This unintentionally amusing news story in TruthDig caught my attention.
The NRA seems to have become an organization that has lately done all within its power to destroy whatever legitimacy it once had.
Case in point. On its website, the NRA has posted a list of its enemies. who "“have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations” and “have officially endorsed anti-gun positions.”
An enemies list? Really? When Watergate was an evolving crisis in the Nixon administration, the president tried to use the same thing and it backfired then too. When the list was leaked, most people took it as a sign of the president's growing paranoia.
Lots of groups publish such lists (ok, some do) in an effort to rally their supporters to mobilize. The kind of people we're up against, that sort of thing. Us and them.
However, such a tactic is risky. Whenever powerful groups target individuals solely for their political positions, the fall-out can be unpredictable. Nobody told the NRA. The problem in this case is that the kind of people the NRA is up against includes.. well, nearly everybody. (Click HERE to see the full list.)
What one political issue could unify such a diverse collection of names? Here is just a small sample of some of the names of organization that support gun control legislation.
Here are some of the celebrities that the NRA has listed as enemies:
- American Bar Association
- National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers
- League of Women Voters of the United States
- National Parks and Conservation Association
- National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
- YWCA of the U.S.A.
- National Association of Public Hospitals
- American Medical Association
- United States Catholic Conference
- B`nai B`rith
- National Education Association
- American Firearms Association
- Sean Connery
- Jon Bon Jovi
- Lisa Kudrow
- Bette Midler
- Bruce Springsteen
- Susan Sarandon
- Jack Nicholson
- George Clooney
Coincidentally, nearly everyone of the names are also on my guests list to my fantasy dinner party. What a blast it would be too.
Other national figures that the NRA members feel threatens their rights to own assault rifles and to buy guns without a background check?
- C. Everett Koop -Former Surgeon General under Reagan
- Tom Freston - MTV President
- James E. Carter - Former President
- Steven Rockefeller - Financier
- Vincent Schiraldi - Dir. Justice Policy Institute
- Lyle Elmer Strom - Federal Judge
- Michael Eisner, Former Chairman and CEO The Walt Disney Company
And there's a surprising number of clergymen like:
Additionally the list includes corporations, which presumably NRA members would be obliged to boycott like:
- Bishop Edmond Browning - Espiscopal Leader
- Rabbi David Saperstein - Clergyman
- Rev. Wallace Ryan Kuroiwa - Clergyman
- Hallmark Cards
- Levi Strauss & Co.
- Sara Lee Corporation
- Ben & Jerry`s Homemade, Inc.
- Time Warner Inc.
- Southwestern Bell Telephone-St. Louis
And many more! How does the NRA think that its members could ever cut these corporations out of their lives? Wouldn't it just be easier to cut out the NRA?
Finally on the list you will find the media.
- The Christian Publishing Society (The Christian Science Monitor)
- Corporation For Public Broadcasting/ PBS Television
- National Broadcasting Company
- Columbia Broadcasting Service
- Washington Post
- Time Magazine
- Capital Cities/ABC
With this list of over 500 names, The NRA has demonstrated beyond any doubt whatsoever how out of touch they are with mainstream America. The list might have been more effective had they counted only those names of people who actually support them.
It would, no doubt, have been much shorter.
It reminds me of a dialogue from the Neil Simon play "The Prisoner of Second Avenue."
Here's the set-up for the scene.
After middle-aged Mel has lost his white-collar job, he has nothing to do all day but listen to the radio talk shows. Slowly he begins to crack up. His wife, now the bread-winner, comes home to find him still in his pajamas, acting peculiar. When Edna finally gets Mel to talk, here's what he tells her, and it's something he's discovered:
|Mel:...there is a plot going on in this country today.|
Edna: Against whom?
Mel: Against me!
Edna: The whole country?
Mel: Well, not against me personally.
But they're after you, our kids, my family, every one of our friends.
They're after the cops, hippies, the government, women's lib...
...the blacks, the fags, the whole military complex and even more.
Edna: Who? You mentioned everybody, there's no one left.
Mel: Oh, baby, there's someone left, all right.
Would you like me to give you actual indisputable proof...
...that 75% of the working class of this country is unemployed...
...and not because of a recession or wages and high prices...
...but because of a well-organized, calculated, brilliantly-conceived plot?
Would you like me to give you proof right here and now?
Mel:- I can't give you any proof!
What the hell proof have I got? I can't work. That's my proof! They won't let me!
Edna: Mel, who's behind the plot? Is it the kids? The addicts? The Army? The Navy? The book-of-the-month club? Who?
Mel: It is the human race! The deterioration of the spirit of man.
Man undermining himself,causing a self-willed, self-imposed...
That's who it is.
Edna: The human race, Mel?
Edna:The human race is responsible for the unemployment?
Mel: You're surprised, aren't you?
Edna: I never would have guessed. All the time, I kept thinking it was somebody else.
By publishing this extensive list of perceived enemies, the leaders of the NRA have used their website and its enemies list to shoot the organization in the foot. Their enemy, if the list is anything to go by, is the human race.
What do YOU think? Always interested in reading your comments. And don't forget to spread the word about the blog.