There’s been quite a tempest about the coming merger of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership and the Second Amendment Foundation.
Critics have unloaded on SAF and its founder, Alan Gottlieb – Claire Wolfe, in particular. I have long respected Ms. Wolfe and have been a big fan of hers since I was, well, younger. In this case though, I simply believe she’s on the wrong side of this, in part because she wasn’t privy to just how bad things were at JPFO and what was needed to right a very badly-listing ship in high seas.
…There has been some badmouthing of the Second Amendment Foundation and its leader Alan Gottlieb lately. Having known Alan for decades and having served for many years on SAF’s board of trustees, I feel compelled to offer a word or two.
It was Gottlieb’s vision decades ago which, through SAF, funded much of the scholarly legal research published in respected law journals which today is recognized as authoritatively repudiating many “gun control” arguments. It was SAF that gave impetus to the two greatest US Supreme Court precedents supporting individual rights under the Second Amendment, Heller v. District of Columbia and McDonald, et al v. City of Chicago. And SAF is extremely active at the grassroots level as well, as seen here on Fox News.
One commentator said the late founder of JPFO, Aaron Zelman, did not respect Alan Gottlieb and the Second Amendment Foundation. Excuse me? I knew Aaron Zelman, and recall seeing him attending and speaking at the SAF-sponsored Gun Rights Policy Conference. Aaron was no two-faced hypocrite; I’m sure he would not have supported with his attendance an organization of which he disapproved.
I’ve heard Alan and SAF criticized for their choice of lawyers. Um, excuse me? Are they talking about Alan Gura, the brilliant lawyer who won those great victories for the Second Amendment in the Supreme Court of the United States? Both Alans are Jewish, Gura presently in Tel Aviv I’m told; are there members of Jews For Preservation of Firearms Ownership who bash two of the strongest fighters for the Second Amendment who are Jews themselves? What?
Speaking only for myself, it appears to me that SAF is the ship willing to pick up the survivors of the sinking JPFO, and to get them back sailing again on the course that Aaron Zelman founded for his great organization. If members of JPFO are able to keep the original organization afloat, more power to them. If not, I would much rather see SAF take the helm and keep JPFO on course instead of watching JPFO and its accomplishments sink beneath the waves.
As Guns Save Life’s president, I too am supportive of the merger for the same reason as Ayoob: The SS JPFO is a goner, despite a handful of die-hard supporters trying to bail out the big boat with little buckets. Lifeboats have been filled with some of its members, its accomplishments and its good name, and are about to be put into the water this weekend. SAF is coming to rescue those lifeboats and we should support their rescue instead of criticizing the rescuers.
Loss of JPFO would be a tragic loss both tangible and symbolic, and would provide Bloomberg, et al, with something to tout as a “win”. Bloomberg’s $50M has bought him all sorts of blunders. We don’t need to give him a freebie to capitalize upon.
I have great respect for SAF, Gottlieb and what they’ve managed to achieve in recent years – including two grand-slam, landmark civil rights court cases, Heller and McDonald. SAF does much good for Second Amendment rights and Alan Gottlieb has been a stalwart in the fight, even when times were dark and gloomy.
To the critics: Sure, Alan has made a tactical mistake along the way. What’s more important? Winning the war or second guessing every tactical decision ever made in every battle – especially those which later turned out to be moot points!
One last point: I was wrong when I wrote earlier that JPFO would become involved in advocacy. It and JPFO are both 501c3 non-profits and cannot engage in advocacy. What Gottlieb and crew do with it following the merger will be their decision to make. I won’t offer any speculation as to whether or not JPFO’s mission will change over time in the future.
Gottlieb wrote: JPFO is not going to be shifted to advocacy. Another false rumor. Their tax status prohibits it…