JPFO Not Helping

Jeff Soyer brings us a piece from the Baltimore Sun that highlights a mailing done by JPFO. JPFO denies distributing them, but admits to putting them on the Internet for other people to distribute. For reference, the flyers Jeff talks about are here, and here.

This is why JPFO will never see a dime of my money. Now, the charge of anti-semitism is rather silly when this material is produced by someone who is Jewish. But what do you think someone not part of the pro-gun community is going to think upon seeing one of these flyers? I can assure you the folks in this Sun article’s reaction is not going to be atypical.

I stick to donating my money to NRA and SAF. Many of the other groups out there aren’t doing any favors for the movement. JPFO has lately been one of them. This is a shame, I think, because JPFO can often have a powerful message about the importance of gun rights for the Jewish community, but Zelman can’t seem to help going over the top with ridiculous crap like this. I agree with Jeff wholeheartedly on this one.

14 thoughts on “JPFO Not Helping”

  1. I sent them money this year and joined for the first time. What I recieved through the mail was a bunch of comic book like flyers that would insult my intellegence if I had any. Is that usually the course of their instruction and am I supposed to share them with my grandchildren or what? I couldn’t wrap my mind around it so I just tossed them.

  2. They used to be better, and they do occasionally produce useful material. But lately they’ve been wearing the clown suit.

  3. Are you saying that these fliers are over the top because they state that gun control is racist law? I’m a little fuzzy on your objection to this.

  4. I’m saying they are over the top because they are using foul language and imagery in order to attract attention. Well, it did, but not the kind of attention we want. The problem with this crap is a casual observer has no way to tell it’s not gun owners being the racist stereotype people make us out to be. You have to go visit the web site to find out this crap was produced by a Jewish guy. Most people are just going to be disgusted. They aren’t going to visit the web site.

  5. I see no foul language in either of the two handbills you linked to, Sebastian …… unless ‘negro’ or ‘bagel-brained’ is on the list of (now) 9 words you can’t say.

    Here’s how I look at it: Are the gun control laws the anti-gunners use inherently racist? Are the legislators being targeted Jewish? Is is legitimate for one Jew (Zelman) to criticize another?

    To me the answers are yes, yes, and yes. Sounds ok to me.

    You just don’t like someone calling a spade a spade. It reminds me of something I read in Dunk’s Almanac – “All this tact and diplomacy has made liars of us all.”

  6. Negro isn’t as bad as the other N-word, but it’s not acceptable use in modern language anymore. The ad doesn’t say “Bagel Brained” it says “Bagel Brained Jew” which would be kind of like someone saying “Fried Chicken Brained Blacks Want to Take Your Guns.”

    Seriously, what do you think someone’s reaction is going to be upon seeing posters like that? That gun owners are great people? Is it persuasive?

  7. I’m not surprised by your discomfort with the flyers. It fits in with your queasiness re open carry.
    God bless you, do your thing, but it is apparent that you would be more comfortable at an English tea party than an American one.

  8. “Bagel brained Jew”? Ugh. I don’t care if the author is Jewish, it’s stupid and irrelevant. If the guy has bad ideas on gun control then attack the ideas, leave his race / religion alone.

  9. Sebastian, I will politely disagree with you here. I just watched the JPFO video, available here:

    It’s excellent!

    One of the primary persons speaking in the 20-minute video is Ralph Conner, with CORE (Congress for Racial Equality). CORE’s national chairman since 1968 is Roy Innis, a member of the board of the National Rifle Association.

    Often in the background is visible an old newspaper with the headline, “DISARM THE NEGROES”

    The piece makes clear that that 1968 gun control act copied directly from the 1938 Nazi law that was used ti prevent Jews from having guns. The piece stresses that both laws were based on racial fear and hatred.

    Since the Civil War, there have been repeated laws directed at attempting to enforce “no guns for negroes.” Until about 1950, that word was used right in the legislation, and in the court decisions.

    With the 1968 gun control act, the word was not used, but the intent was there. JPFO is attempt to get Jewish legislators to look squarely at the reality that the 1968 gun control act (and the fall out that many attempt still attempt to defend) was taken almost directly from a Nazi law.

    JPFO is going after a specific, narrow group: Jewish legislators who are supporting anti-RKBA laws. JPFO is attempting to say, “As a Jew, *how* can you support laws that were patterned after a law written to oppress, subjugate, and ultimately murder many Jews?”

    JPFO is not our enemy. To all who have offered “politically correct shock” at the posters promoting the video, please just go and watch the video:

    There is nothing “racist” about JPFO. Rather than get into the posture of making “racist” or “that’s rude” charges, it would be better simply to watch the video. Unfortunately, as a society, we have moved into instantly being willing to assume someone is being “politically incorrect.” We can use lots of keystrokes saying “that’s rude, and that’s rude.” Better would be to actually LISTEN TO THE VIDEO and attempt to learn something from it. It is accurate and enormously educational.

  10. The first one, not so bad, IMHO. The second one? Sounds like Jew-baiting to the uniformed outsider who doesn’t know about JFPO. It’s a little meshuga…if Zelman wants to go after these guys he needs to put their own Jewish-inspired logo on there and spell out the organization name so it’s clear that this is a “Jew criticizing other Jews” situation, and even still he could be more tactful and inject more humor…

  11. The movie itself might be good, but a casual viewer of that poster is not liable to get that far. JPFO has put out some good material over the years, but the way they promote it needs work. A lot of work.

  12. I won’t go quite as far as Sebastian and say they’re “over the top,” but I have to agree that the second one, at least, is seriously counterproductive. The average person who sees that one isn’t going to get beyond the headline before dismissing it as racist claptrap, and if they see the web address at the bottom, will forever dismiss anything they see with that address as garbage. It’s almost certain they won’t bother watching the video.

    The first one is more neutral, but as JJR pointed out, it really should have the organization’s name written out somewhere conspicuous to make it clear that this is a “Jew criticizing other Jews” situation.

    “To all who have offered “politically correct shock” at the posters promoting the video, please just go and watch the video:”

    The problem is that these flyers aren’t aimed at people like us – that would be preaching to the choir. They’re aimed at fence-sitters in the gun rights debate. People who probably have never heard about Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. If they don’t get past the headline because of their “politically correct shock,” then the posters have become counterproductive, and possibly harmful.

    If I didn’t already know what JPFO is, and I had seen one of those second flyers posted up somewhere, I would be seriously tempted to take it down and throw it in the trash. That’s counterproductive.

  13. JPFO is awesome, but the problem is that it should be called Jew for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership because Aaron Zelman works mostly alone. He really needs to invite more collaboration, but it sounds like he doesn’t want to give up control.
    He has a beef with most prominent Jews because they are predominantly anti-gun, which Aaron finds intolerable because of what he knows about history. Imagine you are a Jew trying to convince other Jews to see the light. Are you not supposed to ever say the word “Jew” during your entire argument?
    No matter what we say, the opposition will seek to take it out of context.
    I wholeheartedly agree with what Aaron produces. I especially embrace his stance about closing down the entire ATF.

  14. I know more than a few pro-gun jews, several of which are deeply involved in the movement. If Zelman is having a hard time finding them he’s not looking very hard.

    My problem is not that he said jew, but that he’s saying it in a context where someone, on casual inspection, is just going to assume the worst about people who support gun rights.

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