BELLEVUE, WA – “With the passing of Charlton Heston over the weekend, America has lost a true patriot, and a man who stood up for all civil rights,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Gottlieb said the former National Rifle Association president and Academy Award-winning actor was a “pillar of strength” for the gun rights movement, and his passing is a sad event for the entire firearms community.

“Mr. Heston stood head and shoulders above other civil rights activists,” Gottlieb recalled, “because he recognized that the Bill of Rights was all-inclusive. He marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King long before it was fashionable for Hollywood stars to involve themselves in social issues. He was a firm believer in freedom of speech, and yet he was not afraid to hold this nation’s press corps and our institutions of higher learning accountable for their stifling political correctness.

“It is not often that a man of such international stature, and with such unquestionable dignity, steps forward to take a leadership role in a struggle of such importance as did Charlton Heston, in his ardent defense of the Second Amendment,” he continued. “Our prayers and most heartfelt thoughts are with Mr. Heston’s family.

“While we join our friends at the NRA in mourning the loss of this great American,” Gottlieb stated, “we should also celebrate the fact that he lived, and that he stood up when it counted. He was certainly an inspiration to those whose lives he touched, and to the millions of gun owners whose rights he unselfishly defended.

“Charlton Heston set an example by doing what he thought was right,” Gottlieb concluded, “and as a nation, we are the better for it.”