As most of you should know by now, I am a Canadian. And as a Canadian, I actually know very little about American gun control laws. Yes, I know about the Second Amendment and have been somewhat in the know about the encroaching legislation brought about, more or less, due to the tragedy that befell Sandy Hook Elementary.
I also know about the National Rifle Association, whose job it is, apparently, to make sure that American citizens continue to have the right to bear arms. They also have a lobbying group called the Institute for Legislative Action [ILA]. Wikipedia let me know that members of Congress have ranked the ILA as the most powerful lobbying organization in the US for a few years in a row now.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Dang, Evan, get to the point already. This doesn’t even have anything to do with comics, which are definitely your forte [and that you probably write about too much].” Well, dear reader, allow me to cut to the chase.
This morning Comics Alliance released an article titled “14 Editorial Cartoonists Make NRA Blacklist For ‘Endorsing Anti-Gun Positions.’” Its focus was a list that the NRA-ILA had put together of people and organizations who have been known to lend their “name and notoriety to anti-gun causes.” The reason they bring this to attention is that joining the National Black Nurses` Association and actress Catherine Zeta Jones are 14 political cartoonists. Described as being “journalists [who] actively editorialize in favor of gun controls laws” they are as follows:
- Tony Auth
- Steve Benson
- Jim Borgman
- Stuart Carlson
- Mike Lane
- Mike Luckovich
- Jimmy Margulies
- Jim Morin
- Mike Peters
- Kevin Siers
- Ed Stein
- Tom Toles
- Garry Trudeau
- Don Wright
The links provided for each cartoonist were provided by the article on Comics Alliance, and are super useful. Unfortunately, the link they provided for the NRA-ILA’s blacklist was much less useful. The problem is that the link [which you can check here] does not work, by no means due to the fault of the comics news site. It turns out that whoever runs the site has since taken it down.
Luckily for me [and, consequently, you], Internet Archive exists. By taking the dead-end link and throwing it into their “Wayback Machine,” I was able to retrieve the list, available for your viewing pleasure:
Does anyone else find it disconcerting that a) an organization that is known for promoting the right to tote firearms has a blacklist of any kind, or b) that they’ve since taken down this page due to it receiving media attention?
Since the NRA considers gun ownership to be a civil right they have dubbed themselves the “largest and oldest civil rights organization in the United States.” I’m not at all implying that there’s anything inherently menacing or threatening about their list, I’m questioning their transparency. If there’s nothing wrong with the list, then why take it down? Was it to hide the fact that there could exist a list so ridiculous that it lumps together R&B group Boyz II Men, actor Jerry Seinfeld, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., and the Washington Post?
I’m not sure why it happened, but I’m letting you know that it did; what you do with this information is entirely up to you. It also has to do with comics on some level, which you know I can’t not write about.