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Heston Puts Himself in the Bull's-Eye

June 17, 1998

Re "Will He Be NRA's Moses on the Mount?" (June 12): For many years I have admired Charlton Heston's excellent work in the movie industry. He is truly one of the greats and deservedly so. However, I find it difficult to understand his position on the gun-control issue. I am sure he is aware of the pitiful situation in our country and in Los Angeles, of murders and violence caused by people allowed free use of firearms.

Recently, I was involved in an experience I will remember the rest of my life. On an autumn afternoon, I visited my bank with a deposit. In a matter of minutes, I was lying face down on the bank floor praying as an individual with a gun five feet away was shouting at the cashiers to get down on the floor. The hysterical cashiers, mostly young women, were complying, pleading for their lives. After picking up some cash, the man with the gun passed within four feet of me, ran out the door and was lost in traffic.

Although I survived the experience well, my heart went out to the young ladies whose futures will be scarred by this episode. Mr. Heston, please give some serious thought to the innocent children who are affected and also the thousands of families in mourning because of lack of gun control.

ROC HILLMAN

Woodland Hills

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That Charlton Heston lives in a "fortress" and speaks of "personal arsenals" can hardly be surprising.

He's out to get each and every one of us to buy a gun. The horror resulting from this appears to sail right over his head. Or it doesn't concern him.

JAMES PRIDEAUX

Los Angeles

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This country has always had the good fortune to have exceptional men and women step forward in our time of need to lead us out of our darkest times. I feel that Charlton Heston is such a man.

Right now, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are hanging by a thread, and central to all of our rights is the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms should the government become oppressive.

Contrary to the reports in the press, Heston will not lead the NRA back to the mainstream. We are the mainstream. Rather, he will lead the American people back from the hysterical ranting claims of the press and gratuitous violence of television and motion pictures to the reality of responsible firearm ownership and use.

History and current events are filled with examples of how unarmed minorities have been slaughtered by bloodthirsty, merciless majorities. So long as we preserve our right to keep and bear arms through the 2nd Amendment and this country continues to produce men like Heston and organizations like the National Rifle Assn. to stand up for our rights, events like Bosnia and Rwanda will never happen in America.

MICHAEL A. PACER

Glendora

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Charlton Heston keeps invoking the words of the founding fathers and of the 2nd Amendment. Fair enough. But when he does so, should he not also consider the types of weapons that the founding fathers were familiar with?

In those days, single-shot British Brown Bess muskets, flintlock pistols and the like were the arms people carried. Had they known that one day it would be possible for a madman to spray a schoolyard with bullets from an automatic rifle, would they not, given their renowned wisdom and common sense, have taken a different approach to the issue?

THOMAS P. BERNSTEIN

Irvine

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