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Jewish World Review /July 9, 1998 / 15 Tamuz, 5758

Larry Elder

Larry Elder Moses mugged

UNLEASH THE TRASH! When the National Rifle Association elected actor Charlton Heston president, the anti-gun crowd pulled out the long knives quicker than you could say "Ken Starr."

Time magazine weighed in with the cover story on guns. The cover? A large cartoon gun, smoke wafting ominously from the barrel, pointed right at you. Subtle. Get it? Guns are bad, bad things.

Heston, under Time's gun.
Time adorned the articles with a row of stacked bullets running along the top of the pages. A half-page photo of Heston shows him sporting a cowboy hat atop a grimacing face. Heston, clutching a rifle, looks like an extra from the cast of "Deliverance." And the Heston article spends about as much time on his political views as on his NRA goals and agenda. We also learn about his hair, teeth, and his "partly unbuttoned shirt reveal(ing) a touch of vanity." (Hey, maybe it was hot.)

In a sidebar called "Chuck Heston's Commandments," Time excerpts from Heston's speeches his positions on homosexual rights, Hispanic and black pride, feminists, and race-based preferences. Interesting stuff, but what's this to do with the Second Amendment? An excerpt from "Chuck Heston's Commandments": "I remember when ... the Nazis forced [Jews] to wear yellow stars as identity badges. So, what color star will they pin on gun owners' chests!" -- Speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee, January 1998. O.K. Hyperbole. But this, of course, makes gun owners -- as a class -- over-the-top hyperventilators. Doesn't it?

A critic writing an anti-Heston op-ed newspaper piece wrote, "(Heston) denounced the 'fringe propaganda of the homosexual coalition' and railed against 'men-hating feminists,' Latinos and blacks who are out to subvert public values.

"What's worse," continues the critic, "David Duke -- on his website -- gave the speech a featured spot, and Duke urged Heston's words be 'put in the hands of every American.'"

Note the adroit playing of the David Duke card. David Duke did place excerpts of Heston's speech on his website. But neither the anti-Heston critic nor David Duke's website quoted portions of Heston's speech that failed to suit its purposes.

As to homosexuals, Heston actually said, "Many homosexuals are hugely talented artists and executives ... also dear friends. I don't despise their lifestyle, though I don't share it. As long as gay and lesbian Americans are as productive, law-abiding and private as the rest of us, I think America owes them absolute tolerance. It's the right thing to do." Not exactly a God-will-destroy-Orlando, Florida Pat Robertson-type rant.

What about the "fringe propaganda" stuff? Well, Heston actually said, "Mainstream America is counting on you to draw your sword and fight for them. These people have precious little time and resources to battle misguided Cinderella attitudes, the fringe propaganda of the homosexual coalition, the feminists who preach that it is a divine duty for women to hate men ... " Well, don't some feminists come across as men-haters?

What about University of Michigan's Catharine MacKinnon, who urges legislation against pornography, arguing it tantamount to rape? What about feminist Andrea Dworkin? According to The New York Times, some of Dworkin's ditties: "One of the differences between marriage and prostitution is that in marriage you only have to make a deal with one man." "Marriage ... is a legal license to rape." "The hurting of women is ... basic to the sexual pleasure of men."

As to Latinos and blacks, Heston actually said, "Why is 'Hispanic pride' or 'black pride' a good thing, while 'white pride' conjures shaved heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I'll tell you why: cultural warfare." Not exactly words to burn crosses by.

Of course, Heston asked for it when, in his speech before the NRA, he said of Clinton, "America didn't trust you with their 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."

Great speech, the crowd roared. But Heston's repudiation of Clinton's healthcare plan, and his lack of respect and trust for Clinton, say nothing about Heston's NRA mission. But his politics give the anti-gun critics the ammo (pardon the expression) necessary to change the subject.

Cheap shot. David Duke likes Heston's speech, and, voila, Heston's a closet Klansman. Remember the Cal State Northridge debate on affirmative action? Guess who got invited to argue against preferences? David Duke. See, anybody opposed to race-based preferences surely keeps a hood and sheet in the bottom dresser drawer.

All right, let's play that game. President Clinton wants more gun control legislation. The Nazis also opposed widespread ownership of handguns. Does this make Clinton a closet goose-stepper?

Heston's a big boy. But, here, even Moses got mugged.


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6/25/98: And you thought "coke" was worse than smokes
6/19/98: Is Jasper ‘America'?
6/12/98: Guess who's not coming to dinner
6/5/98: What now, NOW?
5/29/98:What's next, ‘burger busters'?
5/21/98: 'Stuff' happens
5/18/98: This just in
5/11/98: Stepping up
4/30/98: Who's faking whom?
4/16/98:To spank or not to spank

©1998, Laurence A. Elder