LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Most blacklists are designed to intimidate.
But thousands of Americans are clamoring to join one drawn up by the
National Rifle Association (NRA).
Actor Dustin Hoffman was so dismayed to find his name missing from
the NRA's shadowy 19-page list of U.S. companies, celebrities, and
news organizations seen as lending support to anti-gun policies that
he wrote to the powerful pro-gun lobby group begging to be included.
"As a supporter of comprehensive gun safety measures, I was deeply
disappointed when I discovered my name was not on the list," Hoffman
wrote in a letter to the NRA that was released Tuesday.
"I was particularly surprised by the omission given my opposition to
the loophole that makes it legal for 18- to 20-year-olds to buy
handguns at gun shows," he added.
Hoffman's name has now been added to the list which reads like a
Who's Who of American business, culture and religion and which ranges
from the American Jewish Congress to A&M Records, ABC News and talk
show queen Oprah Winfrey.
An NRA spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The list was found deep in the official NRA Web site by a group of
grass-roots anti-gun campaigners and publicized by them two weeks ago
to garner support for two pieces of gun control legislation going
The campaigners set up their own Web site
(http://www.NRAblacklist.com) and urged Americans to voluntarily put
their names there. A full-page ad Tuesday in Daily Variety -- the
Hollywood trade magazine -- urged movie and music artists to sign up.
"What the site tries to do is turn it into a badge of honor to get on
the blacklist by saying 'Hey Julia Roberts is on the blacklist. Why
don't you join it?.' It's been incredibly successful. Since we have
launched, 25,000 people have signed on to ask to be put on the
blacklist," said Wendy Katz, spokesperson for the group.
The NRA initially denied compiling a blacklist as such, saying it was
merely responding to members wanting to know which individuals and
corporations opposed the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment on the
right to bear arms.
But National Rifle Association Executive Vice-President Wayne
LaPierre said of the list last week; "Our members don't want to buy
their songs, don't want to go to their movies, don't want to support
Katz said the campaigners hoped to expose the NRA's influence in
Washington, D.C., spur opposition to a bill that would grant immunity
in civil cases for gun manufacturers and dealers, and gather support
for renewal of a 1994 ban on the sale of military assault weapons.
Americans Flock to Get on NRA Blacklist
Wed Oct 29
Oddly Enough - Reuters