In 2000, at the NRA convention, and again in 2003, when Charlton Heston held that iconic musket over his head and said, "From my cold dead hands," he was more right than most folks realize.
Heston held the weapon of choice for real hunters. It was a rifle that could hit a buck at 500 yards but not a room full of children. He held a weapon that looked at home over a fireplace and could be used to defend a home without putting it at increased risk. Muskets are notoriously poor weapons when it comes to drive by shootings, mass murders, suicide and domestic violence.
If the picture of a musket in your mind is a little hard to grasp, substitute the picture of any hunting rifle or shotgun with a small ammo capacity. Think of something your father or grandfather used when they taught you gun safety.
More importantly, Heston did not have an assault rifle in his hand with a large capacity magazine full of cop-killer bullets.
Was Charlton Heston trying to provoke a conversation? That overdue conversation by moms and dads about common sense solutions to improve gun safety is late in occurring but hopefully not too late for your children or grandchildren.
If you support the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, and abhor the death and carnage inflicted upon so many in its name, your participation in that common-sense conversation is necessary. If you are a hunter, your participation in that conversation is essential.
For too long, hunters have been pushed out of the conversation by extremists from the militias, conspiracy groups, gun manufacturers and political opportunists. Yes, Grover Norquist sits on the NRA board, which was elected by 7 percent of its membership. Now is the time for hunters to retake control of their sport, their way of life, and their reputation.
Many remember Charlton Heston as an over-the-hill actor with a bad hairpiece, a drinking problem and diminished mental capacity who could only get attention by saying the most outlandish things to extremist groups in his later years.
In Wikipedia, it says that, in 2000, Heston publicly disclosed that he had been treated for alcoholism at a Utah clinic in May–June of that year On August 9, 2002, Heston publicly announced (via a taped message) he was diagnosed with symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.
Others remember the Academy Award-winning actor who walked with Dr. King in 1963 at the civil rights march on Washington. If we close our eyes, we can see the both real hero and the movie hero standing with the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School, defending the children and not defending the weapons that made the massacre possible.