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GOOD NEWS: JPFO set to merge with 2nd Amendment Foundation

August 22, 2014

There’s good news to report in the coming merger next week of the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership with the strong and vibrant Second Amendment Foundation.

The Second Amendment Foundation, led by Alan Gottlieb, is most famous for bringing a long string of lawsuits in federal courts to force the recognition of the right to keep and bear arms.  We all owe SAF a great debt of gratitude for their work in the successful Heller and McDonald decisions – which have led to subsequent court decisions striking down anti-gun laws.

As an Illinois resident, I am grateful for SAF’s “take it to the courts” strategy which forced Illinois to adopt right-to-carry over some very angry anti-gun legislators and a cry-baby, gun-hatin’ governor.

JPFO has long been an iconic civil rights organization, fighting for the rights of Jews to keep and bear arms to help ensure there’s never again another Holocaust.  The organization’s founder, Aaron Zelman was a passionate and notable advocate for basic civil rights for most of his adult life and he formed JPFO in 1989.  He tirelessly worked to educate people on what happens to disarmed Jews (and Gentiles, as well).

Most didn’t realize that JPFO has been in desperate straights for some time now, especially so since the 2010 death of its founder.

The group claimed a membership of over six thousand, however more than a few of those folks were life members and their membership money was long ago spent on the organization’s operational expenses during lean times.  Most of the other names on the “membership list” were at some point annual members but haven’t paid for a renewal for some time, leaving the organization further in the hole.  Unlike the gun control lobby, JPFO didn’t have the deep pockets of any George Soros or Michael Bloomberg billionaires to underwrite the group because, well, JPFO worked to promote freedom, not recreate past tyranny.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, their spring fundraising mailing to members (and past due members) grossed $120.

Ouch.

In recent weeks, papers were drawn up to dissolve JPFO.  JPFO’s board was within hours of signing them.  A couple of phone calls were made and the folks at Second Amendment Foundation expressed an interest in a merger of sorts.

Details will be revealed later this coming week, but the framework calls for JPFO’s name to live on.  It’s mission will change from an education-only organization to an education and advocacy group, getting into the trenches with the NRA, SAF, GOA and other gun rights organizations at the national level and probably with smaller organizations at the state level where appropriate.

Look for the merger to be touted at the upcoming Gun Rights Policy Conference.   It will be held in Chicago on September 26-28.  It is the fantastic annual event where civil rights advocates meet to share effective strategies to promote and expand good guys’ gun rights.

This merger between SAF and JPFO is great news for gun owners and really bad news for Michael Bloomberg.

Sorry Mike.  You’re still a pint-sized man and all the money in the world won’t change that.  Neither will all your money change the fact that Americans love their God, guns, baseball, and apple pie.

 

24 Responses to GOOD NEWS: JPFO set to merge with 2nd Amendment Foundation

  1. Claire Wolfe on August 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    What an interesting collection of half-truths, total distortions, and innuendos. Clearly whoever wrote this article had a source within JPFO. Equally clearly, that source has very ill will toward JPFO.

    For instance, the spring fundraiser, in which I participated, brought in thousands upon thousands of dollars. The memberships and donations poured in for weeks. The thing that “grossed $120” was a single email appeal late this summer that was indeed unsuccessful. But it was ONE email and it’s simply a lie to say it was JPFO’s spring fundraiser.

    I don’t have time to fisk this entire article, though it surely deserves a good going over. But the comments about members, or lack thereof, are also twisted and highly prejudicial and fail to give credit to the amazing work Managing Director Doug Schuett did after the JPFO board and a previous manager nearly destroyed the organization after Aaron Zelman’s death.

    Sad that it’s these very same mis-managers who are selling out to SAF now — and apparently feel the need to make their case through deception. Pathetic.

    • jboch on August 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Yes, Claire. I wrote it. John Boch.

      We reported what was told to us.

      I’ve got no dog in this fight other than my happiness that JPFO is still alive after it was in a coma and on life support a couple of weeks ago.

      John

      • Claire Wolfe on August 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        Thank you, John. I won’t ask who gave you such distorted information because I’m virtually certain I know.

        I also want to see JPFO live and I believe that’s absolutely doable with new management, new energy, and judicious cost cutting. A group of long-time, committed JPFO people is already offering that. But even if someone else stepped in in our place, I’d applaud them as long as they were ready to keep JPFO alive AS JPFO.

        I don’t believe that JPFO will live — except as a zombie organization (like KeepAndBearArms.com) under SAF management. It’ll just die a slower and more ignoble death.

        The person who fed you such a carefully crafted set of distortions is one of those responsible for mismanaging JPFO in the years after Aaron’s death. That he would stoop to trying to buffalo an honest member of the gun press speaks volumes about his intentions.

        Thanks for your response and good luck to you.

    • jboch on August 23, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Claire,

      My source is an honest man that I’ve found to be of high character and integrity. Yes, he’s kinda-sorta plugged into JPFO.

      This is a win. I define a “win” as just about anything that doesn’t involved dissolving JPFO and giving Bloomberg something he can craft into a “win” on the national stage.

      Why my affinity for JPFO as a Gentile? Well, I admire their position and they didn’t throw me under the bus like the Illinois Policy Institute did when I compared IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s support of making FOID cardholder names and addresses public to Schindler’s List.

      Yeah, I know it’s not exactly a direct comparison, but it got the right idea across.

      Long live JPFO.

      JOhn

      • Claire Wolfe on August 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        Wonder why your “honest source” outright lied about the spring fundraiser and carefully didn’t mention how much the membership picture has improved in the last year.

        Not my idea of honesty.

      • jboch on August 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm

        He said fundraising mailing.

        I have no idea about other projects.

      • Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger on August 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm

        Well, John, Alan Gottlieb says, “It would be nice if some people reloaded their brain before they shoot their mouths off.”

        http://www.examiner.com/article/deep-divisions-continue-on-jpfo-acquistion#

        The complete quote: “JPFO is not going to be shifted to advocacy. Another false rumor. Their tax status prohibits it. It would be nice if some people reloaded their brain before they shoot their mouths off. Friendly fire can lose a war!”

        I thought your “advocacy” claim sounded peculiar, since I once discussed just that with Aaron (Not knowing which 401c variant JPFO was organized under, I had asked him to help publicize an issue that would have crossed that line. He graciously explained why he couldn’t, and explained that he thought JPFO better served as an RKBA educational group. Seeing his points, I agreed,and apologized for the asking.). But I allowed the possibility that SAF would reorganize JPFO.

        It would seem that either your source isn’t so reliable, or Gottlieb isn’t… or all of the above. Which is exactly why Claire wants to talk to the directors, and why I’ve offered them the opportunity to have their own exact accurate statement published on my website.

      • Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger on August 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm

        Correction: I copy/pasted the wrong URl for Gottlieb’s comment. It should be:

        http://www.examiner.com/article/deep-divisions-continue-on-jpfo-acquistion#comment-1557183304

      • jboch on August 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

        Without getting into stuff that’s confidential, what Alan said may be the final agreement. A mistake in my opinion, but it wouldn’t be Alan’s first. He’s only human.

        And fine. Again, I don’t have a dog in this fight.

        If Gottlieb was directing that harsh comment at me, then that’s okay. I’ve got broad shoulders.

        John

  2. Sybil Ludington on August 22, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I’m not sure I follow you reasoning. You stated:
    JPFO has long been an iconic civil rights organization, fighting for the rights of Jews to keep and bear arms to help ensure there’s never again another Holocaust. The organization’s founder, Aaron Zelman was a passionate and notable advocate for basic civil rights for most of his adult life and he formed JPFO in 1989. He tirelessly worked to educate people on what happens to disarmed Jews (and Gentiles, as well).

    So why would you see it as a GOOD thing that this organization is being taken over by a group that SUPPORTS Universal background checks. Seeing how that worked for us (Jews,Christians, Gypsies and Political dissenters) in Germany.

    Why on earth would ANYONE think this is a good thing? You might want to re-examine your idea, or your source for information since this is not a done deal yet is it?

    What have the JPFO members had to say about it? Cause I want my membership money BACK!

    • jboch on August 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Nobody’s perfect, which seems to be what you are seeking.

      How quickly some people forget the Heller and McDonald decisions and all that’s followed from them.

      Even if Alan Gottlieb never does another positive thing for gun rights in his lifetime, his work to successfully take our fight for gun rights into the courts will have done vastly more for our rights than everything done by the critics of this deal – put together in their lifetimes.

      Nobody’s perfect.

      And frankly, JPFO was hours from being legally dissolved before it received this new lease on life.

      Infighting and bickering does nothing to further our mission. In fact, some people (Claire excluded) seem to have put more energy into caterwauling about this merger than they’ve put into gun rights advocacy recently.

      That’s a shame.

      John

  3. Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger on August 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I’m curious: You seem to implying enough of an insider connection with JPFO to know how much their fundraisers gain, yet I don’t see your name posted. Ms.Wolfe certainly gave her name, explaining how she would have… rather different data. Who are you?

    And do you really think turning over THE no-compromise RKBA organization to the man who bragged about helping draft the Manchin-Toomey-Schumer preemptively-prove-your-innocence and gun ban is a good thing?

    If JPFO is having financial trouble, all they need to do at this point is slip a generator drive belt around Aaron’s spinning body and sell megawatts of power to the grid.

    • Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger on August 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Hit post too soon. That should read “no-compromise RKBA _education_ organization”.

    • jboch on August 23, 2014 at 9:20 am

      I always thought GOA was the “no compromise” group. Have I been wrong all these years.

      In my experience in IL, “no compromise” means “the well-meaning, but clueless as to how the real world works amateurs”.

      If you want to get things done without voting from the rooftops, you have to take things in baby steps.

      Rights weren’t lost in a day and they won’t be returned in a day… even if revolution happens.

      Isn’t it Claire who wrote, “It’s too late to change it at the ballot box, but too soon to start shooting the bastards?”

      Well, change can happen at the ballot box still – if we don’t give up.

      John

  4. John Holmes Jr. on August 22, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Glad jpfo will still be around… didn’t realize they were having probs. Then again they haven’t been at all active for years that i have seen.

  5. Oregon Hobo on August 22, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Good news? Is it opposite day already? I would have worn my good suit if someone had told me.

    The prospect of an uncompromising organization like JPFO being co-opted by that collaborationist snake Gottlieb is the worst news on the 2nd Amendment front that I’ve heard in years. Aaron Zelman must be spinning in his grave like a turbine right now. He despised Gottlieb, and with good reason.

    Sure Gottlieb’s been involved in some positive things. Likewise, Benedict Arnold would be just another small-time turncoat lost to history had it not been for his previously brilliant military career. That is the nature of infamous traitors. They wouldn’t be infamous if they had never made the big time and they wouldn’t be traitors if they had nothing to betray.

    Furthermore, let’s not forget that most if not all of the actual litigating in Heller and McDonald was done by Alan Gura. I’ve never quite understood why he lets that other Alan leech off his good name and good work for the sake of poisoning the gun rights movement. I would be delighted to see Gura give SAF the long overdue kiss-off. There must surely be worthy orgs that would welcome with open arms someone of his formidable talents and reputation.

    Let’s also not forget that Gottlieb is the SOB who supported Toomey-Manchin, and who works tirelessly for universal registration both federally and within Washington state.

    The ink has barely dried on my JPFO membership and now I may have to go burn it already if this comes to pass.

    #OREGON HOBO#

  6. Oregon Hobo on August 22, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    I too had no idea they were in trouble. I’m surprised that a pro-2nd-Amendment group can be struggling financially at a time like this.

    Here’s a thought.

    Send an email to the 3 members of the JPFO Board of Directors. Pledge what money you can IF they promise not to join SAF. Then don’t forget to send it. If this merger is planned for next week then it seems Mon 09-01-2014 would be a good day to start the new month right. Go buy a ton of videos and t-shirts. Give them away to friends. Spread the good word.

    Urge the JPFO board to put out the word for new directors if they need to tag out. Don’t let it end like this.

    #OREGON HOBO#

    • John Holmes Jr. on August 23, 2014 at 7:47 am

      I think the time for promises is over if i read the original post correctly. You had your chance mr. Hobo.

  7. Oregon Hobo on August 22, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Actually if they have bills bearing down on them, 09-01-2014 may be too late. Upon further consideration, sent the following email:

    To: bob@rhmeier.com; boo3@ix.netcom.com; jpfoscty@att.net jpfoscty@att.net

    All,

    I don’t think many were aware of JPFO’s dire financial straits. I certainly wasn’t. Please don’t be afraid to put the word out. I can think of several prominent bloggers who respect your organization and its work immensely, and who wield a numerous and committed readership. Don’t be afraid to advertise the videos you have available! …and if the burden of your responsibilities on the board are burning you out, we understand. Please, please, put out the call for new directors.

    I will personally pledge $200 payable as soon as you announce that you will NOT let Aaron’s work be assimilated by that collaborationist turncoat.

    Thank you for all your hard work. Please don’t let it end like this.

    Respectfully,

    ________

    • jboch on August 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

      Express a willingness to donate a few hundred hours a year to JPFO business and you’ll have someone’s attention. And add a couple of zeros to your pledge even more so.

      Get together a half-dozen or better yet a dozen friends, ideally Jews, to all do the same, and they’ll probably talk.

      You already have the right contact info if you can put that together.

      While $200 is generous, it’s insignificant to what’s needed to keep JPFO afloat.

      John

      • Claire Wolfe on August 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm

        What is most necessary to keep JPFO afloat is good management, fresh ideas, and cost-cutting by people committed to Aaron Zelman’s uncompromising vision. Throwing money toward people who have spent 3-1/2 years mismanaging JPFO is not the solution.

        Doug Schuett has made an enormous difference since he came on in the spring or late winter of 2013 and JPFO has been recovering. Not out of the woods, but recovering remarkably. Painting JPFO as a basket case that can’t survive on its own does it a disservice.

      • jboch on August 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm

        I don’t know who’s who when it comes to JPFO management.

        I do know someone was paid to manage, left, and then returned to the paid position.

        As an outsider looking in, I’m not sure why JPFO had a paid director, but that’s their issue.

        The quality of leadership? I agree, there wasn’t much happening. Aside from that, I know next to nothing about what JPFO was up to.

        John

  8. thebronze on August 25, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Gottlieb sucks. He’s a shlub and a traitor to the 2A cause. It’s sad that he will now control the JPFO.

  9. Sam Whittemore on August 25, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    The air must be pretty thin up there for some of you on your high horses.

    I wasn’t aware there was a Purity Test for gun rights advocates.

    Or have we regressed to a caste system when I was taking a nap over the weekend.

    God bless JPFO. I’m glad they’ll continue to be around.

    The rest of you who spend your time attacking other gun rights groups and leaders, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    IF JPFO were indeed within hours of going kaput, then ANYTHING they do after merging with SAF will be a bonus.

    Plus, as John says, we’ll be keeping a win away from that would-be tyrant Michael Bloomberg. And yes, he’s a short, short man.

    Sam