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Proposed Merger of JPFO with SAF Ignites Firestorm

[Editor’s Note: I must confess to getting a name wrong in the article below. Garry Reed is the author of the Examiner article to which I linked in the opening paragraph below. I mistakenly thought it had been written by another gentleman, and consequently printed the wrong author in my article below. I have apologized to him and replaced his name with that of Garry Reed of the Libertarian News Examiner to correct my mistake. Thanks all for your forgiveness.


Elias Alias, editor]


Aaron Zelman Tribute


The Fury And The Flurry – Let The Fur Fly!

Time Sensitive Alert: A bit of background:

Last week Garry Reed of the Libertarian News Examiner posted a good coverage of the super-heated controversy surrounding a proposal by the Board of Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) to merge the organization with the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).  (Salute to Jeff and Donna for sending this story in). SAF is operated by a man whom JPFO founder Aaron Zelman despised on grounds that SAF was compromising in its role of supporting the Second Amendment. The personality clashes between SAF and JPFO were generally known across the spectrum of the American Gun Culture (AGC). Aaron Zelman, now deceased, was the founder of JPFO, and a personal friend of your humble servant. Aaron Zelman and I spent hours on the phone discussing how JPFO and Oath Keepers could further the interests of the American Gun Culture. Aaron loved Oath Keepers and would call me regularly with news tidbits, and would also provide me with  JPFO posters for Oath Keepers’ use.

Among Aaron Zelman’s close friends was our own founder, Stewart Rhodes, and our dear friend, Claire Wolfe. Claire Wolfe helped Aaron Zelman with the famous movie, “Innocents Betrayed”.


Further, Claire Wolfe co-authored a book with Aaron Zelman entitled “The State vs The People: The Rise of the American Police State“. (Click that link to order your copy, highly recommended.) Also, when Stewart Rhodes became too over-committed at Oath Keepers to continue as a columnist for S.W.A.T. Magazine, Claire Wolfe took over that column for Rich Lucibella (publisher of S.W.A.T.).  Finally, for those who do not know about Claire’s delightful books, please review the titles at Amazon dot com, <here> I have every one of her books and treasure them all.

That’s a bit of the background on Aaron and Claire. Here is what Garry Reed says in his article, linked above: (quoting)

The bottom line here seems to be that JPFO’s “dedication to absolute hardcore gun rights” could not and can never “live at peace” with SAF/CCRKBA’s “chronic compromising.”

There will likely be heated discussion and disagreement over all of this from ardent gun rights people but for now there’s little to go on other than Claire Wolfe’s blog report.

A great friend of Libertarian News Examiner and of JPFO explained why this is so:

“A big part of the problem is that the board tried to do this in secret and even lied about it, so there is no other source right now. They’re not talking about it. I have not yet gotten any response from SAF, but don’t really expect them to verify anything either. This was supposed to be a done deal before anyone knew about it, and only Claire blowing the whistle gives us any chance to stop it.”

(end quotes)

Claire Wolfe is not about to stand idly by and watch Aaron Zelman’s organization be merged with a company operated by a man Aaron Zelman despised, so she has blasted the plan for the merger vehemently.  As a celebrated regular columnist at Back Woods Home Magazine, Claire published a scathing revelation of the plan to merge JPFO with SAF. Anyone reading this who chances not to be familiar with Claire Wolfe’s remarkable talent and fighting spirit will certainly want to learn all about her. I encourage all our readers to check out her article for the central points of opposition to the proposed merger:

A key consideration for anyone to recall about Aaron Zelman is that he, better than any other Jewish American, worked tirelessly to remind his fellow Jews (and all American people) of the facts about gun registration, gun confiscation, and the resulting genocide which happened to the German people under Hitler’s Third Reich. Aaron’s message was quite clear – When the Jews were forced to register their guns with the German government, their slide down the slippery slope to death began.

Aaron’s organization became a stalwart organization with avid popularity within the Gun Culture, and rightly so. You will notice that the JPFO logo has been on Oath Keepers’ website since the site was created by Drew more than five years ago.  Oath Keepers has taken no position on this conflict, but as Stewart Rhodes and I were friends with Aaron Zelman and remain good friends with Claire Wolfe, I would like to suggest a project for all readers here:

Project: Claire Wolfe has posted online a petition, and at present moment there are only 429 signatures. (3:23 pm Mtn; August 29 2014). I think it would be way cool if a few hundred more signatures were to suddenly pop up on that petition between now and Sunday, August 31, 2014 – which is the deadline for impressing the Board at JPFO to change their minds and consider the “Plan B” which Claire has come up with.  Are y’all game for this? Good! I signed it yesterday, and hope you’ll click this link and sign it yourself. Thanks! Here’s that link:

And here again is that link to Claire’s article at Backwoods Home Magazine:

Thanks sincerely,


Elias Alias, editor





  1. So the SAF is a horrible orginazation? This is the same SAF that has been on just about every Second Amendment court case we have read about? The same SAF that had more cases against anti gun groups then the NRA?

  2. I support the merger. I have, in my opinion, supported both orgs for well over a dozen years.

    Love Bill

  3. Stick to the U.S Constitution, govern your organizations in fealty to its aspirations that all men live in liberty
    and freedom to enjoy the protections afforded them by the Bill of Rights and be very reluctant to constrict their
    meaning to appease those who use political affiliation of the moment to destroy the tranquility if its assurances.

    The Second Amendment is all the license you need to own private property called a weapon. As soon as you dilute your “inalienable rights” modifying its words guarantying the right to own private property, starting with your own body, thoughts, ideals morals principles and goods of merchantability then your “individual” rights are being transferred to
    An unknown source which must inevitably kill you should its demands require you to disregard your right to live under the “Rule of Law” and “Ordered Liberty” which are the founding principles of the United States Constitution.

    Finally some would have you believe that the United States is a Democracy ruled by poll and plebiscites, but nothing is further the truth than that erroneous propaganda being proflgated by the leftist who want to rule by edict of Executive Order to create big government federalism. No where in the 4,400 words in the Constitution is the word “Democracy” or “democracy” but the “REPUBLIC” meaning a government of enumerated powers and rule of law, order liberty, where the majority prevails, but only commensurate with “limitation” that protect the rights of the minority.

    Remember the most vulnerable amongst us is you, “THE INDIVIDUAL”. Be armed legally to guaranty your safety
    Michael Rodriquez

  4. As noted in the article, Oath Keepers has taken no official stand one way or the other on this conflict. This sort of thing does not fall within our TAOR, so we remain neutral on this one.

    However, as your friendly editor, I personally, in my personal capacity, enjoy working with Claire Wolfe, and I am pleased to report that mere hours after sending out the email to our lists there are now 932 signatures on the petition! That is more than double the 429 which were signed up when we sent out the email blast. Hu-AHH! My thanks to the more than five hundred of you who clicked and signed the petition, and to those who will sign over the weekend. Claire is all smiles, and I’m sure Aaron Zelman would be giving you a big Second Amendment Grin if he could see the sigs coming in that nicely.

    Elias Alias, editor

  5. JPFO is the most erudite and articulate 2A organization in the country today. It’s Educational mission will be diluted in any merger. JPFO has been, for me, a primary source of “Ammunition”in the gun debate,and I have used the Facts, data and historic examples provided to counter the often one – sided arguments of GGs. The running total of the times guns have been used defensivly has been particularly effective in bringing anti-guns up short.The Documentaries “Innocents Betrayed” and “The Gang” rank with our own “Molon Labe”. The image of pro 2As as Gun toting rednecks or fanatical conspiracy theorists is given the lie when JPFO is described.As a chance for OK to demonstrate its power,this opportunity to support an ally should not be missed. A few words to MiJ Rodriquez above – You may enjoy rattling off catechisms,but you provide no useful information.OK membership is thourougly conversant in the Geneology and purpose of our second amendment, and it is tiresome to see such “Preach to the choir” screeds.

  6. In one breath I say I support Gottlieb and in the next two I say compromise
    is the reason we are in the fix that we find ourselves now.

  7. Folks,

    It was noted long ago that government is to be afraid of its citizens, not the citizens afraid of the government. We are far too long down that latter path and any dilution of gun ownership under the aegis of any “reasonable” accommodation is anathema to maintaining the full and [remaining] undiluted rights of the people of the USA. If the merger speaks compromise, then forget the merger. Holding to principle may take courage and engender ostracism and criticism, but it also preserves your dignity and life in situations when those of lesser calibre encourage the evaporation of rights.

    Doug Schulek-Miller

  8. Updating the signature total over at the petition webpage: As of noon on Sunday, August 31, 2014, there are 1,387 signatures. Mayhaps that will be enough to persuade the Board of JPFO to consider Claire Wolfe’s alternative option for preserving JPFO’s autonomy. We’ll see.

    Thank you sincerely for all those votes Oath Keepers members have placed on that petition. That is a good response and I personally appreciate every one of you who took time to sign.

    Elias Alias, editor

  9. I find it deeply disappointing that a merger of JPFO and SAF is so vehemently opposed by some. While my acquaintances with the parties is very very limited, it is distressing that we cannot try to join together toward the JPFO and GOA end of the spectrum. While I was not pleased with some of the recent SAF legislative compromises, it is well to remember that they have funded MANY lawsuits on behalf of gunowners- THAT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE. As an attendee of the annual Gun Rights Policy conference, twice, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Alan twice, and even Neal Knox before he died. I was also a gentile member of JPFO for a while (didn’t renew ONLY because of funds), but now I plan to try to secure life membership from both JPFO and GOA over time. I am already a life member of NRA and REALLY DON’T LIKE some of their compromises EITHER. I never had the pleasure of meeting Aaron before he died, but would have considered it a DISTINCT PRIVILEGE, if I had had that opportunity, as I had deep respect for him. I have also read 2 of Claire Wolfe’s books, but never have had the privilege of meeting her yet. Last year in Jan-Feb., I sacrificed my dislocated worker assistance at school to do intensive lobbying at our state capitol against crippling anti self defense legislation- it cost me DEARLY. Why do I share all this with you? It is because I sincerely feel as an advocate of the JPFO and GOA end of the gun rights spectrum, that this internecine fighting serves ONLY TO WEAKEN US and make the efforts of the bloombergs and soroses easier… I suggest a simple compromise to provisionally permit the merger in the attempt to move the SAF more into our camp…One other final anecdote: at one of my Gun Rights policy conference attendances, I submitted a resolution to commit civil disobedience (similar to Connecticut and New York recently) and disobey any laws that might be passed to confiscate our firearms [I think it was the last year of the clinton administration]… my resolution was not even read, let alone voted on, despite having been very well crafted… needless to say, I was very disappointed. I am FIRMLY IN FAVOR OF THE MISSION OF OATH KEEPERS, and plan to pay my dues here, also… but this fighting among ourselves does not help our cause, if we refuse to even try to pull SAF our way…as I said, I only know the prinipals on a very casual basis, but I think it might be worth a try to attempt to move Alan a little more our way…

    [Editor’s Note: John, please recall that Oath Keepers has not taken a position on this, neither for nor against the merger. As I stated in the article, this sort of conflict is not within Oath Keepers’ TAOR, so we have no position. Still, it is a newsworthy thing and there are inter-twining friendly relationships on both sides of this, so I was happy to present it to our readers for various reasons. Thank you for reading and leaving your comment. I appreciate it.

    Elias Alias, editor]

  10. After reading Claire’s impassioned blog and understanding the implications that it would possibly endanger JPFO’s unique and uncompromising position, I have “seen the light”. Not only did I sign, but I plan to call their offices [if possible], and let them know I was planning on becoming a life member on the month to month senior plan, BUT NOW will NOT, if they go ahead with the merger, until I see that Aaron’s vision of JPFO as UNCOMPROMISING without, is maintained. Before reading Claire’s blog, it seemed as if it might be a merger of equals, but it would plainly not be that. I also plan to e-mail the board members (respectfully) tomorrow and let them know about my conditional plans to rejoin JPFO on the senior month to month plan contingent about them staying out from under SAF. Let’s hope the merger fails. JPFO’s uncompromising voice is too valuable to be watered down as the ‘weak sister’…

  11. That is not my article you link to or my writing that you quote. Examiner has thousands of writers. Candidly, I don’t see how this happened — the author Garry Reed’s byline and photo are included at the top of his column.

    My stuff on the JPFO/SAF deal is here:

    Please issue a correction. This situation is contentious and acrimonious enough without my being held responsible for the views and statements of another. I get in quite enough trouble just advocating my own beliefs.

  12. Um – the article and link attributed to David Codrea links to an article by Libertarian Examiner Garry Reed.

    [Editor’s Note: Ned, thank you for the heads-up. The correction has been made.
    Elias Alias, editor]

  13. That examiner article you linked to is not by David Codrea.

    [Editor’s Note: Thanks, parabarbarian, for the heads-up. I’ve made the corrections.
    Elias Alias, editor]

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