A strong voice falls silent

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He was Moses, Ben-Hur and El Cid in some of the greatest movies ever to come out of Hollywood.

Charlton Heston was America's most recognized advocate of commonsense gun ownership.  AP / File
AP / File
Charlton Heston was America's most recognized advocate of commonsense gun ownership.

But Charlton Heston's greatest role was in real life -- as a passionate, articulate spokesman for the Second Amendment.

Heston, who died Saturday at age 84, gave his time and his notoriety to an issue -- gun rights -- that has been debated for decades. Millions of others have shared his views on the freedom to own firearms, but no single person has been quite the living embodiment of that freedom.

Heston became president of the National Rifle Association in 1998, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. The NRA at the time was wracked with internal problems, and it was squarely in the sights of the Clinton administration and many anti-gun members of Congress. But under Heston's leadership, the NRA's membership grew to 4 million members.

Heston argued his position with the intensity he poured into his most famous cinematic roles. Perhaps most famous is his speech at the 2000 NRA convention, during which he held a musket over his head and dared the Democrat-run administration to take his gun "from my cold dead hands."

That famous declaration was a rallying cry in an important election year, in which about half of voters were from gun-owning households. Gun owners backed George W. Bush 61 percent to 36 percent. Gun non-owners went for Democratic challenger Al Gore 58-39.

You can agree or disagree with his stance on guns -- and we most definitely agree -- but there is no denying his pivotal role in promoting the right to bear arms. He will be missed.

Comments (12) Add comment
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WHATDIDIDO
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WHATDIDIDO 04/08/08 - 05:43 am
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Out of respect for the

Out of respect for the dead........

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/08/08 - 05:54 am
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Time moves on. The Great

Time moves on. The Great Equalizer will visit us all.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 04/08/08 - 05:58 am
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Hypo, did you visit any of

Hypo, did you visit any of the famous left wing blogs yesterday? or listen to CBS radio? None of them showed any class and started throwing ugly barbs the second Heston's death was announced. Thanks for your perspective. Civility seems to be in short supply sometimes.

christian134
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christian134 04/08/08 - 06:25 am
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Charlton Heston, was both a

Charlton Heston, was both a fine man of character and a great fighter for American rights this country has known in decades, has gone home. May God grant you peace forever...My sympathies to his family and friends.....

Nakwisi
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Nakwisi 04/08/08 - 08:14 am
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Hey, retired, true or not,

Hey, retired, true or not, this is not the time or place for the tired personal attacks you are famous for.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 04/08/08 - 09:09 am
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John Charles Carter may you

John Charles Carter may you rest in peace. My prayers go out to his family. He had one of those "voices" like James Earl Jones that just really crabs you.

grouse
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grouse 04/08/08 - 10:21 am
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Democrats aren't trying to
Unpublished

Democrats aren't trying to overturn the second amendment, but do private citizens need to own Uzi's?

Bizarro
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Bizarro 04/08/08 - 11:36 am
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I like to have a broad choice

I like to have a broad choice of killing machines when I want to do some killing. My vision is not what it use to be and I am thinking can I get my hand on a bazooka for my deer hunting. Hee,hee. I use to be a member of the NRA when I was a youth and an avid sportsman. I had a fascination with guns and ammo for a period, but moved on to other hobbies. Still like to hunt up some viddles periodically. Squirrel, venison, rabbit, quail, dove, duck (if you cook it right), frog legs, soft-shell turtle, and maybe a snake or gator tail on occasion. Gopher tortoise soup is good but they are protected now.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 04/08/08 - 11:50 am
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I have mixed emotions about

I have mixed emotions about guns. They are a lot of fun till you have one pointing at you (which I have by the way). I love hunting and shooting, loved studying weapons of the civil war, and the history of bows, guns, mortars, cannons.etc. Cool stuff. I just take issue with killing people with guns, but guns are just one of many choices of causing lethal harm. It would be like outlawing box cutters because of 9/11. Outlawing guns doesn't seem a solution, but some regulations are just no brainers.

jack
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jack 04/08/08 - 02:32 pm
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Retarded army, how pulling up

Retarded army, how pulling up a couple of examples of PTs hate filled comments. Nothing comes close to being as debased with hate than the Dailykook and the Huffington Post, both being Cain's favorite sources for his hate.

jack
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jack 04/08/08 - 02:38 pm
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Bizzarro, I can't hunt any

Bizzarro, I can't hunt any more, but collect guns of all sorts (but not bazookas or atuomatic weapons) and still a member of NRA for its magazine. Would love to be able to go deer, dove, quail and turkey hunting but can't these days. BTW, snapping turtle makes damn good soup or fried like chicken. Rattlesnake ia also pretty good. Even rice rats in Vietnam were good when you had been out of meat for awhile (made my indig interpreter gut and clean mine before cooking (which they didn't do)..

jack
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jack 04/08/08 - 02:43 pm
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Charltan Hesont was a cross

Charltan Hesont was a cross over from DIMocRAT to Republican, just like Reagan-both very bright guys. He was not only and excellent actor, but a staunch supporter of not only our Second Amendment rights but ALL of our rights. He is just best known for his time with the NRA on that subject for which he caught a lot of derision from the Hollyweird crowd. He, along with John Wayne, are great American icons. My he rest in peace and be with his Maker (he can now get some authoritative critiques on the 10 Commandments).

jack
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jack 04/08/08 - 02:44 pm
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(corrected) Retarded army,

(corrected) Retarded army, how about pulling up a couple of examples of PTs hate filled comments. Nothing comes close to being as debased with hate than the Dailykook and the Huffington Post, both being Cain's favorite sources for his hate.

jack
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jack 04/08/08 - 02:45 pm
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(corrected) Retarded army,

(corrected) Retarded army, how about pulling up a couple of examples of PTs hate filled comments. Nothing comes close to being as debased with hate than the Dailykook and the Huffington Post, both being Cain's favorite sources for his hate.

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