Sunday, April 06, 2008

Get Your Paws off My Guns, You Damn Dirty Ape! 

It may surprise my readers who think of me as a flaming liberal that I am saddened by Charlton Heston's death, but I'm more of a left libertarian, meaning that I am a big fan of the Second Amendment, since it comes along with those other nine parts of the Bill of Rights. Yes, like it or not anti-gun people, citizens of the US are given the right to bear arms.

"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Now, you can try to explain the Amendment away as allowing only a militia all you want -- militia being all able-bodied white men between 18 and 50, but in this case it is not a qualification for ownership. Ownership belongs to the People, meaning every citizen of the US, man, woman or child, no matter their race. The reason for this? So that the people would be armed and ready should it become necessary to overthrow the government, plain and simple.

But Heston was far from a conservative wingnut. In fact, I think he was more like an old-school true conservative, against government intervention in any aspect of life. And he certainly lived this in his anti-racist activities in the 60s and 70s. Heston put his money where his mouth was, and often insisted that black actors be cast in roles that would normally have gone to white actors. Watch his films from the era, like Soylent Green, The Omega Man, or Earthquake, for example, to see this in action. He also talked the talk and walked the walk, a frequent regular at Civil Rights events.

On top of all that, I've always enjoyed Heston on screen. He was one of the last of the old school Hollywood Heroes, having started his career just before the anti-hero era of the 60s, and he will be missed.


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