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Katy Burns

Katy Burns: Enemies galore!

My normally unflappable sister Della was shocked, SHOCKED.

“You may already have seen the NRA’s recent enemy’s list,” she emailed her siblings. “I know I have. And I don’t know what’s more shocking – that the list exists at all or that Britney Spears is identified as a ‘singer’ and Marla Maples as an ‘actor.’ ”

Della’s right. The NRA’s enemies list is indeed a shocker – or at least a fairly stunning window into the prevailing mentality at the NRA under the leadership of Wayne LaPierre. Which seems mostly to be wildly paranoid.

The list – of people and groups who are “anti-gun,” with no further explanation – is posted proudly on the NRA website. It is a very long list. A haphazard list, a list that is almost whimsical, or would be if it hadn’t been compiled by the decidedly un-whimsical NRA.

Under “Anti-Gun Individuals and Celebrities” it includes a wide range of folks, from the aforementioned Marla Maples (one of a number of former Mrs. Donald Trumps) to Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, identified as a singer. The list is heavy with actors, including well-known Hollywood lefties – George Clooney, Rob Reiner, for example – but also head-scratching famous names.

Debbie Reynolds? Arlene Dahl? Nice to know they’re still with us, but why on earth is the NRA worried about Arlene Dahl’s vast influence? And Zooey Deschanel – isn’t she too busy being adorable to be bothered being an enemy of guns?

Some selections are just odd. Keyshawn Johnson, an NFL player. Robin Ruzan, “wife of Mike Meyers.” Prema Mathai-Davis, apparently a YWCA official. And Busy Phillips. Busy Phillips?

C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general, and Rabbi David Saperstein, whoever he is.

Then there’s retired game show host Bob Barker, who is fond of talking about what a fan of guns he is. He even goes to sleep with a loaded pistol in his bedside table drawer. But, alas, he is also a well-known animal lover, thus is deemed (apparently) to be anti-hunting and so anti-gun.

Some – James E. Carter, former president; Lyle Elmer Strom, federal judge – are creepy choices for an enemies list kept by people who seem to worship guns above all else.

And then there are the deceased-but-still-on-the-list enemies – Andy Williams and Ed Koch, among others. I guess, as sister Della observed, one can never be too careful. Although as she helpfully pointed out, rather than identifying Koch as a “political person,” perhaps he should be a “dead person.” And in the case of Andy Williams, as she said, “who knew he was more dangerous to American values dead than alive?”

The list of individuals looks like something done at a late night party involving lots of drinking and Googling and giggling. Although it’s hard to visualize the easily outraged Wayne LaPierre giggling. The other NRA lists of “anti-gun” organizations, corporations and media operations are equally as strange and random.

Under “Publication and Media Outlets,” for example, there are a lot of the usual suspects – ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, Knight-Ridder, Gannett. But McCall’s Magazine? Is there still a McCall’s Magazine? And Blue Chip stamps, for heaven’s sake? What sort of fantasy 1960s world do the NRA folks live in?

Anti-gun corporations include – surprise! – Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Stonyfield Farm yogurt and its CEO, our very own infamously progressive Gary Hirshberg. And lucky we have him! Otherwise, it’s possible – based on a quick look through the huge NRA enemies list – that New Hampshire would be unrepresented. And that is never a good thing, I think we can all agree. God forbid Vermont should grab all the publicity and infamy.

Others on the corporation list were just interesting and at times baffling. How does a corporation show it’s “anti-gun”? I don’t have a clue, but that doesn’t stop the stalwart list-makers of the NRA.

Argosy Casinos in Riverside, Mo.? You’re tagged. Ditto Carter Hawley Hale men’s apparel stores in California. And Baltimore’s Crown Central Petroleum Corp.

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals both make the list, proving there’s definitely something in the water in Kansas City. Hallmark Cards, you might be the nation’s premiere supplier of pre-written sentimentality, but you are still an enemy of real Americans as defined by the NRA. Like Levi Strauss. And Sara Lee.


My favorite corporation on the enemies list is Mallinckrodt Inc., a St. Louis clothing starch company. What, pray tell, is a clothing starch company? And how on earth can a clothing starch company be anti-gun?

But if it can somehow be labeled anti-gun, leave it to the NRA to ferret that out and to figure out why it is anti-gun and to announce that fact to the world, or at least to as much of the world as listens to the NRA.

The NRA is rich, thanks to the money it gets from its primary patrons, gun manufacturers. So it foots the bill for a retinue of armed guards who apparently travel everywhere with LaPierre, the face and voice of the organization.

Folks on the NRA’s enemies list? They’re on their own. I suspect that they do not travel around with bodyguards. Now they are being fingered by the NRA as enemies of freedom and gun-loving Americans. Lots of luck to them.

And there’s a serious question here. Should such paranoid and, well, crazy people as those running the NRA be allowed to have guns? You can see I’m trying hard to get us on the NRA’s enemies list.

(Monitor columnist Katy Burns lives in Bow.)

Legacy Comments32

To you Tillie it is Jessica Rabbit not Mr Rabbit.

You lost me again Tillie. I was talking about your comment to Itsa. I had no idea he came up with nutsy bills he was trying to pass in the statehouse. Nor did I know he was that lovely name you call the Tea Party Folks or a Free Stater. I thought my post was relevant. Asking Itsa if he had something better to do. That is why I posted what I did asking you how many coments we are allowed. Get It!

We can apply lobbying to many sides of the coin. Hollywood gets quite a lot of breaks from WA. Hollywood films movies in foreign countries to avoid paying taxes in the US. A lot of films are filmed in Canada alone.. Unions support Dems and they get waivers for ACA. So far 2,000 waivers have been issued for the big supporters. Pelosi alone got 38 waivers for her district. And I am sure the Reps do exactly the same thing. PP is allowed to do sloppy bookkeeping to hide where their money is spent, and they are a nonprofit that makes huge profits. They are all corrupt. Reps and Dems. Till we do something about lobbyists with big wallets asking for favors, nothing will change.

Kate’s Burns editorial over the weekend would claim high crimes and misdemeanors against the NRA and thus by implication all of its members. Horrible crimes such as having run afoul of a bunch of Hollywood actors. (Being an actor, changing personalities and attitudes with every performance, gives what qualifications and expertise as a societal expert again?) The tragedies, (and they were) used to incite this ire against the NRA have what basis in fact? No NRA members committed those crimes. Criminals and the criminally insane committed those crimes. One of the basic philosophies of the NRA is firearms safety. Violent criminals do not embrace those principles. Did the NRA commit burglaries? Does the NRA invade homes? Does the NRA cause the (all too frequent) assaults on women and girls? Does the NRA torpedo our country’s economy by committing macro-economic crimes? In the real world those who commit those crimes are the real threat. Why would anyone imply or want you to believe that the NRA is more of a problem than those perpetrators? The NRA does not ask, nor care, what age, gender, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation a member is. Compare that to some other organizations. In these days when we were all teetering on the brink of sensory overload between the papers, TV, blogs, movies, it’s more important than ever to keep that critical analysis-common sense filter in place in how we evaluate what we see and hear. Why would someone try to slide the concept that the NRA is more for problem than violent criminals past your common sense filter? Why would someone tried to distract you from realistic threat assessment? True leaders, I should think, would help people focus on real problems and real threats and deal with them-not distract and make accusations of blame when the real cause is other. Why would someone do that to you?

Uh-oh . . . I USED to be a member of the NRA. But I stopped giving them money years ago. Does this mean I'm now on their enemies list? And I use the term "enemies list" loosely. It's more like a list of has-been entertainers. I Pauly Shore on there?

I saw that Pam Dawber of "Mork and Mindy" fame made the list. The paranoia being exhibited is fascinating to watch. Almost akin to the last scene in one of the Planet Of The Apes movies where the warped demented humans are worshiping an atomic bomb. One good thing is that if we decide to tighten up the restrictions on the mentally unbalanced from owning firearms we will have a good place to start in the NRA member list.

You can play it down all that you want but there is a real threat to the Second Amendment, no matter how much progressives want to minimize those rights. An armed citizenry ensure that anyone who wants to seize power will think twice. Make no mistake, the call for gun control is not just about incidents like Sandy Hook, it is about some folks in government wanting to gain more and more control over peoples lives. Think of rights we have lost, regulations which are restrictive and control citizens behaviors, choices, speech, etc.

Paging Ed Brown, paging Ed Brown.... Pardon, your paranoia is showing. You want to start an insurrection because building codes require low-flow toilets? And NYC has banned super-size sodas? Did you don a tri-cornered hat when warning labels went on cigarettes? Or smoking in restaurants was banned? How about mandating seat belts, which many states do? And requiring auto insurance for drivers? Zoning ordinances? Where do you draw the line in a civilized society? What reasonable limits can be placed on citizens to make society a safer, healthier place to live and work? Is the 2nd Amendment any more absolute than the First--which has limitations thanks to judicial review. Please find the passage in the 2nd Amendment--or anywhere in the Constitution, that says the right to bear arms is so that citizens may start an armed insurrection against their government. All most people are advocating for are reasonable limits on the kinds of guns and the size of magazines that people can own. No one is seriously arguing that gun ownership is not a right--but it's always been seen (until the most recent SCOTUS decision anyway) as connected to a "well-regulated" militia. As is the wording of the NH Constitution, as well

Correction:....the most recent TWO decisions

Come to think of it, maybe it would have been easier to have a not enemies list.

Personally I am beginning to think all Republicans are paranoid. They seem to always be looking for enemies. Like Chicken Little they think the sky is going to fall. "Save America, defeat Obama."I am sure more than a few of them thought the world was going to end in 2012. It is sad to think of people being so fearful in the freest country in the world. They seem to have so little belief in their Christian religion.

We are still the most free country in the world but our freedoms are being eroded by people who believe that we are not smart enough to decide things for ourselves from healthcare to what we eat or drink to the kind of light bulbs we should use to how much water our toilets can flush. All in the name of the "public good". Regulation, restriction, big government, dictatorial bureaucrats at every turn. I had to laugh when the mayor of Boston threatened that anyone on the streets after the snow curfew would face a year in jail. Do you think that represents the best of a free society??

Geeze Tillie, are you under the impressoin that the Dems do not do the same thing? Lets see, are you not the ones that think that if religious entitites do not offer BC that women will have no where to get it? How about the one where welfare reform that Clinton passed would have women and children dying in the streets from hunger? And the paranoia that folks who disagree with President Obama's policies are racist? Kinda like bashing somebody's post for name calling and in your post you name call. Dealing with one CM writer that is not Liberal is really getting to you guys. I guess you only like liberal media.

Its funny to see those left of the left begin to engage in some of the very same behaviors they chastise the NRA for. And they apparently don't even realize that they are doing so.

Yes, that is true, when that newspapers published a map of gun owners with addresses, they were silent. Hypocrisy is taken to new levels these days it seems. When you call them on it they call you names.

Bingo. Let's support people publishing a map of progressives with addresses. Progressives don't even want a map showing the location of sex offenders but I bet that they are in favor or publishing a map with gun owners. With progressives, their emotions and feelings clearly eclipse their common sense and intelligence.

Joe McCarthy would be so proud! "I have a list of 200 names...."

And what behaviors would those be? We're talking about THE lobbying arm of the gun industry. So when IT tosses out the the label of 'enemy' to a long and seemingly arbitrary list of people and business, it should give one pause. The right seems to like throwing about the word "enemy" almost as much as it tosses around the word "extremist". Of course, left unsaid is any definition of either word, beyond the implicit 'this person disagrees with me' therefore he must be an enemy of our cause'. While we're at it, let's call his/her position 'extreme', the better to define the terms of the debate in our favor'. Of course, lost to such 'thinkers' as LaPierre is the real possibility that their own position is the one that should be labeled 'extreme', since it is neither supported by the Constitution nor by common sense.

And again and again and again you make the case for folks to feel as if they must be armed. I think that branding people "Teapublicans" or excoriating people was "teabaggers" is the equivalent of anyone calling a progressive "extreme". Common sense dictates that there are enemies of this country living among us and they truly fear an armed citizenry. There can be only one reason for that.

Seriously? You again mis-use the word 'extremist' to denote people with whom you disagree. Last I checked, this nation had just re-elected a president who promised to protect the social safety net, provide some form of universal health insurance, strengthen the regulatory system, and raise taxes on the wealthy. To the extent you disagree with these things--that puts you in a minority. And your post above is just one example of how extreme your 'thinking' really is. You routinely name-call with such labels as 'extremist', 'communist', and 'anti-American, whenever your facts or your logic fail. You seem to have no understanding that your positions put you in a minority of a minority. By any understanding of the word 'extreme'--that makes the views you hold 'extremist'.

How is the term "Teapublicans" not accurate. And "tea baggers" was the name they first took for themselves, before discovering the term had another meaning. I still like "Tealiban".

Well Bruce enemy and extremist are pretty mild compared to the following rhetoric. Bring a knife, we'll bring a gun. Get in their faces. Rep victory would mean hand to hand combat. My administration is the only thing between you and pitchforks. We're going to punish our enemies. Putting lipstick on a Pig. They are bitter and hide behind their guns and religion. Just a partial list of rhetoric you either ignore or justify.

You're taking those comments out of context. Some, if not all, were made in jest--"bring a gun to a knife fight" for instance. They're also metaphors, not to be taken literally. But the one about hiding behind "their guns and religion" is aptly descriptive and has more than a germ of truth to it. "Pass the Lord, and praise the ammunition."

To Bruce below, for Obama there is a collection plate just like church, pass the tax collection plate.....praise the Messiah, all knowing Obama.......oh GUSH!

Good article, but you really should know of Rabbi Saperstein. He is the head of the Religious Action Center in DC. The RAC is an important part of the Reform Jewish movement, the progressive wing of Judaism. It has long been outspoken against gun violence. Learn more at

Katy, are you aware that Obama has an "enemies" list? Using your words, "Should such paranoid and, well, crazy people as those on the Left, be allowed to have govern?"

Itsa don't you have something important to do besides commenting on comments? Like for instance getting all your teabaggers and freestaters together and legislating on how you think this state should start arming itself against the national government. Kinda like the South did before the Civil War.

Geeze Tillie, a bit hot under the collar there aren't we? Last time I checked this was a forum and folks comented on coments. Unless of course you believe that those that have different thoughts from yours should be limited to speaking. Maybe you could tell folks like myself and itsa how many comments we are allowed to have per day. That way we would not upset you so much.

OK Mr Rabbit. maybe it is better he keeps busy making comments instead of coming up with some of those nutsy bills he keeps trying to pass in the statehouse. You know besides being paranoid, Republicans, do no have a great sense of humor and do not even realize when someone is pulling their leg.

Obama's "enemies" list--such as it is, is hardly in the same league with Nixon's enemies' list, nor could I find it described as such by anyone connected to the Obama campaign. Instead, that's how the WSJ and Fox News chose to describe highlighting the background and business ventures of those with very deep pockets who donated huge sums to the Romney campaign. The public has a right to know what those members of the 1% have been up to in their business affairs--if it's outsourcing of jobs, taking advantage of tax loopholes, closing of factories. If one is going to spend big money donating to a political campaign, the people have a right to know how they earned their money, and how they use it: spending on climate science denial, "right-to-work" campaigns, lobbying for lower taxes vs. activities that are more clearly in the public interest--rather than for private gain. That's life in what is still supposed to be a democracy.

When I received a telephone call from the NRA I was asked (something like): "Do you approve of what Obama has been doing?" I said yes. They immediately hung up on me. At that point my hunch was that I would be placed on a GOP/NRA list, along with millions of other Americans. Now Katy has uncovered part of the list: I wondered why the NRA called me, because I'm not a NRA member. Did they get my name and phone number from some other list? Would GOP Voter ID help identify even more people to put on their 2nd Amendment Remedies "enemies list"? I guess anyone could make a big, senseless, inaccurate, and scarey sounding list too. I'll try starting one:

Funny, I have been contacted by groups asking if I supported numerous candidates during the election and when I said "no", they hung up on me. I have been contacted by groups asking if I supported abortion, Obamacare, etc. Most, when I say "no" they hung up on me. No surprise there. Information of anyone is free flowing if you want to find it. Are you aware that Obama has an "enemies" list?

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