JIM CREES: I want to be on the list

I’m disappointed.

I was disappointed a few years ago when an investigation revealed the existence of President Richard Nixon’s enemies list.

There were a lot of interesting names on the list. Mine wasn’t amongst them. I don’t know why it should have been. I was working on a farm overseas at the time and there is really no reason in the world that should have bothered Mr. Nixon. Still, I’ve always wished I could have been on Nixon’s “Enemies List.”

At the top of a document attached to the list was the following comment:

“This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly - how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”

The plan, apparently, was to use the Internal Revenue Service as a weapon, and make sure people on the list were carefully audited by the tax authorities.

There is no evidence, however, that the IRS was actually involved in the maneuver.

The “Enemies List” held some 576 names. The Top 20 included:

UAW president Leonard Woodcock; Alexander Barkan, head of the AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education; Edwin O. Guthman, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and university professor; Bernard T. Feld, who headed an international movement among scientists to banish nuclear weapons, John Conyers, Jr.,  U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district; newsman Daniel Schorr, (who, not realizing he was on the list, read through it on live TV and was shocked to see his inclusion in the honors!); and even Paul Newman.

I would have loved to be on that list.

Still, I thought there was hope I might be on someone’s “Enemies List” when while perusing the NRA’s website I discovered that they openly maintain a list of people and organizations they believe are hostile to their cause - an “Enemies List” s’il vous plaît.

The “justification” for this list rests in the opening comment:

“The following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations. In many instances, these organizations lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass anti-gun legislation such as the March 1995 HCI ‘Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws.’ Many of these organizations were listed as “Campaign Partners,” for having pledged to fight any efforts to repeal the Brady Act and the Clinton ‘assault weapons’ ban. All have officially endorsed anti-gun positions.”

Sadly, I’m not on the list.

Who is?

There are 20 pages (!) naming individuals and organizations who the NRA considers ...unsupportive.

Lots of medical people and groups. Lots and lots of churches and church organizations. Lots of ...just folks.

The list begins with the AARP, and includes the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, the American Trauma Society, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of School Administrators and, oddly enough, the American Firearms Association.

Also on the NRA’s “Enemies List” are the Black Mental Health Alliance, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the Church of the Brethren.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation is on the list, which isn’t all that surprising. They are, after all, Quakers.

Hadassah is on the list. This is an organizations of Jewish grandmas. Wow!!!

The Mennonite Central Committee made the list as did the National Association of Police Organizations and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Then there is the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United States Catholic Conference, the General Board of the United Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ.

They all made the list. I didn’t.

The list of celebrities is long ...very long.

It even includes Tony Bennett. TONY BENNETT!!!

Then there’s Mel Brooks, George Clooney, Sheryl Crow, and all sort of show biz people. Even Mary Tyler Moore is on the NRA’s Enemies List.

Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) was also named.

Most mysteriously, (at least for me), is the fact that Rambo is on the NRA’s Enemies List. Yes! Sylvester Stallone ...Rambo!!!

Then there’s Herman Wouk, the author. I had to check to see if he was still alive. He is - 98 years old.

The entire Frank Zappa clan made the NRA list including his wife, Gail, and four kids, Ahmet, Diva, Dweezil, and Moon Unit.

There are lots and lots of journalists on the list.

I’m not one of them. Don Kaul, who occasionally is published in the Pioneer, did make the list. I didn’t.

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream made the list as did the Stoneyfield Farms yogurt company.

There were even two football teams and a baseball team or two.


I really would like to be on the NRA’s Enemies List.

I’m pretty sure there are enough folks around here who are members who would be more than willing to suggest my name to the folks in Fairfax.

I understand I’m a pretty small fish, but anything anyone can do to get me on the list will be most appreciated.