Wilderness, Freedom, Firearms: Sacred Rhetoric at the 53rd Parallel

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This article analyzes National Rifle Association past–president Charlton Heston’s 2000 speech to the British Columbia Wildlife Federation. Narrating a shared mythology, Heston mapped a bridge between the two groups by dovetailing three ideas: wilderness, freedom, and firearms – each of which ostensibly transcends national borders. By exploring how Heston engaged a foreign audience dedicated to wildlife conservation, the paper examines the capacity of sacred rhetoric to generate shared ideological ground and thereby both expand, and demarcate, a community’s contours.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
StatePublished - 2020


  • Arts and Humanities
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

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