I don’t know, maybe lists like the widely reported rundown of “National Organizations with Anti-Gun Policies” on the website of the Institute for Legislative Action — the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association — are common, but just seldom made public. It seems rather Nixonian, to be honest. Who keeps an enemies list any more?
The list includes not only organizations but companies and individuals who have in some way publicly endorsed gun regulation, whether as a member of the Brady Campaign or just chattin’. And 14 editorial cartoonists make the cut. Alan Gardner helpfully pulls them out: Tony Auth, Steve Benson, Jim Borgman, Stuart Carlson, Mike Lane, Mike Luckovich, Jimmy Margulies, Jim Morin, Mike Peters, Kevin Siers, Ed Stein, Tim Toles, Garry Trudeau and Don Wright.
It’s a fair cop, I suppose. Editorial cartoonists are paid to express opinions, and everyone has an opinion about guns these days. But what on Earth is the point? Will the NRA be refusing to hire these guys? Would that have cartoonists shaking in their boots? It seems like they have plenty of bigger problems, like the implosion of the newspaper industry and the impending disappearance of all salaried editorial-cartoonist jobs. And does the Brady Campaign have a similar list of “pro-gun” cartoonists and organizations?
This would seem sinister if it weren’t so absurd. The list also includes the American Association of Pediatrics, Stonyfield Farm Yogurt and John Bon Jovi, along with plenty of other household names who don’t immediately make me think of well-regulated militias. Are Lisa Kudrow and Tony Bennett going to show up and take my guns away? Boycotting everyone on this list would leave you sitting alone in your basement with the lights off, eating store-brand ice cream and watching nothing but Fox News.
For the journalists and editorial cartoonists, though, it’s probably a feather in the cap. Back when I was a reporter, my newspaper’s coverage irritated a local politician so much that he had buttons made urging people to boycott us.
We were the envy of the newsroom.
(Cartoon above by Mike Luckovich.)