I wasn't planning to write about Charlton Heston today (beyond my brief R.I.P. message yesterday)--plenty of better writers than I'll ever be have his life and death well covered, but the title of this article stuck in my craw. "Charlton Heston: From civil rights supporter to gun lover"--the implication, presumably, being that civil rights and guns are somehow incompatible.
In his later years, the star was a passionate right winger and figurehead of the controversial NRA - the National Rifle Association.Perhaps the author of the article did not realize that John F. Kennedy was a life member of the NRA, who once said this:
But when he first shot to prominence, Heston was a Democrat and a vocal supporter of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, describing the African American leader as "a 20th century Moses for his people".
The actor joined civil rights marches and picket lines.
"Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."Perhaps the author has never heard of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, who, as Ken Blackwell eloquently stated, "forced the Klan to re-evaluate their actions and often change their undergarments."
-John F. Kennedy
Clearly, the author fails to realize that the right to an effective means to defend one's life and liberty is among the most fundamental of human rights, and that advocacy of that right is perfectly consistent with being a civil rights supporter.
Then again, perhaps I'm just expecting too much of a publication based in Scotland, where knives are increasingly heavily regulated--the spirit of Sir William Wallace is apparently all but extinguished in Scotland.