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April 7, 2008

Style and Grace

In my 40-year journey through the gun violence prevention movement, I have had the opportunity to meet—and at times to debate—many fascinating people. One of the most interesting individuals I’ve ever encountered was Charlton Heston, who served as President of the National Rifle Association (NRA) from 1998 to 2003.

I must admit that I was never a fan of Mr. Heston's wooden acting style, nor his stentorian delivery.
Neither could I find much value in the right-wing political philosophy he embraced later in his life. However, I found him to be a kind and humorous gentleman in person. Perhaps I was swayed by his referring to me as a "young man"; something I had not been called in years!

Heston was extremely successful at portraying some of the great characters of history on the silver screen. But perhaps the greatest character he was able to project was that of Chuck Heston, the larger-than-life, rugged American hero. His manner of sharing his final battle with Alzheimer's disease was a great testimony to the man, as was the forceful way in which he led the NRA. I will truly miss his style and grace.

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