MCC on NRA list
Agency cited among ‘anti-gun national organizations’By Kelli Yoder
When the National Rifle Association put the Mennonite Central Committee Washington Office on a list of those it considers anti-gun, MCC personnel could only speculate why.
Fred Kauffman, who directs gun violence prevention initiatives for MCC from Philadelphia, heard about the list Feb. 1.
“My first reaction was to absolutely laugh,” he said. “They must be hard up for enemies if they think MCC is a threat.”
The list — “Anti-Gun National Organizations” — is posted on nraila.org. It cites “organizations [that] have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations.”
MCC has never given money to an anti-gun organization, as far as Jesse Epp-Fransen knows. He works from MCC’s Washington office, and gun violence falls under his domain. MCC does sign letters to support initiatives to reduce gun violence, like renewing a ban on assault weapons.
“It’s interesting company to have,” he said of the list, which includes many seemingly unrelated groups like the American Firearms Association and the Kansas City Chiefs. “It’s not every day that you see MCC placed among that range and variety of groups.”
The list was released in September, but a Feb. 1 post by Tim Murphy on Mother Jones’ Political Mojo blog put the story on the radar for many. His post, “The 12 Most Threatening People on the NRA’s Enemies List,” poked fun at some of the inclusions. “Mennonite Central Committee: You know who else had a central committee?” Murphy wrote.
He commented further in an email: “I confess I’m not very well versed in the politics of the Mennonite Central Committee, but that’s kind of the point. There are plenty of very polarizing religious groups in the United States, and MCC really isn’t one of them.”
The question on comment boards and Facebook posts in response was simply: Why MCC?
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