Friday, May 9, 2008

The "Gun Guys'" Take On "Respect"

I don't normally respond to the "Gun Guys" anti-gun email newsletter. They're mostly sound and fury signifying nothing; they don't have the people behind them to do much more than send out strident emails, and they're so desperate for attention and funding that it shouldn't be surprising that they stretch the truth, rant and howl. I'm also not sure how I became the defender of Charlton Heston; I didn't always agree with the man, but since his death, the jackals have felt safe.

What caught my eye and got me to open a Gun Guys email this time was Heston's name in the title. It's been awhile, I thought. Are they just now getting around to commenting on his death?
Nope. The screed inside was your basic hit piece on Heston--he thought he was a movie cowboy, he was a racist, etc. etc. etc. The only part that really caught my eye was this:
When Charlton Heston died nearly a month ago, GunGuys wrote a commentary respectfully recognizing his passing.
Well, on the one hand, I didn't recall that. But on the other hand, I probably read about one of every ten emails the Gun Guys send me; they tell grand lies and they don't respond to critics, so there's not much point for an argumentative guy like me. So I went to their site and looked for the respectful commentary. Here it is; I'll let you decide for yourself whether this constitutes respectful commentary on a man's death:

Although GunGuys adamently disagreed with Charlton Heston's pro-gun views, as word of his passing emerges, we would like to offer our condolences to the Heston family.

Heston stepped down as the chief shill for the NRA a few years back after he developed Alzheimer’s, a horrible disease.

We have to be honest, however, in saying that while Heston served the NRA, our country was not served well. His fiery advocacy for a mythic view of guns as sacred objects was a success, to a great degree. He helped create the post-millenium image of the gun lobby as invincible.

Like his Hollywood roles, the strength of the gun lobby is more based on public relations than reality – and that has had a harmful impact on public safety in America.

The individual ownership and largely unregulated sales of guns in America does not strengthen our liberty, as Heston contended, it limits it. We have less freedom when we are a nation armed to the teeth, because we cannot breathe the bracing air of feeling secure on our streets and in our homes.

When a person dies, we think of the best parts of their life.

For Gun Guys, we prefer to remember Charlton Heston as Moses. In that role, he led his people into the Promised Land, instead of into a gun shop.

Don't get me wrong. I don't expect respect from the Gun Guys; that's not their schtick. I guess it just struck me funny to see them bring up the idea of being respectful. And then I had an even funnier thought: What if they thought that was respectful?