The actor made his pronouncement in ~ the group"s 129th convention as he hosted up a Revolutionary War-era flintlock rifle, proclaiming he"d refuse to enable the federal government confiscate the gun, and also called out Al Gore, that was running for chairman at the time.




You are watching: Charlton heston cold dead hands speech

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The nationwide Rifle Association, i beg your pardon has been in the news through the resignation that Oliver North together president, elevated Charlton hoston to that largely ceremonial place in 1998. (The real power is held by the CEO, who throughout Heston’s tenure — and also today — is Wayne LaPierre.)


If there was one defining moment that Heston’s presidency, it came on might 20, 2000, once at the NRA’s 129th convention the actor organized up a Revolutionary War-era flintlock rifle and announced that if the federal government (and “especially you, Mr. Gore,” an interpretation Al Gore, that was running for president) want to confiscate the gun, they’d need to take the from his “cold, dead hands.”

The video clip was play endlessly ~ above the news. Yet Heston, who’d winner an Oscar because that 1959’s Ben-Hur, wasn’t constantly such a conservative. Till 1972, he was a registered Democrat. At the height of his early on ’60s fame, he to be a prominent supporter the the civil legal rights movement. He flew to Oklahoma City in may 1961, when there to be a real peril of violence versus black students who were attempting to combine the Anna Maude Cafeteria, and also marched holding a sign that said, “All males Are created Equal.”

Says historian Philip Dray: “Heston was sincerely cursed to young name Luther King’s movement,” “His visibility at an event would make a substantial difference. To have actually celebrities concerned less famous places startled people; it assisted make a show a news story.”

In respectable 1963, as soon as he attend the march on Washington wherein King provided his “I have a Dream” speech, Heston showed up on a TV roundtable through Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin and Marlon Brando and also said, “Up until an extremely recently, like most Americans, ns expressed my assistance of civil rights greatly by talking about it in ~ cocktail parties, I’m afraid.

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However again, like many Americans this summer, I could no longer pay only lip organization to a reason that to be so urgently right, and also in a time the is therefore urgently now.”

In 2002, hoston revealed he had Alzheimer’s disease. He passed away in 2008 in ~ 84.