When the National Rifle Association's angry list of famous people and organizations that have lent "notoriety to anti-gun causes" surfaced the other week, we here at Rolling Stone took a keen interest – and not just because our magazine was itself singled out among the publications that have supposedly "assisted in the attack on Second Amendment rights." (The NRA has since removed the enemies list from its website. It lives on here.)
Like many in the media, we were initially wowed by the extreme lengths that the NRA is determined to hold a grudge. Why would any self-respecting enemies list published in 2013 include Motown stars the Temptations, 1980s Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton or 97-year-old author Herman Wouk?
But as we puzzled over the individuals deemed most threatening to the gun lobby, we were struck by an odd symmetry. In some cosmic sense, is Rolling Stone the yin to the NRA's yang? Literally dozens – and dozens – of the NRA's enemies have not only been profiled in the pages of Rolling Stone, they've been celebrated on our cover. 61 enemies in all.
Read on to see the NRA enemies from the worlds of music, movies, comedy and television who have made it to Rolling Stone's cover through the decades.
By Tim Dickinson