Monday, April 07, 2008

Charlton Heston (1924-2008)

Here are my favorite lines of movie dialogue, from classic to camp, delivered by the great actor and patriot Charlton Heston, who died over the weekend:

"Go, proclaim liberty throughout all the land, and to all the inhabitants thereof." —The Ten Commandments (1956), from Leviticus 25:10; also inscribed on the Liberty Bell

"Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!" —Planet of the Apes (1968)

"Soylent Green is people!" —Soylent Green (1973)

Later in life, Heston was known for his advocacy of gun rights and a clear understanding of the Second Amendment:

"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." —speech to the National Press Club, September 14, 1997

"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 Some anti-gun elitists declare this notion outdated.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." —Letter to the New York Times, May 12, 1998

"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." —Repeated by Heston in several venues on various dates

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