Charlton Heston's NRA Diary: United We Stand

Editor's note: We requested an official copy of Mr. Heston's remarks to the National Rifle Association convention in Denver last week, held under massive protest in the wake of the fatal shooting of a dozen students and one teacher at Columbine High School. Along with the speech, an anonymous source faxed to us the following journal entries. We were unable to verify their authenticity by press time.

April 30: On the flight to Denver, the exec team and I reviewed news articles on the massacre. Appalling. This carnage at Columbus High School in Little Town, USA--it turns my stomach. And the anti-gun lobby wants to blame innocent shotguns and semi-autos rather than the killers themselves and their immersion in our godless, trash-infested, finger-pointing, scum-swilling, R-rated teen culture. It chaps my hide that the actions of a couple of underaged terrorists can infringe upon our constitutional right to assemble, bear arms and host fabulously successful gun shows.

May 1, 7:30 a.m.: Couldn't sleep. Kept hearing noises outside--rain? Protesters? Pharisees? At one point it sounded like they were in the room with me. Checked under the bed, Glock in hand. Coffee with Cappy from the development office. Asked him if he's sure we're doing the right thing, coming to Denver. He said we didn't have much choice and showed me the latest membership figures, the attrition rate through shooting accidents and so on. I had never realized before that more than half of all firearms fatalities are suicides. No wonder we're always in a recruitment mode.

8:25 a.m.: Security team took me downstairs early to avoid the protesters. Did manage to engage one punk in the lobby in a lively debate--after my boys ran him through the metal detector, of course. He wanted to demonize assault weapons. I told him: The price you pay for living in a free society is that sometimes the bad guy gets the drop on you. But it doesn't have to be that way. If every teacher, counselor, janitor and passing wino in the vicinity of Columbia High School that day had been a card-carrying NRA member and packing heat, those evil little shits would have been terminated before they shed a drop of innocent blood. Well, maybe one or two bystanders would have been caught in the crossfire, but they should have ducked.

11:22 a.m.: The crowd parted like the Red Sea for yours truly. I thought the basic message went over well--that we belong here, whatever Mayor Webster might say. WE live here, too. We share the sadness and grief. The tragedy of what happened at Columbo High will never be forgotten. Not by us.

Group also responded mightily to the warm welcome from Colorado Secretary of State Buckley, the only politician in this burg with the guts to stand up for the Constitution. She's black, Republican, and--get this--she's a woman. I told Cappy we need to get her on a poster. As I embraced her after her remarks, she whispered in my ear, "Get your dirty paws off me, you damn ape!" Classy lady.

4:25 p.m.: Some local reporter who looks like Susan Hayward on the way to the gas chamber cornered me on the elevator and asked why the NRA won't support the elimination of "bad" guns. I told her we support sensible gun laws, but there is no such thing as a "bad" gun, only "bad" people.

"What about gun control? What about Europe?" she asked. I asked her if she really wanted to live like a curtseying English peasant girl or a no-account Norwegian. Did she know the number of people in those countries killed by thugs wielding cement blocks and cutlasses? She smirked and walked off. These media people piss me off. I haven't been this mad since I almost ran a saber through Sam Peckinpah when we were making Major Dundee, back in '64.

May 2, 3:45 a.m.: Horrible nightmare. I am the last man on earth, pursued by bloodsucking vampires disguised as ATF agents. Severely wounded, popping tabs of soylent green to keep alive, I crawl to the door of Secretary of State Buckley--my last hope. She opens the door...but it's not her! It's...Susan Brady! And Hillary Clinton! And Mothers Against Drunk Hunters! And--


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