When Aaron Zelman, the founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, died just before Christmas at his home in Wisconsin, eulogies poured in from people Zelman had impacted. One came from Eugene Volokh, who said that Zelman’s “most notable contribution was research pointing out the frequency with which genocide has been preceded by prohibiting arms possession by the targeted victims.”
Zelman’s updated book Death by Gun Control reviews the history of exterminations of unarmed peoples in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Cambodia, Guatemala, Uganda, Armenia, Rwanda, and Bosnia. In Volokh’s review of that book, he noted:
The number of people killed by governments in the twentieth century is over two-thirds of the current population of the United States. As a cause of premature death, criminal governments massively outpace ordinary criminals.
A tribute from AmmoLand Gun News reminded its readers that Zelman’s seminal article exposed the 1968 Gun Control Act’s direct connection, courtesy of then-Senator Thomas Dodd, to the Nazi Gun Control Act of 1938, which led to the attempted extermination of all Jews in Germany after they were successfully disarmed: “Aaron had a take-no-prisoners way of thinking and challenged everyone from the NRA, to Washington bureaucrats to Ted Nugent in the name of the Second Amendment.”
In an interview with John Birch Society president John F. McManus in 2008, Zelman said, “We’re not interested in compromise. We are only interested in the destruction of … the evil and deadly policy known as gun control.”
Zelman wrote an open letter to popular rock star Ted Nugent, noting Nugent’s membership on the board of the National Rifle Association (NRA), and informing Nugent that “the day I’ll join the NRA” is when
The NRA aggressively presses to abolish all concealed carry permit laws….
I’ll join the NRA when the NRA calls for the complete and unconditional disbanding of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE)…. As you know, JPFO has produced a documentary about the BATFE called “The Gang” for which you kindly donated footage … which [shows] how, with deliberate regularity, the BATFE criminally harasses honest gun owners…. We don’t need these bucket-headed, jack-booted paramilitary goons playing cops in our lives.
I’ll join the NRA when the NRA soundly condemns and works tirelessly to abolish the Gun Control Act of 1968. [As you know] NRA lawyers actually helped to write this piece of totalitarian legislation … a near carbon copy of the Nazi German gun laws of the 1930s.
In an acerbic letter just 11 days before his death, Zelman wrote “An Open Letter to All American Politicians and Bureaucrats,” noting acidly,
You have done absolutely nothing effective or meaningful to stop [the erosion of our Second Amendment rights]. A preponderance of the blame can be laid directly at your feet. Why? Because many of you are, unequivocally, deceivers and liars.
How can I call you liars? Upon your election or appointment here’s what you promised us: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take his obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
Your oath of office is a contract, both verbal and signed. If you are in breach of that contract you are now both a liar and a criminal….
What immediate convenience or passing luxury could lure so many of you into your present and insane politically correct points of view? It must be asked: Are you taking bribes? Are you being blackmailed? What is the promise or price being offered to you to so transparently betray America?
If you don’t change course, how long do you think the American people are going to tolerate your charade of loyalty?
In summarizing his conversation and interview with Zelman back in 2008, McManus remembered: “He had the remarkable ability to look past commonly held attitudes and beliefs and arrive at what people really needed to know. Aaron Zelman got right down to the nitty gritty.” As part of the society’s educational campaign, the JBS is distributing a JPFO DVD entitled 2A for the USA; it may be ordered here.
With the loss of such a man as Aaron Zelman, a fair question now is: Who can replace him? Who can fill the void? Who can provide the incisive clarity, the backbone, the leadership, and the courage needed in this most vital of battles? Who, indeed?