Monday, April 07, 2008

Reflections on Charlton Heston...
...and why, in the end, he made me extremely uncomfortable...

Blogger's note: The following is an e-mail I sent to a friend of mine who is a big Bob Dylan fan, who had sent me an article in which Mr. Dylan was pointing out how great the late actor Charlton Heston was. I like Dylan, I respected Heston's acting ability, but was uncomfortable with Heston's NRA persona...

Up front, I realize everyone in the USA (who isn't a criminal) has the constitutionally-granted liberty of "Keeping and Bearing firearms", etc. etc., yadda, yadda yadda. I don't want to take anyone's guns away from them, but, But, BUT...You can watch the cop shows on Cable TV every night, where someone has shot and killed someone else for no good reason. We keep murdering each other. I say, "too many of the wrong people can easily obtain firearms"...and something's GOTTA be done about that. How about those random killings in the D.C. area a few years back? That's just one example.

I used to shoot in Archery leagues...and I sure wouldn't have wanted someone to take my bow and arrows away from the same token, there's a lot of people who use guns for either target practice, or hunting, or competitive shooting, who never commit any kind of crime. At the same time, gun laws need to be more strictly enforced than they are now. I would imagine if we tightened up our borders, for example, maybe we could start to get a handle on this gun problem. Some say, "we don't need new gun laws; let's just enforce the existing ones." Okay, that's realistic. Now, DO IT. Tightening up and enforcing gun laws would (hopefully) make it harder for criminals to GET guns. Guns have had a vast negative effect on this country...The Kennedy assassinations; Martin Luther King...I do not need nor want to be where guns are.

Many times, whether it be a dope deal gone bad, or in a marital conflict, or at a workplace, where guns are present, those guns are, more often than not, used to resolve the situation. People just keep killing each other. Yeah, I know that if a gun isn't present, there's always knives or baseball bats or tire irons or human hands, but I think guns lend an instant threat, as opposed to other ways of killing someone. In short, if a gun isn't used, someone who's irate has a better chance of "counting to ten" and maybe deciding not to kill someone.

As far as Charlton Heston, I loved his acting. "The Ten Commandments" and "Ben-Hur" were gripping movies. But I don't think he did his image any favors when he stuck up for the NRA. I thot Heston really tarnished his image by holding that rifle above his head like a madman gone insane. When I saw Heston doing that, I felt like he'd let me down. So perhaps his immortal performance of Moses was indeed a Big Act. I don't know; I expected better from him. And all of a sudden, I didn't respect him as much. Guns may not kill people, but people with guns DO kill people, and when I heard Hestons' tirades, all of a sudden, I was disappointed; an actor I respected turned into some kind of crazy, histrionic, gun-totin' arms keeper. I'm not comfortable with that.

Charlton Heston, great actor and surprisingly militant NRA spokesman, almost foaming at the mouth in the above photo. He now has cold, dead hands.


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