When the wonderful Aaron Zelman passed away, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership fell upon hard times. The directors chose to sell it to someone they thought could keep it going. To the dismay of several members and workers, they chose to pass JPFO on to Alan Gottlieb.
Dismay, because Aaron — and a great many of us — regarded Gottlieb as a compromiser who is actually a danger to Second Amendment-protected human/civil rights.
Recently, JPFO ran a column by Richard Douglas, “How Do We Solve Gun Related Violence Without Sacrificing Our Rights?”. My reaction to that piece appearing on the JPFO site was:
“With JPFO publishing this utter BS, we can slip a generator drive belt around Aaron Zelman’s body and power the entire state of Wisconsin.”
Some have wondered why I objected to the column. Allow me to explain.
There are several problems, starting with endorsement of the Kansas City experiment (and the Project Exile it was testing). That included preemptive, no-cause intimidation visits and no-cause stop&frisks. People were being arrested for firearm possession, not for committing real crimes with firearms. The experiment was flawed anyway, since the starting demographics of the test and control beats were dissimilar, and they didn’t examine changing demographics.
Then the guy equates industry development of automotive technology to CDC sociological research, and concludes that inventing better brakes means the CDC should study “causes” gun violence. If the CDC did all the research into car crashes, they’d still be ignoring the young male demographic that the insurance and car rental industries already know are the main problem, while testing for the influence of existential angst on middle-aged women drivers, and banning automotive tech innovation.
He buys into the view that the Dickey Amendment shut down research. It didn’t even shut down CDC research; they just didn’t publish findings that didn’t support the anti-rights agenda.
Statistically speaking, we already know where “gun” violence occurs, who is doing it, to whom, when, and why. The only “research” needed for the overall problem is a field test: arrest, convict, and imprison; for real crimes against real people. Compare that to catch&release (ie- Chicago) and see which process lowers crime.
Outliers like public mass shootings unrelated to trafficking and gangs, or terrorism, may be worthy of actual study. I suggest looking for ways to spot problems without turning us into a totalitarian surveillance state. And since the state will always have an interest in expanding its power, that’s an automatic argument against having the state do the research.
From working with Aaron, I think he would have agreed with my assessment, and he would have seen this as more of why he disapproved of Gottlieb. The only way Aaron would have published that column would have been as a “know your enemy” warning.
Others, including David Codrea, also expressed outrage.
” JPFO founder Aaron Zelman strongly opposed such edicts:”
In the face of such criticism, JPFO appears to be backpedaling.
“It was a “guest opinion” piece, and, as JPFO sees it for what it is, and appreciates your reaction (along with your other work), there’s an official JPFO statement on the way for “the rest of the story,” as JPFO sees this particular subject matter. Thank you. All the best.”
If the Vichy JPFO disagreed with Douglas, and meant this as an opposition piece, they should have noted it at the time; not waited until they were criticized over it. Compare that to censorship of pro-2A writers by Gottlieb.
The forthcoming “official JPFO statement” should be interesting.