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25 Best Charlton Heston 'Gun Freedom' Quotes

25 Best Charlton Heston 'Gun Freedom' Quotes
National Rifle Association (NRA) President Charlton Heston holds up a rifle during his address at the 131st NRA convention at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada, April 27, 2002. (Candice Towell/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 October 2015 10:10 PM

When Charlton Heston died in 2008 at the age of 84, the world mourned the passing of one of the greatest actors of our time, who was also a proud defender of the U.S. Constitution.

"He was one of Ronnie’s and my dearest friends," said former first lady Nancy Reagan in a statement of condolence upon his passing. "I will never forget Chuck as a hero on the big screen in the roles he played, but more importantly I considered him a hero in life for the many times that he stepped up to support Ronnie in whatever he was doing."

Heston served five terms as president of the National Rifle Association, from 1998 to 2003, and in that time publicly articulated the unique and important role the Second Amendment has played in shaping America.

Gathered below are 25 of Heston's greatest quotes about "the right of the people to keep and bear arms."

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1. "I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: 'From my cold, dead hands!'"
— Response to Al Gore’s call for gun control at the 129th NRA convention, Charlotte, North Carolina (2000)

2. "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."
— "Meet the Press" interview (1997)

3. "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."
— "Meet the Press" interview (1997)

4. "And you know what [the Bill of Rights'] purpose is? To prevent the federal government from interfering with private citizens' rights . . . Every one of [the Founding Fathers] wrote at great length that they were talking about the individual rights of individual citizens."
— On the Bill of Rights' guarantee for every citizen to have the right to own and bear arms, "Meet the Press" interview (1997)

5. "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."
— MSNBC interview (1997)

6. "As smoke from burning buildings smudged the skyline and the TV news showed vivid images of laughing looters smashing windows and carting off boomboxes and booze, I got a few phone calls from firmly anti-gun friends in clear conflict. 'Umm, Chuck, you have quite a few . . . ah, guns, don't you?'"
— On the L.A. riots of 1992, from his autobiography "In the Arena" (1995)

7. "You do not define the First Amendment. It defines you. And it is bigger than you. That's how freedom works . . . 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."
— National Press Club speech (1997)

8. "NRA members are in city hall, Fort Carson, NORAD, the Air Force Academy, and the Olympic Training Center. And yes, NRA members are surely among the police and fire and SWAT team heroes who risked their lives to rescue the students at Columbine [High School]. 'Don't come here'? We're already here. This community is our home. Every community in America is our home."
— NRA annual meeting opening remarks, Denver, Colorado (1999)

9. "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 interview (1997)

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10. "The Second Amendment is America's first freedom."
— National Press Club speech (1997)

11. "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."
— National Press Club speech (1997)

12. "Somewhere right now, evil people are planning evil things. All of us will do everything meaningful, everything we can do to prevent it, but each horrible act can’t become an axe for opportunists to cleave the very Bill of Rights that binds us."
— NRA annual meeting closing remarks, Denver, Colorado (1999)

13. "NRA members are, above all, Americans."
— NRA annual meeting opening remarks, Denver, Colorado (1999)

14. "Mr. Clinton, sir, America didn't trust you with our healthcare 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."
— NRA annual meeting (1998)

15. "You know, the President has entertained more felons than that at fundraising coffees in the White House, for Pete's sake."
— On President Bill Clinton's denial of firearms under the Brady Law during a Fox News Channel interview (1997)

16. "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."
— Time magazine interview (1998)

17. "A ludicrous invention. If you can't put it on a weapon without taking the bullets out, why put it on?"
— On trigger locks, Time magazine interview (1998)

18. "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." 
— Time magazine interview (1998)

19. "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."
— Time magazine interview (1998)

20. "In Hollywood . . . there are more gun owners in the closet than homosexuals."
— New York Times interview (1998)

21. "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."
— New York Times letter to the editor critizicing Maureen Dowd's "attack on the Second Amendment" (1998)

22. "The Hanoi Jane of the Second Amendment."
— On Barbra Streisand, press conference (1998)

23. "One of my proudest moments."
— Reflecting on his reading of Ice-T's "Cop-Killer" lyrics at a Warner Bros. shareholder meeting in 1992 (Time magazine interview, 1998)

24. "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."
— Conservative Political Action Committee speech (1998)

25. "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?"
— Conservative Political Action Committee speech (1998)

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When Charlton Heston died in 2008 at the age of 84, the world mourned the passing of one of the greatest actors of our time, who was also a proud defender of the Second Amendment. Here are 25 of the actor's top quotes on guns.
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Friday, 23 October 2015 10:10 PM
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