From My Cold, Dead Hands.

Charlton Heston is dead now, but he didn’t go the way he wanted or what any gun-loving citizen would have expected. He just died.

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The only misuse of guns comes in environments where there are drugs, alcohol, bad parents and undisciplined children.” Ted Nugent

In “Bowling For Columbine,” Michael Moore interviewed an aging Charlton Heston, arguably one of the more masculine movie stars of his era. Heston had been a strong supporter of the NRA. In one of his speeches, he famously said, “I’ll give you my gun when it’s torn from my cold, dead hands.”

He wasn’t holding a gun when he died.

Moore was criticized for going to Heston’s house (before he died, of course), supposedly for a friendly interview and, instead, berated a frail Heston about his famous comment. Heston got up and left. Since it was his own house, he didn’t have to go very far. Moore came across as a bit of a meanie.

Heston got a bad rap for being too chummy with the NRA, something President Trump is accused of today. Trump’s very chummy with the NRA. He even agreed with their suggestion that “students should all carry guns.”

To match most deranged shooters’ firepower, they’d need at least an AR-15, plus a silencer if they’re using the library a lot. The costs add up.

According to the NRA, nothing stops a self-loathing, loaded-to-the-teeth former student like 3,500 guns pointed at him (3,500 is the population at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida).

Some Americans think that may be going too far, others believe our gun-toting history makes us genetically geared for weaponry. Our opposable thumbs make it easy to pull back gun hammers.

The NRA will use this one day when they run out of 2nd Amendment arguments.

For practical purposes, though, what type of gun should a student be carrying? To match most deranged shooters’ firepower, they’d need at least an AR-15, plus a silencer if they’re using the library a lot.

There’s also the suggestion that all school staff should carry guns. One teacher commented: “We can’t even get school supplies, yet somehow the county will find the budget for guns and training?”

Again, this is a viable point. Schools are trimming budgets. Any allocation for firearms would have to come out of book purchases and teacher hires.

With AR-15s capable of 800 rounds per minute, that’s 24,000 bullets flying around one classroom.

But let’s go back to the idea of thirty children in a classroom facing a gun-wielding former student. As a detective explained, “Even if you’re trained, the noise in a closed space is unbelievable.The biggest danger is crossfire. Once a shot goes off, everyone’s natural instinct is to just keep firing.”

With AR-15s capable of 800 rounds per minute, that’s 24,000 bullets flying around one classroom.

Of course, the NRA would say that’s just crazy math. Kids aren’t going to be walking around with AR-15s. They might have Glocks. Glocks max out at 33 rounds in 3 seconds.

Police use Glocks when they go up against crazies with AR-15s. They’ve been calling this crazy math for years. AR-15s sell at Walmart for around $399.99.

Price is a virtue in the United States. A bargain’s a bargain, a constitution is a constitution. Heavily discounted assault weapons confirms the obvious: Americans are meant to have guns, enjoy guns, and deal with the occasional massacre of citizens.

“Sure, there was violence,” he said. “That’s how things get done.”

Whether it’s Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Colorado or Parkland, Americans feel it’s the cost of freedom, specially in a big ol’ country where heroes, legends and even movie stars go around packing.

John Wayne never talked much about his own gun ownership, but he had quite the collection. “All I’m for is the liberty of the individual,” he said one time, adding that, of course, it can lead to violence.

In an article Michael Moore wrote for The Hollywood Reporter, he pointed out that Americans want guns because they’re afraid. “It’s the fear of getting killed that’s getting a lot of us killed,” he said. As he explained, half the guns used in home invasions were actually owned by the deceased.

“We have an ‘us or them’ mentality,” he said, whereas, countries like Canada, Norway and New Zealand take care of each other.

These other countries may have universal healthcare, social security and libraries all over the place, but Americans have freedom.

A caring society simply doesn’t feel the need to shoot folks, something borne out in places like Japan where guns aren’t even part of the societal framework. Police rarely carry guns and only 6 shots were fired in 2015.

They prefer to roll troublemakers up in what look like futons. It seems turning your typical deranged person into a burrito really works. Americans love burritos.

What Americas don’t love is being called an uncaring society. These other countries may have universal healthcare, social security and libraries all over the place, but Americans have freedom.

That’s what got Donald Trump elected. He’s big on the rights of the individual, regardless of how dumb-headed or ridiculously unsafe it is — or what we lose in the process.

The new federal budget guts almost all environmental controls, Planned Parenthood and pesky immigrants, but guns remain an inalienable right.

There was actually a gun exposition the day after the Parkland killings. Notices at the door said it’d been planned months before, so, like, nobody was being unfeeling, but life goes on, right?

Life may go on, but 30,000 gun-related deaths last year does seem like a lot considering Japan only had three. We can’t even blame our trigger-happy bloodlust on movies. Japan loves gore as much as we do.

Which brings us back to Michael Moore. Is he right? Do we need to take better care of each other? Governments say they don’t have the money. They can’t tax the rich any more because, hell, that’s just not the American way.

Considering they took home 80% of the wealth last year, that’s a lot to drag out of their cold, dead hands.

Wealth and guns are two privileges written into the American Constitution, and the rich agree with Charlton Heston: “You’ll have to drag it out of my cold, dead hands.” Considering they took home 80% of the wealth last year, that’s a lot to drag out of their cold, dead hands.

It’s too bad, in a way, since recent estimates show that the top 1% of the population could easily end world poverty seven times over.

Instead, the recent federal budget looked at conservative belt-tightening like eliminating environmental controls, Planned Parenthood and healthcare coverage to seniors. That way, there’s money for infrastructure so the wealthy, like the Kochs of the world, can do more market exchange at more efficient costs. It’s a typical “freedom” boondoggle.

30,000 murders a year may seem like the price of freedom, but the total casualties of the Vietnam War were 58,220.

Still, there are rights to think about. If John Wayne says liberty is everything, who’s going to argue with The Duke? Give us liberty or give us death. Catchy line, but the death part is a bit worrisome. 30,000 gun-related deaths a year may seem like the price of freedom, but the total casualties of the Vietnam War were 58,220. We’ll pass that number by the end of this year.

Freedom obviously requires a lot of “cold, dead hands.” And a lot of dumb freedoms masquerading as civil rights.

That’s the way Americans like it.

Robert Cormack is a novelist, children’s book author and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores (now in paperback). Check out Yucca Publishing or Skyhorse Press for more details.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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