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
27, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 592
Charlton Heston Says:
"Don't Be A Sunshine Patriot Of Vigilance. Stand Up Today!"
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,
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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
And, it's not a bad thing to consider
saying what Charlton Heston has said for years, "From my cold, dead
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
26--Attacked By Sentinel Of Vigilance
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