The NRA Blacklist
Al Tompkins, Poynter.org, November 3, 2003
I got a fairly bizarre e-mail this weekend inviting me to join a National Rifle Association (http://www.nra.org/
) blacklist ... to actually try to get myself on a "blacklist." I figured I am on many such lists and didn't need to volunteer for any more. Besides, when I was a kid, I attended NRA BB Gun safety seminars (http://www.nra.org/display_content/show_content.cfm?mod_id=61&id=0
) -- and I do own a gun.
Then, Al's Morning Meeting reader Cindi Deutschman-Ruiz, from WPSU-FM Public Radio of University Park, Penn., sent me a Reuters story saying (http://truthout.org/docs_03/110103H.shtml
), "Most blacklists are designed to intimidate. But thousands of Americans are clamoring to join one drawn up by the National Rifle Association (NRA)."
-- See the Blacklist: http://www.nraila.com/FactSheets.asp?FormMode=Detail&ID=15
Reuters says, "Actor Dustin Hoffman was so dismayed to find his name missing from the NRA's 19-page list of U.S. companies, celebrities, and news organizations seen as lending support to anti-gun policies that he wrote to the NRA asking to be included."
"Hoffman's name has now been added to the list," Reuters says, a list that includes individuals and organizations ranging from the American Jewish Congress to the NAACP, A&M Records, ABC/NBC News, and Oprah Winfrey. You can search the list and find tons of businesses, media outlets, cartoonists, and clergy. Even the AFL-CIO, the Gray Panthers, Walter Cronkite, Jane Pauley, and Julia Child are all on there. You will also find various businesses near you who have been listed as supporting anti-gun causes.
The list, which was filed deep in the official NRA Web site, has been heavily publicized by a group of anti-gun campaigners who are working for two pieces of gun control legislation going through Congress. The campaigners set up their own website (http://www.nrablacklist.com/
). (Beware -- it has a music track attached which is pretty funny, but annoying after about 30 seconds.) The site urges Americans to voluntarily put their names there. A full-page ad last week in Daily Variety -- the Hollywood trade magazine -- urged movie and music artists to sign up.
NRA does not mention the dust-up on its website. Clevelandjewishnews.com reports (http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/articles/2003/10/23/news/world/ilist1017.txt
Abraham Foxman, national director of
the Anti-Defamation League, shrugged off
"There's nothing wrong with it," Foxman said.
Calling it a blacklist is "inappropriate," he
said, because the NRA does not petition
members to take any action against those