He never did apologize

Allan Lamb

This past weekend, the legendary actor Charlton Heston passed away at the age of 83.

Heston is probably best known for his roles as Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur and Moses in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. Other notable movies Heston appeared in include Touch of Evil, El Cid, Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes and the infamous interview with Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine.

In the interview, Moore brought up the fact that Heston, then president of the National Rifle Association, spoke at an NRA rally held in Denver a short time after the Columbine shootings. Moore, after being granted an interview and invited into Heston’s private residence, asked him to apologize to the people of Denver Metro for his supposed insensitivity regarding the massacre. Heston responded in his distinct voice, “You want me to apologize?” He then asked Moore and crew to leave his house.

Till the day he died, Heston offered no apology for having the rally as scheduled. Much can be said about Heston’s acting career, and just as much can be said about his character off-screen. One thing in particular is that he was a man who stood up for what he believed in.

During the Civil Rights Movement, the silver screen Moses stood by real-life Moses-figure Martin Luther King Jr. in the continuing struggle to lead America’s exodus away from hate and segregation toward being a nation of embrace and unity.

In 1968, following the assassination of Robert Kennedy, Heston appeared on “The Joey Bishop Show” with Gregory Peck, James Stewart and Kirk Douglas to advocate gun control. Later on in life, Heston’s views on guns changed, and he became a spokesperson against gun control and was elected president of the NRA four times — the only person to hold the office for more than two terms.

I disagree with Heston about gun ownership being everyone’s “God-given right.” I believe it is a privilege for non-felons. However, I don’t believe Heston was morally or ethically wrong in going through with the NRA rally. Politically incorrect? Yes.

Regardless of his change of beliefs, Heston always spoke out with passion about what he stood for. He had no shame in using his fame and charisma to his advantage when speaking his mind. He was unapologetic about where he stood, and I don’t blame him for making Michael Moore last on his list of people to apologize to.

Contact all editor Allan Lamb at [email protected].