Article Overview:   When do you turn the right to protect your children from harm over to the government?  Does it begin when you turn over your right to own a gun?  When you no longer feel the duty to protect your family from the Beast of Terror belongs to you, but instead to the government?    Find out what Charlton Heston has to say.


Sunday--April 27, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 592

Charlton Heston Says: 
"Don't Be A Sunshine Patriot Of Vigilance.  Stand Up Today!"

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, NEW YORK, NY--Charlton Heston raised the 1833 Winchester rifle slowly and painfully over his head, as best he could with onset of Alzheimer's, then growled his famous battle cry to 7,000 NRA members biding him farewell as their President:  "From my cold, dead hands."

"From my cold, dead hands."

      The crowd at the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida cheered as Heston stepped down as president of the organization, a position he has held since 1998.   For nearly two decades, Heston has served on the NRA's Board of Directors.  He is the gun lobby's most noted spokesman.
      Unfortunately, those days are numbered.
      Stricken with Alzheimer's, 78-year-old Heston was unable to deliver a speech from the podium.  Instead, he prerecorded his comments.   The NRA claims four million members nationally.  A total of 60,000 attended the conference.
      At the opening of the installation ceremony for the new NRA president, a bald eagle flew through the crowd as the national anthem played.  It was a reminder to all that the NRA fights to protect the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the "right to bear arms."
       One of Heston's most famous comments in defense of private gun owners is:  "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."

"...The law-abiding citizen is entitled to own a rifle, pistol, or shotgun. The right, put simply, shall not be infringed..."

-- Before the Senate Judiciary Committee 9/23/98


      And, in relation to protecting the right of Americans to bear arms, he said the following on May 18, 1997 during a Meet The Press interview:  "We have to pass on to America in the 21st century the same Bill of Rights that those wise, old, dead white guys that invented this country passed on to us."  

Heston's role as Moses elevated him into a near spiritual category

       At 78, Heston leaves a legacy of Vigilance in the wake of his active life.    As an actor, his role as "Moses" elevated him into a near spiritual category--a booming authority on fundamental issues, not unlike the real-life role he played.
       Later, as Ben Hur, he underscored his convictions to fight for his beliefs against the greatest of all threats--Rome itself.  Ben Hur was a film about the individual standing up to authority.
       Heston is the author of "Courage To Te Brave," and stars in over 100 minutes of speeches available on a collection of video clips called "Patriot At The Podium."
      For many peace and anti-war activists, Heston is their private-sector nemesis.   For years he counterbalanced the advocacy of Hollywood's left-of-center Voices, often bent on Bush bashing and spewing anti-American rhetoric

Heston was Ben Hur - an individual standing up to authority

      But at the NRA conference--perhaps the last he may be physically able to attend--he left this legacy: "You do the work of warriors.   A summer soldier and sunshine patriot will shrink from battle.  You must not."
      I thought about his final words.  I thought about them from a Sentinel of Vigilance's viewpoint.
      While many may not agree that every American has the right to own a gun, few Americans in the post Nine Eleven World believe they are safe from the far reaches of the Beast of Terror.
       Ultimately, the issue of gun control comes down to whether one believes it is the duty and responsibility of the individual citizens to protect themselves from the Beast of Terror, or, whether they should turn that right over to government.  
       If the choice of Americans is to charge government with the sole responsibility for their safety, then they should give up their arms and change the Second Amendment..  However, if there is the slightest doubt that the police or military might not be there when needed to protect a citizen or his or her family from harm's way, then perhaps our forefathers were more right than wrong in declaring our fundamental right to bear arms as part of America's constitution. 
       The issue of gun ownership to me is an issue of duty and responsibility between the government and the people.    In the final analysis, it begs the question: Who is in charge of protecting me, my family, my children, my grandchildren, their grandchildren from the Beast of Terror?
       I shudder to turn that final authority over to the government.   .
       They were Johnny-Come-Lately on September 11, 2001.
       They will be again.

As a parent, I am duty-bound to protect my children

      There is a fundamental part of me--perhaps going back to caves and primal genes--that tells me as a parent I am duty-bound to protect my family from harm, and when I disarm myself, I virtually invite the Beast of Terror to my doorstep for easy pickings.
       I often think of the Swiss in this regard.    With a population of just about the size of New York City--7.3 citizens--Switzerland is one of the lowest nations in the world for crime and acts of violence.
       One of the reasons is that each Swiss household is loaded with weapons.  Every Swiss Citizen is a member of the militia, each is trained to use weapons and fight.   Should an enemy attack the Swiss, it would be forced to kill all the civilians for beneath the facade of  Swiss civilian is a gun-toting militant responsible and duty-bound to defend his or her country to the death.
       That's why most enemies swerve around Switzerland.
       Neutrality--a euphemism for safety and security in the midst of war--often is synonymous with gun ownership.   The more gun ownership, the more independent the state.
       In battling Terrorism, we face two attacks.  One is the danger of a physical assault such as Nine Eleven.  The other is an emotional attack upon our psyche, one that rains upon us Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
       In both cases, to defend ourselves from the Beast of Terror means we must be armed and ready for his attack. 
       This is where I side with Charlton Heston.

       Those who want to control guns want individuals to give up the right of individual protection over to the state.    Basically, they are saying the protection of a child is the duty and responsibility of the state, the government, and no longer that of the parent.
        Many parents who are opposed to gun ownership unwittingly are supporting the Beast of Terror.   They are acting out the role of the Complacent, one of the Triads of Terrorism (Fear, Intimidation, Complacency), and perhaps the most insidious of all.
        As Mr. Heston said above, it isn't the gun that is bad, it is the person who holds it.   The Beast of Terror will harm those he seeks to harm with a gun, a knife, a club or biochemicals, or bombs.    Hurting others is the key.  How, is almost irrelevant.
       So the issue isn't about removing violence from society by removing guns from the people, it is instead an issue of removing the source of violence that lies between the ears of the human beings who issue violence upon others.   The barrel of a gun is only a tool of violence. That tool could be anything--a knife, a club, a rock.
        Gun control then comes down to Vigilance versus Terrorism control.
        Is it the duty and responsibility of Parents of Vigilance to protect their families from harm, or, the duty and responsibility of governments?

The Second Amendment

       A true Parent of Vigilance knows in his or her heart that no one can protect the child better than those who love and respect the child's rights.  One of the most important rights of a child is the right to grow into an adult and to have children of his or her own, and to protect their rights.
        Turning over the right of protection to the government is turning over the child to the hands of the Beast of Terror.   Disarming one's self in hopes another will appear to protect you when the Beast of Terror leaps out of the bushes is Pollyanna-ish at best and negligent at the worst.
        Vigilance means we carry with us daily the Shield of Vigilance and the Sword of Vigilance.   We carry around Courage to fight Fear, we pack Conviction to attack Intimidation, and we launch Right Actions in behalf of the Children's Children's Children to combat Complacency.
         If we were to wait for someone to rush up to us and dump Courage, Conviction and Right Actions in our hands, we might be too late.   In the gap between the assault of Terrorism and the response of the third-party to bring us protection, the Beast of Terror might have eaten our children.
         Unfortunately, most of the nation is disarmed on a daily basis.   When the average American awakens, it is unlikely the first thought that crosses their mind is battling the Beast of Terror.   Therefore, most people go about their day in a state of Complacency until suddenly attacked by the Beast.   Then they crumble, for they have no weapons to counter the assault.
        For example, a person awakes, goes to work with a smile on his or her face, and then mid-day is called into the office and fired or laid off.  Suddenly, the world collapses.  Fear, Intimidation and Complacency crash down.    One's sense of self-worth is smashed.   Storms of economic insecurity rage in the mind.  

Load the bullets of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions

        Had the person who rose that day read the Pledge of Vigilance while brushing his or her teeth, he or she would have polished the Shield of Vigilance.   The bullets of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions would have been loaded, designed to counter that sharp shooting of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
        A Parent of Vigilance who armed himself or herself with the Tools of Vigilance would pause before leaving for work and give his or her child a big hug, and remind the child how much it was loved.   He or she would know that building the child's self worth, bolstering its self-image, strengthening its Shields of Vigilance was just as important as putting on the Flack Jacket of Vigilance, for children daily are assaulted by the Beast of Terror.
        Daily, they wonder if they're smart enough, pretty enough, liked enough, loved enough.  Children are sponges with tender emotions, easily bruised.   The more we protect them from harm, the more we teach them Courage, Conviction and Right Actions, the less room there is for the Beast of Terror to slip through our defenses and booby trap the child with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.

We arm ourselves for the battle of life

       In this light, we are arming ourselves and our children every day for the battle of life.  We are keying ourselves up to withstand the unexpected attacks, the suicide bombers, the random acts of both physical and emotional violence that come our way each day.
        When our feelings are hurt by someone's words, it is often as cruel and painful as though they had stabbed us with a knife.   If we fail at something, or don't get what we expect, the pain is often like a bullet in the gut, doubling us over, sometimes making us wish we were dead.
        These attacks on our well-being are as real as enemy bullets, or Terrorist shrapnel ripping at our flesh.  Unless we are armed to counter such attacks, we will continue to suffer, and perhaps bring that suffering home with us and dump it on our loved ones, perhaps even abusing our children because of our own pain.
        If we are disarmed, if we have given up the duty and responsibility to protect ourselves, we may continue to suffer until life becomes unbearable.
       That's why gun control is not a good idea.

Each of us needs to load up each day

       Each of us needs to load up our Weapons of Vigilance each day to thwart Beast of Terror Attacks.  
       To remove the pain and suffering of feelings of failure, self-loathing, lack of self worth, we need the Courage, Conviction and Right Actions to remind ourselves such feelings are only works of the Beast of Terror, attempting to drive us into states of Complacency where we sit powerless, like warts on a frog, unable to do anything.
      Vigilance, however, is our counter-Terrorism tool.
      We pull it out of its holster just as we might a gun, and we aim it at the heart of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   When we pull the trigger, instead of bullets flying out, Courage, Conviction and Right Action does.
       Our three Principles of Vigilance wrestle the Triads of Terrorism and handcuff and lock them up, freeing us to take Right Actions in behalf of the Children's Children's Children.

It's not a bad thing to consider Heston's words: "From my cold, dead hands."

       So, it's not a bad thing to support the Second Amendment.
       And, it's not a bad thing to consider saying what Charlton Heston has said for years, "From my cold, dead hands."
      When he says those words, he's holding up a gun or rifle, reminding the world that the only way you can take it from him is when he's dead.
       Maybe each of us can feel good about holding up Courage, Conviction and Right Actions and saying in the same deep, stentoric Voice as Charlton Heston...."From my cold, dead hands.."



April 26--Attacked By Sentinel Of Vigilance

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