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I’ve always considered apathy as great a threat to the right to keep and bear arms as outright anti-gun activism, probably even more so, because while “they” have billionaire funding, “we” have the numbers. That more isn’t done to demonstrate that is a nut I’ve been trying to crack for decades, most of the time shaking my head that so few seem willing to roll up their sleeves and help carry the load, be it through volunteer activities or funding support.
Case in point, out of an estimated 100 million gun owners in this country, the number reportedly belonging to the NRA is generally only put at around five million. Groups like the Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Gun Owners of America weigh in at considerably fewer members. An even more marked lack of participation can be seen with many state-level grassroots gun rights groups, often staffed by a handful of overworked volunteers trying desperately to fight a state-level strategy being waged by Michael Bloomberg’s well-funded and professionally-staffed Everytown machine.
Another case in point is Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, a unique effort bringing a distinct message and a moral perspective on the evils historically enabled by a government monopoly of violence. The untimely death of founder, leader and teacher Aaron Zelman removed much of the direction, to the point where the organization was in danger of fading away.
The merger of JPFO into SAF resulted in its own share of controversy, including a schism and a separation by some previous supporters over seeming irreconcilable differences. It was personally upsetting to me, as I had (and hope I still have) friends among those who chose to separate from the new entity. My position, as stated at the time, is if I can do my thing without undue pressure, my intention is to try to help JPFO continue. If it turns out it's not JPFO, but a different creature wearing its skin, I'll revisit my decision as warranted.
It’s been some months, and I have not yet seen anything come out of the “new” organization to warrant revisiting it. I have been privy to a closed-door meeting and numerous confidential follow-up communications, and have not seen any direction or inclination to undermine JPFO’s traditional goals.
I understand some have differences, but those are not with JPFO itself, and that’s important enough for me not to automatically abandon my inclination to do what I can to help the organization survive, thrive and grow. If you don’t agree, I’ll not waste any more of your time trying to persuade you. Stop reading and go in peace. This message is intended for those of you who would like to join me in doing what we can to help this entity called JPFO.
If there’s any evidence of good faith that I can cite, it’s the continuation of regular new material by me and by my friend and colleague Kurt Hofmann. We continue doing what we can to produce original, relevant, timely, and hopefully interesting material readers aren’t getting anywhere else, if not for the topic, at least for the insights. I promise you, and I’m sure Kurt will back me up, we have not once been told to write about a topic, ordered not to write about a topic, instructed on how to say things, or even asked. There has never been any pressure to exploit us or censor us. If there had been any move to get us to pull our punches, we’d have both been outta here a long time ago.
Assuming we’ve established enough credibility with our readers to where you can accept that, what is it I’m asking you to do in order to help?
First, you need to want to. I gave those who didn’t the chance to leave a few paragraphs back, so it’s fair to assume you who are still reading these words count yourself among those who receive value from the information you find on this website.
Merely receiving value is not enough to make a difference. Value must be given for value received if that information is to continue. If you haven’t done so already, please join JPFO. Here’s where you can do that – go ahead – I’ll wait.
Back already? Good, because we’re not done. It’s not enough to be a mere consumer of information – if JPFO’s message is going to make it out to the wider world, supporters need to become force multipliers. Make sure you’ve signed up for JPFO Email Alerts. And then when you get them, forward them to your friends, and encourage them to become supporters.
Unfortunately, many gun owners want nothing to do with social media, viewing it as a trivial and narcissistic time-waster. It can be, if all you do is post stupid selfies and “I can has” cat photos and the like, but that’s not what we’re doing here. The enemies of our right to keep and bear arms are using such platforms to great effect, and if we don’t meet them, match them and beat them, we’re not only squandering a valuable resource , we’re ceding without struggle an entire front in the information war – and if you don’t think that’s what it is, think again. Take “Communications” out of C3I and everything else is nullified.
Please don’t think for a moment that you, personally, don’t need to do anything because someone else will pick up the slack. We need your shoulder on this wheel. And recall for a moment the terrible sacrifices some have made to secure the position of privilege we find ourselves in today, and what some would have done with the tools at our fingertips – at your fingertips. Do you think the ill-fated members of the White Rose would have appreciated a way to get their message out to millions?
“You’re preaching to the choir,” I’ve been told on numerous occasions over the years, but I often can’t agree. The choir is comprised of members who are up there putting themselves in front of others to perform. They have spent long, hard hours practicing and developing themselves, and working tirelessly, even when they didn’t feel like it. And they’ll do it again next week, and the week after that.
If you’ve been sitting in the pews listening, come on up and add your voice to ours. Or at least put a few bucks in the collection plate.
David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning their monthly "Rights Watch" column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. David Codrea's Archive page.