Quotable Quotes from Charlton Heston, NRA President

June 8, 1998

Two days after assailing President Clinton's character and views on guns, Charlton Heston was elected on Monday as the next president of the National Rifle Association.

At the group's convention over the weekend, Heston urged members to close ranks to fight gun-control advocates. "Get together," he said, "or get out of the way."

June 6, 1998

"...Too many gun owners think we've wandered to some fringe of American life and left them behind..."

"...Mr. Clinton, sir, America didn't trust you with our health-care system. America didn't trust you with gays in the military. America doesn't trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don't trust you with our guns.."

July 6, 1998 (Vol. 151 No. 26)

"...The day I became president, I don't think I held the gavel 10 minutes," he boasts. "I did 29 media interviews that day..."

"...I've been doing interviews for 50 years," he says. "I know how to sell a movie or a book. Now I'm selling the reputation of the N.R.A..."

...Now his positions track the N.R.A.'s. Trigger locks? "A ludicrous invention. If you can't put it on a weapon without taking the bullets out, why put it on?" A five-day waiting period? "It's hard for me to accept that a guy says, 'I'm going to kill that s.o.b., but, darn, I have this five-day waiting period.' He probably still wants to kill him after five days." Ban Saturday-night specials? "The black and Hispanic women who clean office buildings until 3 a.m. and then walk home--of course, they want a handgun in their purse." Limit purchases to one gun a month? "It's the camel's nose in the tent. Look at Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Idi Amin--every one of these monsters, on seizing power, their first act was to confiscate all firearms in private hands..."

September 14, 1997

...You do not define the First Amendment. It defines you. And it is bigger than you. That's how freedom works. It also demands you do your homework. Again and again, I hear gun owners say, how can we believe anything the anti-gun media says when they can't even get the facts right? For too long, you have swallowed manufactured statistics and fabricated technical support from anti-gun organizations that wouldn't know a semi- auto from a sharp stick. And it shows. You fall for it every time...

...I simply cannot stand by and watch a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States come under attack from those who either can't understand it, don't like the sound of it, or find themselves too philosophically squeamish to see why it remains the first among equals: Because it is the right we turn to when all else fails. That's why the Second Amendment is America's first freedom...

...Now, I doubt any of you would prefer a rolled up newspaper as a weapon against a dictator or a criminal intruder. Yet in essence, that is what you have asked our loved ones to do, through an ill-contrived and totally naive campaign against the Second Amendment...

Printed May 12, 1998

...The Founders' intent in framing the Second Amendment is perfectly clear and undeniable. Thomas Jefferson wrote, "No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." Some anti-gun elitists declare this notion outdated. However, many constitutional scholars from this country's most prestigious universities agree that the Founders' intent is clear and irreversible: To "keep and bear arms" is a right for all law-abiding citizens...

September 14, 1997

...The First Amendment is crucial. Of course it is. So are all the others. And the Second Amendment is the one that guarantees that people can bear arms to protect themselves...

FOX News Channel
September 15, 1997

...There's no such thing as a good gun. There's no such thing as a bad gun. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a very dangerous thing. A gun in the hands of a good person is no danger to anyone except the bad guys...

...You could say that the paparazzi and the tabloids are sort of the `assault weapons' of the First Amendment. They're ugly, a lot of people don't like them, but they're protected by the First Amendment -- just as `assault weapons' are protected by the Second Amendment...

FOX News Channel
May 18, 1997

...He [President Clinton] boasts about 186,000 people denied firearms under the Brady Law rules. The Brady Law has been in force for three years. In that time, they have prosecuted seven people and put three of them in prison. You know, the President has entertained more felons than that at fundraising coffees in the White House, for Pete's sake...

NBC "Meet the Press"
May 18, 1997

...Let me make a short, opening, blanket comment. There are no good guns. There are no bad guns. Any gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a decent person is no threat to anybody -- except bad people...

...Teddy Roosevelt hunted in the last century with a semiautomatic rifle. Most deer rifles are semiautomatic ... it's become a demonized phrase. The media distorts that and the public ill understands it...

...You know, the Bill of Rights guarantees every citizen the right to own and bear firearms. It doesn't say anything about how many, how much you can pay for them. That's in the Bill of Rights. That's a sacred document in our country. There's no other country in the world that has such document. And you know what it's purpose is? To prevent the federal government from interfering with private citizens' rights ... If you will read what the Founding Fathers wrote when they were writing it -- Jefferson, Mason, Madison, Patrick Henry, Tom Paine -- every one of them wrote at great length that they were talking about the individual rights of individual citizens...

...We have to pass on to America in the 21st century the same Bill of Rights that those wise, old, dead white guys that invented this country passed on to us...

(Conversation between host Tony Snow and Charlton Heston)

SNOW: "You have one of the great voices in the entertainment world. A few years ago, you showed up at a Time Warner stockholders meeting and started reading the lyrics from a rap album and just froze everybody in their tracks."

HESTON: "That was that terrible album by Ice T called `Cop Killer.' And I'm very proud of this, I really am. I owned some Time Warner stock and I went in and confronted their full board meeting and read the lyrics. I can't repeat them on television."

SNOW: "No, you can't."

HESTON: "And I shamed Time Warner, the largest entertainment conglomerate in the world, into firing Ice T and dropping the album. Now, he threatened to kill me. He hasn't done that yet."

SNOW: "I believe your quote was something like, `Let him try.'"

HESTON: "Well, maybe I scared him. And I haven't gotten a job from Warner Brothers since or a good notice in Time, but I'm as proud of that as anything I've ever done."

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