April 21, 2000
American actor Charlton Heston was in BC last week lecturing
Canadians on our gun registration legislation. Mr. Heston said
that Canadians and Americans are "basically the same people,
sharing a common history, separated by a mostly imaginary political
Mr. Heston obviously hasn't read many Canadian history books.
Like when he said Canadians and Americans are "cut from
the same frontier cloth." Well, we're not, and my family
homesteaded in the Canadian West. Life was often hard, but not
nearly as violent the American West.
So if we're making things up, I thought I'd make up an interview
with Mr. Heston.
"So Mr. Heston, first of all, thank you for agreeing
to this completely fictitious interview. As head of the National
Rifle Association you felt you had to come to Canada and warn
us about our own government and it's policy concerning gun registration."
"That's right," Mr. Heston warned. "Do you
want a bunch of damn filthy apes putting their hands on you and
cutting open the heads of your best friends? You'll wish you
still had your gun when you're being dragged around in a big
net behind a bunch of gorillas."
"More than likely, Mr. Heston," I smiled nervously.
"But that didn't really happen, did it? That was just one
of your movies."
"Sure, you Canadians can say that what happens in the
United States doesn't effect you, but you're living in a fool's
paradise. Next time it could be your Statue of Liberty buried
up to its neck in the sand."
"We don't have a Statue of Liberty, Mr. Heston."
"My God, it's more serious than I thought up here. How
long has it been missing?"
"But it's not missing," I insisted.
"You see, that's the difference between Canadians and
Americans. Unlike you, we miss our liberty."
"I think you're a little confused," I gently said,
keeping an eye on the exit.
"Even so, those subterranean nuclear mutants aren't going
to stay underground forever. You'll be happy you have an Uzi
when they cover themselves in sunscreen and try to conquer the
"Uhh, I think you're thinking of 'Beneath the Planet
of the Apes', Mr. Heston."
"Damn right I am. We should all be thinking about it
before we give in to the tyranny that makes us register our guns."
"How do you mean?" I asked.
"Canada only has to look into its own history to see
the need for arming its population. Think of when Canada was
occupied by the Romans."
"Like Ben Hur?" I helpfully suggested.
"Exactly like in Ben Hur. Do you want a bunch of swaggering
Romans pushing your family around, making you give unto Caesar
and sending your sons to gladiator school?"
"Canada was never occupied by the Romans, Mr. Heston.
The first Europeans here were probably the Vikings."
"Fine, so you'd rather be pushed around by guys wearing
hats with horns. My point is you need guns to fend off foreign
invaders," Mr. Heston explained.
"Actually, the last foreigners to invade Canada were
you Americans in the war of 1812," I pointed out.
"So you see the need to keep foreigners out of Canada
who have no idea what this country is all about."
"I'm beginning to, Mr. Heston."