Charlton Heston, Oscar-winning actor of such films as Ben-Hur, and former president of the National Rifle Association, has died at the age of 84. At his funeral, gun control activists pried his guns from his cold, dead hands.
Heston was best-known for his starring roles in movies such as The Ten Commandments and Planet of the Apes, and his Academy Award-winning role in Ben-Hur. In later years, Heston became better known as a spokesman and eventually the president of the National Rifle Association. At NRA conventions, Heston would hold up a rifle and deliver his catch phrase, "From my cold, dead hands," an abbreviated version of the NRA's slogan "I'll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands."
Shortly after his death on Saturday, several gun control organizations submitted formal requests to take his statement literally. One request read, in part, "Heston frequently stated that his guns would be available when his hands were cold and dead. We believe his current state qualifies."
Sandra Froman, the current president of the National Rifle Association, was dismayed, but honored the requests. She stated, "We don't like it, but there's nothing we can do about it. It was a legitimate and standing offer that Mister Heston presented at almost every appearance. We all thought it was just a joke. Never thought anyone would take it seriously."
At Heston's funeral, all of his guns were placed in his hands inside his casket. Just before the casket was lowered into the grave, gun control activists climbed into the casket and wrenched the guns from Heston's hands. One of them, William Froden of Americans For Gun Control, said afterwards, "It was kind of hard because rigor mortis had already set in. I think I might have broken one of Heston's thumbs, but I got his antique flintlock rifle. We're planning to melt the guns down and turn them into trigger locks. We'll sell the locks and use the proceeds to promote gun control legislation."
UPDATE: The Onion published an article on April 7, 2008 with a similar title and theme. This version was written before the author was aware of the Onion's and bows to the Masters. But still thinks it's funny.