own a firearm is one of the greatest gifts of the Founding Fathers.

Heston is famous for not only serving as president of the NRA, but for his defense of the right to bear arms. His most famous quote comes from a speech in which he said the federal government will take away his gun only by prying it “from my cold, dead hands.“

I have spent the past three days mourning the passage of this great man, and how much his powerful, ringing words mean to those who keep weapons for their personal protection. No one, save criminals, need ever fear a member of the NRA. We keep our guns to protect our homes and families from the murderers who stalk our streets in ever-increasing numbers.

Ironically, while reading a story about the final arrangements for Charlton Heston my eye caught a story in my local newspaper. It was about a poor elderly woman in Connecticut who was paying a visit to a friend when her life was ended tragically.

The woman had parked her car outside her friend’s house and was walking inside when she was spotted by a thug fresh out of prison and who had spent the night sleeping in a car near the residence.

The man followed the woman into the house, pulled a gun and demanded money and the keys to her car. Realizing that both of them could identify him, he killed the visitor and wounded the homeowner. She played dead and the killer left the house in the visitor’s car.

The homeowner dialed 9-1-1 and police soon were in pursuit of the murderer. He wrecked the lifeless woman’s car and was arrested. In court it was found that he was just out of prison after serving only eight years for the rape of a five-year-old child.

I cursed the Connecticut prison system for turning this piece of garbage out on the streets to prey upon harmless elderly women. I cursed the judge who imposed only a short sentence on a thug who should have been put away for life.

In a perfect world, judges who let criminals off easy should be forced to serve their time when the criminals re-offend. Prison pardon and parole board members who show more sympathy to rapists, robbers and killers than they do victims should also be forced to serve time.

Our elite, wealthy liberal friends live mainly in gated communities or other secure surroundings, but they are the ones who constantly are braying about the need to take up all the guns. Good luck to these idiots, for they are going to need it.

A firearms expert recently noted that there are more than 200 million firearms of all makes, models and descriptions available in the U.S. I am proud to say that I am the owner of one of them, and I am even prouder to say I will not hesitate to use it if the situation demands extreme response.

Within the past few hours I have seen message boards on the Internet on which liberals are ranting about firearms and one particularly obnoxious fellow has even condemned Charlton Heston and expressed joy at the death of this great man. I hope the one who wrote these hateful words burns in Hell, after begin dispatched there by one of the thugs who now roam our landscape.

God bless you, Charlton Heston!


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