When I saw the news of the gunman who killed 10 people in Florida with a semiautomatic rifle, I immediately thought of my friend Charlton Heston and his NRA commercials.
To hear Charlton tell it, guns are as safe as Hershey's almond bars. But when you have a mass killing like the one in Jacksonville, there are always going to be a few skeptical souls who say, "Charlton is gonzo."
It is at times like this that we have to make the pro-gun lobby TV commercials stronger, not weaker.
That is what I've been doing for the past few weeks -- writing commercials to keep the naysayers from huffing and puffing on the pro-gun lobby's doors.
The first would show a man holding a Colt semiautomatic rifle in his hand. "Hi, I just lost my job at Mom's Diner on Route 66. As you can imagine I don't feel too good about this, so I bought myself a semi. I'm not saying if I'm going to use it or not, but the nice thing about this state is that I didn't have to wait to buy it, in case I get the urge. The man in the store handed it over as if it were a loaf of French bread. That's why I belong to the National Trigger Association. We have 10 million members, give or take five or ten thousand who get shot accidentally every year."
My second commercial would feature a woman firing a .357 magnum from her hip. She'd turn to the camera and say, "The National Trigger Association prides itself on teaching women how to shoot. I'm a widow and I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have this gun under my pillow. How did I become a widow? I shot my husband, George, when he tried to sneak up the stairs after a terrific beer party down at the American Legion hall. I felt terrible about what I did, but everyone tells me not to worry -- at least I proved I was a good shot."
The third commercial would have an Army general in full uniform. "I've been around guns all my life," he'd say. "And all the stories you hear about them killing people are malarkey. What kills people are the bullets. This country needs every gun it can get its hands on. We have our choice of fighting the anti-handgun people on the sands of California or on the shores of Tennessee. Write to your congressman today and tell him that if he is even thinking of passing anti-gun legislation, he'll get his jockey shorts filled with lead."
The last commercial I wrote was for Charlton Heston, although I am not sure he'll do it. It would show Charlton as Moses from his movie "The Ten Commandments." He would be saying:
"At the time God gave me the Ten Commandments He specifically did not tell me, 'Thou shall not own a handgun.' When I asked Him about this, He replied, 'What's a handgun?' I told Him that it was just a sporting weapon my people use for target practice in the Sinai desert.
"God asked, 'Doesn't it kill anybody?'
"No, God. Guns don't kill people -- You kill people."