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National Firearms Museum Opens in Fairfax, VA

<H2 Guns, Rifles, Shotguns, Pistols /H2> The NRA Museum, located in the NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, VA,  is now open and is a great place to visit when you are in the Washington, D.C. area.  I had an opportunity to see this remarkable place this year and I was really impressed. You have the opportunity to see the history of firearms development, Military and civilian displays, Guns of the Presidents and Generals, guns from famous Movies and TV shows, and the last display as you exit, guns of all types that were used to defend life and property.  There are also facilities like the NRA Store, Shooting Range, and a cafeteria.  The NRA Museum web site address is http://www.nrahq.org/museum . It is a great trip for the entire family. 

'Winning the Cultural War' -

Charlton Heston's Speech to the Harvard
Law School Forum, Feb 16, 1999


I remember my son when he was five, explaining to his kindergarten
class what his father did for a living. "My Daddy," he said, "pretends to be
people." There have been quite a few of them. Prophets from the Old
and New Testaments, a couple of Christian saints, generals of various
nationalities and different centuries, several kings, three American
presidents, a French cardinal and two geniuses, including Michelangelo.

If you want the ceiling repainted I'll do my best. There always seem
to be a lot of different fellows up here. I'm never sure which one of
them gets to talk. Right now, I guess I'm the guy.

As I pondered our visit tonight it struck me: If my Creator gave me
the gift to connect you with the hearts and minds of those great men, then
I want to use that same gift now to reconnect you with your own sense of
liberty of your own freedom of thought ... your own compass for what
is right.

Dedicating the memorial at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln said of
America, "We are now engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether this
nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure." Those words
are true again. I believe that we are again engaged in a great civil war,
a cultural war that's about to hijack your birthright to think and say
what resides in your heart. I fear you no longer trust the pulsing
lifeblood of liberty inside you ... the stuff that made this country rise
from wilderness into the miracle that it is.

Let me back up. About a year ago I became president of the National
Rifle Association, which protects the right to keep and bear arms. I
ran for office, I was elected, and now I serve ... I serve as a moving
target for the media who've called me everything from "ridiculous" and
"duped" to a "brain-injured, senile, crazy old man." I know ... I'm
pretty old ... but I sure, Lord, ain't senile.

As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment
freedoms, I've realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it's
much, much bigger than that. I've come to understand that a cultural
war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain
acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated. For example, I marched
for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 - long before Hollywood found it
fashionable. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is
just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they
called me a racist. I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals
all my life. But when I told an audience that gayrights should extend no
further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe. I
served in World War II against the Axis powers. But during a speech, when I
drew an analogy between singling out innocent Jews and singling out
innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite. Everyone I know knows I
would never raise a closed fist against my country. But when I asked an audience
to oppose this cultural persecution, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh.

From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essentially
saying, "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind. You are using language
not authorized for public consumption!" But I am not afraid. If Americans
believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys --
subjects bound to the British crown.

In his book, "The End of Sanity," Martin Gross writes that "blatantly
irrational behavior is rapidly being established as the norm in almost
every area of human endeavor. There seem to be new customs, new rules,
new anti-intellectual theories regularly foisted on us from every
direction. Underneath, the nation is roiling. Americans know something
without a name is undermining the nation, turning the mind mushy when
it comes to separating truth from falsehood and right from wrong. And
they don't like it."

Let me read a few examples. At Antioch college in Ohio, young men
seeking intimacy with a coed must get verbal permission at each step
of the process from kissing to petting to final copulation ... all
clearly spelled out in a printed college directive. In New Jersey, despite
the death of several patients nationwide who had been infected by dentists
who had concealed their AIDs --- the state commissioner announced that
health providers who are HIV-positive need not ..... need not ..... tell
their patients that they are infected.

At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of the school
team "The Tribe" because it was supposedly insulting to local Indians,
only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs truly like the name.

In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance protecting the
rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job, and for transsexuals to
have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery.

In New York City, kids who don't speak a word of Spanish have been
placed in bilingual classes to learn their three R's in Spanish solely
because their last names sound Hispanic.

At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where thousands died at
Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college officially
set up segregated dormitory space for black students. Yeah, I know ...
that's out of bounds now. Dr. King said "Negroes." Jimmy Baldwin and
most of us on the March said "black." But it's a no-no now. For me,
hyphenated identities are awkward ... particularly "Native-American." I'm a
Native American, for God's sake. I also happen to be a blood-initiated
brother of the Miniconjou Sioux. On my wife's side, my grandson is a
thirteenth generation native American ... with a capital letter on "American."

Finally, just last month ... David Howard, head of the Washington D.C.
Office of Public Advocate, used the word "niggardly" while talking to
colleagues about budgetary matters. Of course, "niggardly" means stingy
or scanty. But within days Howard was forced to publicly apologize and
resign. As columnist Tony Snow wrote: "David Howard got fired because
some people in public employ were morons who (a) didn't know the meaning of
niggardly, (b) didn't know how to use a dictionary to discover the
meaning, and (c) actually demanded that he apologize for their
ignorance."

What does all of this mean? It means that telling us what to think has
evolved into telling us what to say, so telling us what to do can't be
far behind. Before you claim to be a champion of free thought, tell
me: Why did political correctness originate on America's campuses? And why
do you continue to tolerate it? Why do you, who're supposed to debate
ideas, surrender to their suppression?

Let's be honest. Who here thinks your professors can say what they
really believe? It scares me to death, and should scare you too, that
the superstition of political correctness rules the halls of reason.
You are the best and the brightest. You, here in the fertile cradle of
American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles
River, you are the cream. But I submit that you, and your counterparts
across the land, are the most socially conformed and politically silenced
generation since Concord Bridge. And as long as you validate that ... and
abide it ... you are -- by your grandfathers' standards -- cowards.

Here's another example. Right now at more than one major university,
Second Amendment scholars and researchers are being told to shut up
about their findings or they'll lose their jobs. Why? Because their
research findings would undermine big-city mayor's pending lawsuits
that seek to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from firearm
manufacturers. I don't care what you think about guns. But if you are not
shocked at that, I am shocked at you. Who will guard the raw material of
unfettered ideas, if not you? Who will defend the core value of academia, if
you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay down your arms
and plead, "Don't shoot me."

If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist. If you see
distinctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist. If
you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you
anti-religion. If you accept but don't celebrate homosexuality, it
does not make you a homophobe. Don't let America's universities continue to
serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.

But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive
social subjugation? The answer's been here all along. I learned it 36
years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC,
standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.
You simply ... disobey. Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course.
Nonviolently, absolutely.

But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't.
We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.
I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King ... who
learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man
who led those in the right against those with the might.

Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that
disobedient spirit that tossed tea into Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to
jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war in Viet
Nam. In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness
with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and onerous
laws that weaken personal freedom.

But be careful ... it hurts. Disobedience demands that you put
yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies. You must be willing
to be humiliated ... to endure the modern-day equivalent of the police dogs
at Montgomery and the water cannons at Selma. You must be willing to
experience discomfort. I'm not complaining, but my own decades of
social activism have taken their toll on me. Let me tell you a story.

A few years back I heard about a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a
CD called "Cop Killer" celebrating ambushing and murdering police
officers. It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the
biggest entertainment conglomerate in the world. Police across the
country were outraged. Rightfully so-at least one had been murdered. But
Time/Warner was stonewalling because the CD was a cash cow for them,
and the media were tiptoeing around it because the rapper was black. I
heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills. I
owned some shares at the time, so I decided to attend.

What I did there was against the advice of my family and colleagues. I
asked for the floor. To a hushed room of a thousand average American
stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of "Cop Killer"- every
vicious, vulgar, instructional word.

"I GOT MY 12 GAUGE SAWED OFF. I GOT MY HEADLIGHTS TURNED OFF. I'M
ABOUT TO BUST SOME SHOTS OFF. I'M ABOUT TO DUST SOME COPS OFF..."

It got worse, a lot worse. I won't read the rest of it to you. But
trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces. The
Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their shoes.
They hated me for that. Then I delivered another volley of sick lyric brimming
with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing two 12-year old
nieces of Al and Tipper Gore.

"SHE PUSHED HER BUTT AGAINST MY ...."

Well, I won't do to you here what I did to them. Let's just say I left
the room in echoing silence. When I read the lyrics to the waiting
press corps, one of them said "We can't print that."
"I know," I replied, "but Time/Warner's selling it." Two months later,
Time/Warner terminated Ice-T's contract. I'll never be offered another
film by Warner's, or get a good review from Time magazine. But
disobedience means you must be willing to act, not just talk.

When a mugger sues his elderly victim for defending herself ... jam
the switchboard of the district attorney's office.

When your university is pressured to lower standards until 80% of the
students graduate with honors ... choke the halls of the board of
regents.

When an 8-year-old boy pecks a girl's cheek on the playground and gets
hauled into court for sexual harassment ... march on that school and
block its doorways.

When someone you elected is seduced by political power and betrays
you...petition them, oust them, banish them.

When Time magazine's cover portrays millennium nuts as deranged, crazy
Christians holding a cross as it did last month ... boycott their
magazine and the products it advertises.

So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the
hallowed footsteps of the great disobedience's of history that freed
exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of
an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God's grace, built this
country.

If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree. Thank you.

 

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