NRA publishes list of gun-rights enemies

Monday, January 5, 2004

RICHMOND, Va. -- What do Britney Spears, the United Methodist Church, the St. Louis Rams and Hallmark Cards have in common?

They're among the hundreds of celebrities, organizations and companies on the National Rifle Association's roster of entities that it considers hostile to gun-ownership rights.

The Fairfax-based NRA has compiled a 15-page list of supporters of the Brady law -- which requires federally licensed gun dealers to do background checks on gun buyers -- and other gun-control measures.

Solely informational

NRA spokesman Ted Novin said the list was solely for "informational purposes and that it's nothing new."

"It's a good way for our members to know who's opposing their Second Amendment rights and who's not," he said.

But many consider being included on the blacklist a badge of honor, and some have even complained about being left off. Dustin Hoffman's name was added after he wrote to NRA President Kayne Robinson in October, saying that "as a supporter of comprehensive gun safety measures, I was deeply disappointed when I discovered that my name was not on this list."

Along with Spears, and usual NRA targets Michael Moore and Barbra Streisand, the organization's anti-gun roster names actors Julia Roberts and George Clooney. Professional athletes Doug Flutie and Rick Fox join entire teams on the list, including the St. Louis Rams and Cardinals, and the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence recently drew attention to the NRA list after linking to it on its Web site to encourage people to lend their names to support gun-control measures. Close to 100,000 had signed up for the Brady list by the end of 2003.

"We were trying to bring attention to the paranoia, for lack of a better word," said Peter Hamm, a Brady Campaign spokesman.

Hamm said his group also wanted to point out "the innate humor in this list while also making a serious statement that in America we're not too fond of enemies lists and blacklists."

Both sides are looking ahead to later this year, when the ban on assault weapons is set to expire in September.

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