NRA Begrudgingly Turns to McCarthyism


NRA Publishes Enemies List With 506 Names

— By Ian Millhiser on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Late last year, the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm published a Nixonian enemies listnaming organizations and individuals that “lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations” or have otherwise backed efforts to promote gun safety. The list totals 506 names, including major medical associations, law enforcement organizations, former presidents and a long list of celebrities. Here are five examples of the kinds of groups the NRA views as its enemies:

Doctors & Nurses

As it turns out, the sort of people tasked with saving the lives of victims of gun violence would rather that America’s trauma centers were not quite so busy. A short list of medical and nursing organizations on the NRA’s enemies list includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the American Nurses Association, in addition to Ronald Reagan’s Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.


It turns out that sort of people who devote their lives to preparing our children for adulthood don’t much like to learn that a young life has been cut short by gun violence either. The NRA’s enemies list includes the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Education Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Law Enforcement

It also turns out that people who put risk their lives to keep our streets and schools safe don’t much like being in the line of fire. The National Association of Police Organizations, the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers, and the Police Foundation are all on the NRA’s enemies list.

People of Faith

The NRA may not want Americans to “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks,” but many people of faith take the Bible’s command seriously enough to earn a place on the gun lobby’s list of enemies. They include the American Jewish Committee, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Congress of National Black Churches, the Episcopal Church’s Washington Office, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, the United States Catholic Conference, the United Methodist Church General Board & Church Society, and the United Church of Christ Office for Church in Society.

Boy Bands, Dweezil Zappa and MacGyver

Above anything, the NRA’s enemies list reveals its capacity to hold a grudge. It includes a long, long list of celebrities, many of which are far from Hollywood’s elite circles. It is not clear why the nation’s top gun organization feels so threatened by Art Garfunkel, for example. Or why Washington’s most heavily armed lobbyists fear a ragtag list of former talk show hosts, washed up actors and what appears to be the entirety of Frank Zappa’s progeny. Gun owners beware! Both Boys II Men and N Sync are coming for your guns, and the NRA is very, very afraid.

This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.