FITSNews – April 6, 2008 – The man who parted the Red Sea, marched for civil rights with Dr. Martin Luther King, and told the liberal anti-gun lobby to pry a flintlock rifle from his “cold, dead hands” passed away in Beverly Hills yesterday. Charlton Heston, whose epic performances as Moses and Judah Ben-Hur in mid-to-late fifties made him one of America’s original cinematic icons, died of natural causes at the age of eighty-three. His wife of 64 years, Lydia, was at his side.

Heston’s God-like voice and Apollo-esque physique not only translated into Hollywood gold, but meshed with his fervor for individual liberties created an indelible mark on American culture. And admirably, Heston didn’t distinguish between so-called liberal causes (civil rights) or conservative ones (Second Amendment rights), although he later took a dim view of the “tangle of entitlements and reverse discrimination” he believed the civil rights movement had created. Today, the National Rifle Association praised its former president as a patriot who “believed with every fiber of his being that our Bill of Rights is the foundation of our freedom.”

America has lost a great patriot. The Second Amendment has lost a faithful friend … and so have four million NRA members and eighty million gun owners. And so has every American who cares about the Bill of Rights, individual liberty, and Freedom.

True that. Heston, who like another American conservative legend was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease late in his life, always spoke his mind and never gave a damn what his critics thought of him. Which makes him a hero in our book, even if he wasn’t a hero already in everybody else’s book …