Charlton Heston roundup
Former NRA President Sandy Froman writes at TownHall of her her experience as Heston's VP, and of what Heston did for the organization in the years before his election.
Over at the [London] Times Online, Nick Hume has tribute from the British Left:
"Charlton Heston's obituarists worry that his acting career might be “overshadowed” by his controversial stance against gun control. Let's hope so. Most of Heston's movie roles were as stiff as his chiselled jaw. But his rock-like defence of the right to bear arms was worthy of an award.
I say this not as a right-wing Republican, but as a Brit of the Left. Hollywood liberals demonised the man who was Moses for his pro-gun views. But that only shows how illiberal they have become. Anybody who retains enough liberal spirit to believe in individual freedom as the basis for a civilised society ought to have stood at Heston's right hand on this issue."
UPDATE: Another from the British Left. Brendan O'Neill writes in the Guardian:
"From great actor and progressive campaigner to reactionary old fart who loved guns: everyone agrees it was a tragic fall from grace. But did Heston really make a dramatic political u-turn? Actually, no. From the 1950s to the 1990s, he remained rather consistent in his commitment to upholding America's freedoms. It was his liberal critics in the gun control lobby on the east coast and in trendy parts of LA who changed their tune, and made a mad swing from liberalism to authoritarianism.
How gun control came to be seen as a liberal cause is one of life's great mysteries. In both the US and across Europe, fully paid-up lefties and progressives will tell you with pride, even pomposity, that the American authorities ought to disarm their populace and ban guns.
What a turnaround. Demanding gun control has traditionally been the preserve of reactionary, even racist elements in American society. Up until the 1980s, gun control was mostly a conservative campaign, driven by a conviction amongst right-leaning activists, politicians and lawmakers that ordinary people, especially those of the non-white variety, could not possibly be trusted with guns. Only the state, they believed, should have the right to use fatal physical force."
Read it all--he gets into the racist history of gun laws in the US, and "Charlton Heston, in demanding equal treatment for blacks in the 1950s and later calling for everyone to have the right to bear arms, was a better representative of the spirit of American equality than any of those gun control campaigners who turned him into their favourite redneck whipping boy."