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Feb 05 2013

Are you on the NRA ‘enemies’ list?

It turns out that the National Rifle Association maintains an official list of organizations and individuals whom it perceives as being anti-gun. The has been quickly dubbed far and wide as an ‘enemies list’.

Apart from the absurdity of having an enemies list in the first place (remember the ridicule that was heaped on president Richard Nixon when it was revealed that he too maintained such a list?), an organization that encourages practically unlimited and unrestricted gun ownership should be wary about explicitly identifying people as opponents to its followers, some of whom are unhinged enough to see anyone who opposes them as traitors to the country’s heritage and may be heavily armed as well.

There are some surprises on the list of organizations. That there are a lot of health-related and religious groups I can understand. But the list seems to contain a lot of women’s groups such as the TWCA whom I had not thought of as having made strong stands against guns. So if you happen to be a member of any of the listed organizations, be warned that the NRA considers you to be a hostile force. I am either a member or regular contributor to three of the organizations on the list, so I guess I am a triple threat, even though I am not reflexively opposed to gun ownership.

The list of individuals is, as you might expect, heavy on people from the entertainment world. The fact that many of them have long past the apex of their fame (Peter Bonerz, Candice Bergen, Mariette Hartley) suggests that this list was started a long time ago and that once you are on it you never get off, unless you die (though the late Nora Ephron is still there). There are also five members of the family of the late Frank Zappa. That’s a whole lotta Zappas.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was the presence of N Sync. Really? A boy band from long ago is an enemy of the NRA? Are they still even performing? I know that many people simply hate their music but isn’t this taking it too far?

22 comments

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  1. 1
    michaelbusch

    Re. N Sync:

    They stopped performing in 2002. I only know that because their former manager, Lou Pearlman, defrauded them, several other bands, and a large number of other investors of a cumulative total of $300 million, and I know a couple of the lawyers who were involved in disentangling the mess of where all the money had gone.

    No idea how they offended the NRA.

  2. 2
    ashleylynnwilson

    I commented on another blog about this. The list gets published with Ed Koch’s name on it, and he’s suddenly found dead. Coincidence?

  3. 3
    prestonstafford

    Alex, I’ll take “Things Crazy People Say” for $200. Nothing says “I don’t want to take part in a policy discussion” quite like an enemies list.

    The first line of the list is the AARP with ~40M members. The second line is the AFL-CIO with ~11M members. The NRA has ~4.5M. It’s the NRA vs. Everybody Else.

  4. 4
    michaelbusch

    @prestonstafford:

    What’s the overlap between the membership lists of AARP and NRA?

  5. 5
    Alverant

    @1
    Do you think Pearlman is a big NRA contributer and can have some NRA thugs appear if someone tries to get the money he stole back?

  6. 6
    unbound

    Keep in mind that if you ever speak out or vote contrary to what the NRA wants even a single time, you will be on their hit list forever.

    Earl Pomeroy voted against NRA wishes exactly once (he didn’t support reducing the waiting period from 3 days to 1 day), but had voted in alignment with the NRA in every other vote, and still was given an F from the NRA.

  7. 7
    kenbo

    The problem with producing and marketing a tool as dangerous as a gun is that your list of potential clients shrinks each year due to said tool’s propensity for killing the purchaser/owner as often as the intended targets (the product consumes the consumer). Any further erosion of the market by other means (like laws that make it harder to obtain said tools) simply spells disaster for gun manufacturers.

    That’s my theory, anyway.

  8. 8
    michaelbusch

    @Alverant:

    No.

    Pearlman has been bankrupt since 2007 and in federal prison since 2008. He was sentenced to 25 years, with an option on a partially reduced sentence if he cooperated with the investigators assigned to recover the money that had not already been located and restored to the defrauded parties (1 month reduction per 1 million dollars recovered). He will end up serving something over 20 years.

    A big problem with these long-running Ponzi schemes is that it is often not clear how the money was actually shuffled around between the larger number of victims – hence the extensive legal negotiations. Nobody wants any part of Pearlman.

    As I said, I have no idea how N Sync attracted the enmity of the NRA. Presumably, the band or one of the members of it did some charitable donation more than 10 years ago that the NRA found offensive.

  9. 9
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    A boy band from long ago is an enemy of the NRA? Are they still even performing? I know that many people simply hate their music but isn’t this taking it too far?

    No. Not too far at all.

    This is N Sync. The threat to civilization is just too great.

    I mean, if there was a ticking bomb, would you torture the members of N Sync? That’s what I thought. Well, there’s a ticking bomb **somewhere**. Get the water, I’ll get the board.

  10. 10
    kyoseki

    I’m actually hearing a lot of unhappy murmuring in the firearms community about the way the NRA is handling the current debate, most of us are not happy about being lumped in with the “we need guns to overthrow the gubment!” loons.

    We need a reasoned and rational response to this debate and it’s currently not being furnished by the NRA, which is also why a lot of people want to see Wayne La Pierre kicked out in favor of someone less prone to hysterical arguments.

  11. 11
    atheist

    They included noted radicals, such as “Boys II Men”, “Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine”, and “The Kansas City Royals”. I feel safer already!

  12. 12
    k_machine

    The problem with Nixon’s enemies list wasn’t so much the list itself, but that he used the state apparatus (IRS audits) and illegal methods (stealing and leaking medical records) to persecute the people on the list.. Merely having a list of opponents is in itself nothing wrong – having a secret list isn’t bad either, no one is really obliged to tip their hand in the political game. Of course one could argue that openness is better as it is in the democratic spirit, but really, has anyone with political experience ever been in an organization that openly told what the public their every move? The NRA list isn’t even secret, so that isn’t an issue here. I see nothing wrong with listing people who work against you, but of course motivating why helps or you look like paranoid idiots.

    As a side note the NRA is a joke and a money making scam feeding of and stoking the fears of the public. There was a survey done recently that showed that the NRA made exactly zip of a difference in the elections were they backed or opposed candidates. Also, they evidently do not believe that more guns make you safer as you can’t bring a gun to an NRA meeting.

  13. 13
    Acolyte of Sagan

    michaelbusch
    February 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm Reply
    Re. N Sync:

    …..No idea how they offended the NRA.

    Justin Timberlake. You can’t really hold that against the NRA, can you?

  14. 14
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Speaking of Wayne La Pierre: Russell Howard (British stand-up) on Pierre’s claim that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”
    “Really? So when the bad guy finishes his spree and puts his last bullet into his own head, does that mean he’s the good guy with a gun that stopped the bad guy with a gun? That should make him a national fucking hero”.

    I really don’t think La Pierre thought that particular quote through.

  15. 15
    TGAP Dad

    Just sent this via the NRA-ILA’s contact form: (https://nraila.org/secure/contact-us.aspx)

    I understand you maintain an “enemies list.” I would like to apply for inclusion on this list. I have held strong gun control views for a few decades now, and signed petitions supporting various gun control measures. I have even contacted my elected officials urging them to enact and support ton control legislation. Please let me know if you need me to do anything else to gain inclusion on the list. It would mean so much to me!

  16. 16
    left0ver1under

    I wouldn’t compare it to Nixon’s “enemies list”. I would compare it to $cientology’s, and their tactic of “fair game”, which includes harassment, stalking, assault and possibly even murder of those it targets.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology)

    http://www.xenu-directory.net/practices/fairgame.html

    Hubbard wrote that opponents who are “fair game” may be “deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”

    L. Ron Hubbard later backtracked on that himself, but his followers didn’t. Ask the citizens of Clearwater, Florida.

    I wouldn’t put it past the NRA to take the same attitude. The “big three” in Detroit tried it with Ralph Nader, and other corporations have tried it with whistleblowers (e.g. tobacco companies targeting Jeffrey Wigand).

  17. 17
    slc1

    Sylvester Stallone? I was under the impression that he was a Hollywood conservative.

  18. 18
    kyoseki

    Not so much;
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/01/sylvester-stallone-gun-control_n_2602644.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment

    .. but once again, it’s the same old “who needs an assault weapon” rationale, which is the wrong argument in my estimation.

    The really crucial question nobody seems to be asking is, if an “assault weapon” wasn’t present at Newtown/Aurora/Clackamas, would it have made a difference?

    … an “assault weapon” wasn’t present in the Utoya massacre, that was a “hunting rifle” (seriously, it’s in Feinstein’s bill as a valid hunting weapon – despite the fact it shoots the same round as the AR-15 which apparently nobody can hunt with), which kind of illustrates the absurdity of deciding the lethality of a weapon based on it’s physical appearance.

    We desperately need a rational and above all WELL EDUCATED discussion on this topic, but right now both sides seem to just be hurling around hyperbole and buzzwords.

  19. 19
    Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters

    How do I go about being added to their spiffy list? That would be a great thing to have happen.

  20. 20
    TGAP Dad

    Contact them! They have a form on their (I’m assuming) affiliated site for NRA Institute for Legislative Action. See the link in my comment (#15) above. Be advised that theydo require you to include your name, address,email address, and phone number on the contact form.

  21. 21
    sailor1031

    Although I did see some catholic groups on the list, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was conspicuously absent as was the Vatican. But then, I guess we know their policy positions don’t we?

  22. 22
    Brian M

    Not really true. Gun owners reproduce, too. And there are always new markets.

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