Part 6 Gutterball Number Fifteen

Larry Pratt

Gutterball Number 15: Wrong To Demagogue Charlton Heston

In sharp contrast to Bowling for Columbine (BFC’s) sycophantic and boot-licking interview of Marilyn Manson is the film’s disgraceful treatment of National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston. In one scene, we see a near-hysterical female Columbine High School student telling how the girl next to her was shot in the head and a black male student was murdered because he was black. Then, immediately, we see a film clip of Heston at an NRA convention, colonial long-gun held high over his head, saying: “From my cold dead hands!” After this, we see Moore telling us, ominously, that just 10 days after the Columbine mass murders Heston came to Denver and held a large pro-gun rally.

In another scene, we see Moore interviewing the teary-eyed principal of a Flint, Michigan, school where a six-year-old girl, Kayla Rolland, was shot to death by a six-year-old boy. Once again, we immediately see the same Heston “From my cold dead hands!” film clip. Says Moore, again ominously: “Just as he did after the Columbine shootings, Charlton Heston showed up in Flint to have a big pro-gun rally.”

So, what’s the point here? Can it really be that neither Heston nor any group of gun-owners should ever peaceably assemble anywhere someone has been shot by a gun? Ridiculous.

But, the most ridiculous thing involving Charlton Heston is Moore’s interview with the president of the NRA. That’s right, Heston actually allows Moore to come into his home and interview him! And what we see is not pretty.

For openers, Moore engages in some deceptive small talk with Heston designed to make him believe that Moore is not anti-gun, which he is. Moore shows him his NRA lifetime member card. When Heston says yes, he does have guns in his house, Moore says he “totally agrees” the Second Amendment gives Heston this right. But, Moore lies. Elsewhere in BFC, we see Moore interviewing and ridiculing a pro-gun supporter of the Second Amendment. And on MSNBC’s Donahue program (10/28/02), Moore says yes, he’s for a ban on the sale of handguns because “we don’t need handguns.”

In a discussion about violence in America, Moore mentions the murder of six-year-old Kayla Rolland. He asks Heston: Don’t you think it was “insensitive” to come to Flint and hold a big rally after this murder? Heston says that he was not aware of this murder when this rally was held. But, wouldn’t you like to “apologize” to the people of Flint because you did this, Moore asks. Heston, now appearing to realize he’s being had in this interview, replies, with contempt: “You want me to apologize?” He doesn’t.

Moore continues, asking Heston: And wouldn’t you also like to apologize to the people of Columbine for coming to their community after their horrible tragedy? Why do you go to places after they have these horrible tragedies? Heston says nothing, gets up out of his chair and walks slowly away from the interview as the camera follows him. Moore, holding up a picture of the murdered Kayla Rolland, says to Heston as he walks away: “Please, take a look at her.” This bit closes with Moore leaving the little girl’s photo propped up against a pillar in the Heston home.

Now, you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking. Why in the world would Charlton Heston let an idiot like Michael Moore inside of his house to interview him and film part of the layout of his home? When asked this question, Bill Powers, a spokesman for Heston would say only: “I won’t spend 30 seconds talking about Michael Moore.”

Perhaps it is not necessary to interpret what Moore did to Heston. Most people know something is disgusting when they see it.