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April 07, 2008

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Winner Announced, and Charlton Heston Appreciated

The winner, by a landslide, in naming our award for untruthful legislators, is the Distinguished Lying Cross. Congratulations to DINFOS, and a tip of the hat to all the other finalists.  I will  award the DLC in four grades: Grade One is the basic decoration; Grade II is the DLC with oak leaves; Grade III is the DLC with oak leaves and crossed swords, and Grade IV will be the DLC with oak leaves, crossed swords, and diamonds.

And now for Charlton Heston. The American Revolution was set apart from all other revolutions because it was fomented and led by the people who had the most to lose by doing so. When the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged  "…our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." It was not a figure of speech. If the revolution failed, their families would be ruined, and all of them--except for the ones that would hang--would be imprisoned. They were all wealthy men who stood to gain most by toadying to the British, and to lose most by leading a rebellion. And they did it anyway because they believed in it.

Charlton Heston was a man in this tradition. He had a great deal to lose, and he followed his principles regardless.  In Hollywood, in the early 1960s, if you wanted to show your support for the civil rights movement, you hired Sydney Poitier for a leading role, or you gave a cocktail party to raise money for the NAACP. You did not actually go and march with radicals and activists like Martin Luther King, Jr., who then enjoyed nothing like his current status. Especially if you were a major star with a lot to lose, because there were a great many people who did not like Dr. King or what he represented. But Heston did just that.

And gun rights. If there is one thing that all of Hollywood agrees on, it is that guns are evil (except in the movies; the more violence the better) and that no one should have them (except people who enough money and influence to get them regardless of restrictive laws). But Charlton Heston did what he did, and it undoubtedly cost him.

In 1992, Heston stood up at the annual stockholder's meeting of the Time/Warner Corporation and recited the lyrics of an Ice-T rap song called "Cop Killer, " which celebrated the pleasures of murdering police officers. "Catchy little number, isn't it?" he said to the assembled T/W suits, and helped thereby to get it taken off the market.

He undoubtedly paid for this, too, because one does not embarrass entertainment-industry suits with impunity. So the next time you watch one of his movies, remember that he was that rarest of Hollywood leading men--a hero offscreen as well.


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Just exactly what dasterdly feat would a legislator have to perform to be worthy of a Grade IV DLC award?


God Bless

Chad Love

As much as I greatly admire Charlton Heston as a person and an artist, I don't think he really lost much actual acting work due to his NRA activities. I was under the impression that by that time he had pretty much become sort of a semi-retired elder statesman.

One other thing worth noting about Heston I was unaware of until I read the NY Times obit, was that back the early eighties Heston served on the board that oversees the National Endowment for the Arts.
The obit notes that while he had private reservations about some of the projects NEA funded, he always defended the artistic independence of the organization anyway.
Says a lot about the man.

Scott in Ohio

Until just now I never took the opportunity to listen to the 1989 NRA "from my cold dead hands" speach by Charleton Heston. Here is part 1 of 3.



About "Hollywood gun handling": my greatest peeve is the neophyte trying to show off his lack of knowledge by flipping the cylinder back into a revolver with a flick of the wrist. Such gun handling almost always damages the crane, and throws the revolver out of time. Yet every detective movie ever made showed some bozo flipping the cylinder back into place. There's always horseplay involving guns on both the little and the big screen, and you see copycat behavior among the uninitiated. Remember the actor, Jon-Erik Hexum, who died after firing a blank in a .44 magnum revolver with the muzzle right against his head? The wadding was driven into his brain. And then there's the cartoons kids watch, in which a character takes a bullet to the chest, but is up and running again in the next frame. Against all of this, we have idiotic school officials opposed to a gun safety program in their schools, thus ensuring that the kids' only "firearms instructors" will be the bozos on TV and in the movies.

Dave Petzal

To Harold: I am shocked, stunned, and appalled that there should be any similarity. I thought I was making that stuff up out of thin air.

Dave Petzal

To Carney: Durn good question. Probably on any given day when Congress is open for business, there is at least one Class IV whopper given voice. But we don't hear about it. I think Mrs. Clinton's sprint through the bullets would qualify, but the award was not yet established.

Bubba Clinton's "I did not have sex with that woman...with Miss Lewinsky" was so monumental that we would probably have to create a Grade V.

There will be many recipients before we are done, I am sure.


Some blunders are of such epic proportions that the whole world is affected. I would suggest that with Grade V, we go with fig leaf clusters instead of oak.


I was wondering, Dave, if you had an opinion on this

what movie has the worst gun handling/or worst "Those guns cant do that!"? Opinions anybody? I know . . . .theres so many and the list keeps getting larger. . but any favorites?

Brian T

Wouldn't the leaves from Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Stinging Nettles suffice? There ought to be a crown of rose briers in there, too.


Charlton Heston...R.I.P. and may your spirit live forever


Greg..(april 8 posting).
Thats the whole point about him and those like him, they do regardless of what it costs.
And that, I truly respect!


For Peter:

More than once I have seen on TV (Miami CSI & Dumb & Dumber) a semi-auto with the slide locked back from "last shot hold open", yet it is held as if it is loaded and dangerous...

Dave Petzal

To Peter: I think the worst gun handling I ever saw was in the 1996 film, The Ghost and the Darkness, with Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas. Apart from being a crock historically, it made my skin crawl the way those two waved their rifles around.

Also, the innumerable war movies in which soldiers throw their rifles on the ground to do something else. One of the first things you learn in the military is that if your rifle hits the ground, you are going to suffer for it.


You are so correct concerning The Ghost and the Darkness. I winched when I saw it at the movie theater due to the poor gun handling and again whenever my kid is watching it on DVD. Once again history is altered to suit the director, producer, etc. but hey that's show biz. The lions in the movie even had manes. Have you ever seen the mounted ones in Chicago or their photos? By the way we decided that reloading the .470 NE is not much cheaper than buying new ammo at $300 to $400 per box of twenty. I never heard back from anyone on that question a few weeks ago. I suppose most folks realized this anyway given the price of the brass and dies alone. What the hell if the guy can afford to hunt the Big Five he can afford the cartridges.

Dr. Ralph

Charlton was a man among men. In Sinatra's immortal words he did it his way... he should be an example to us all. Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. The picture on my link was taken on the set of "Planet of the Apes" when the man was 44 and at 6'3" could probably out think, out act, out shoot and out fight most men half his age.

Dr. Ralph

Try again...

Jim in Mo.

Dave, Peter,
The thing I hated most was the westerns where the shooters would run out of bullets and then throw their 45 at 'em.

Dr. Ralph

Or the "bad guys" would have Henry's or Winchesters and the "good guys" would wipe them out with single action Colt revolvers and fire thirty shots without reloading...

Jim in Mo.

Or hide behind a weather beaten horse trough(sp) and the bullets bounce off.


As Thoreau said:
"When were the good and the brave ever in a majority"
Mr Heston proved that the good and the brave, properly lead, can be a majority.


Well said, man! Well said! It's up to us to carry on now. We must never let it be said that when the torch was passed to us we let it burn out. But pass it on to the next generation in better condition than we received it. All the while fanning the flames brighter and brighter!

Jim in Mo.

We probably didn't comment because most of us don't have experience with that type or size cartridge. I said 'most' not all. I'm in the 'most' category but I had the feeling thats the conclusion your friend would come up with. I can't handload Bear Claws anywhere near the factory price for my 06's. Can't understand that one either.

Clay Cooper

I was getting ready to say what Jon-Erik Hexum did and you beat me to the punch!
It’s interesting to know that those that are supposed to be professionals just take a trip to check out their shooting range and count the holes in structures that shouldn’t have holes. I’ve found that Law Enforcement ranges do have the highest I’ve found to date. Reason being, lack of familiarization and safety training and the use of in firearms in general prior to training, only being trained in the firearms that that person will use and the lack of attention of keeping fingers etc out of the trigger guard until actually ready to discharge the firearm and over confidence to name a few.


Jim in MO: Thanks for the comments as they confirm my feelings as well. Actually except for the initial expense of brass, bullets, and dies I found out that handloading the .470 NE was rather common to anything else. The cartridge is over 100 years old. The startup is an absolute killer price wise. For this reason we gave up on it.

I see this action take place in some of the current movies but it is rare in the older ones. In reality the horse usually got shot out from under the bad guy and what was left of him was dealt with shortly thereafter. Native Americans found this practice to be much more effective than attempting to shoot a trooper out of the saddle.
The tactic was mostly likely extremely useful against the Custer boys and their accompanying "terrorists" as they invaded the native homes of the Souix, Northern Cheynene, Crow, etc. on the Little Big Horn.

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