Press "Enter" to skip to content

Why does SAF want JPFO so badly?

… given that JPFO board members appear to think JPFO is no more than a worthless burden to be shrugged off their shoulders? A businessman friend who is also a JPFO life member offers this insight. And ain’t it the truth?

SAF is salivating at this “merger.” What’s not to like? They pay a few bills, but they get a great email and snail-mail list. They probably know that there is very little overlap between SAF members and JPFO members.

But since SAF, Alan Gottlieb, and the lawyers he hires are unprincipled hypocrites, willing to compromise and toady at every turn, they don’t understand WHY there is so little overlap in membership.

The truth is, Aaron Zelman was a fanatic. In a good sense. He had a burning issue and a principled stance. He would never compromise.

That’s exactly why I am a life member. I strongly suspect it was a reason many people supported JPFO. They were tired of weasel words, compromise, and endless erosion of their rights by the very people who claimed to help them.

I will never be associated with SAF. If this “merger” takes place I will renounce my life membership in JPFO. Gottlieb will never see a dime from me.

Perhaps we can’t stop this “merger.” Look for a smarmy FAQ with a bunch of questions that treat the JPFO members like infants and idiots. Look for weasel word answers crafted by lawyers to those insulting questions. Look for evasions and lies from SAF, because that’s what Alan Gottlieb does – he says one thing even while planning his next treachery.

Because in truth there is simply no way to merge these two organizations. They are like matter and anti-matter. Just like those, the mix will provoke an explosion and destruction. Nothing good will come of it, but the life work of Aaron Zelman will be destroyed.

His words, not mine. So if you want to sue him for telling the truth, lawyers, go find him.

Now, people, I’m stepping away from my computer for an hour or two. But keep those reality checks coming to the JPFO board!


Sign the petition! Stop SAF from looting Aaron Zelman’s legacy.


  1. MJR
    MJR August 22, 2014 1:17 pm

    While I am an outsider (Canadian) and a little late to the party, I figure that if it’s important enough for you Claire to give up some needed income the least I could do is sign the petition. Good luck to you guys.

    Mike Ryan

  2. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 22, 2014 7:04 pm

    [He had a burning issue and an unprincipled stance.]

    This appears to be a goof. Perhaps he meant “uncompromising”.

  3. Etaoin Shrdlu
    Etaoin Shrdlu August 22, 2014 8:30 pm

    I lived in Seattle for ten years, and was well-acquainted with SAF and Alan Gottlieb. Yes, Gottlieb pays himself well. Very well. He also successfully fought I-676 (gun licensing, training requirements, and prohibiting children from having contact with icky guns, among other things) when it looked like the media and the leftards were going to ram it through the Washington state initiative process, teamed up with Alan Gura for the McDonald v. Chicago case, and has been leading the legal battle to protect our Second Amendment rights and to roll back some of the worst of the infringements upon them. Illinois got concealed carry thanks in part to SAF. The D.C. ban on carrying guns outside the home was likewise recently declared unconstitutional thanks in part to SAF.

    Your vague rant, with no context about the reasoning or background of the author, is worthless. Surely he can’t be offended that Gottlieb is Jewish? Perhaps he hates Washington and doesn’t recognize that there is a state with that name?

    Gottlieb is no saint, but he’s done good work for the Second Amendment for the entire time that I’ve known him and he and SAF have been far more effective than even the NRA, which simply rolls in at the last minute and takes credit for the victories of others (when it isn’t making stupid compromises like the instant-check datbase in the Brady Act), much less JPFO, which seems to do little more than put up anti-Hitler billboards, like there’s really a problem with Zombie Hitler or something.

  4. Claire
    Claire August 22, 2014 8:53 pm

    Paul — Fixed. Sorry. I’ve been writing, answering, posting, etc. in great haste today & totally missed that until you pointed it out. Appreciate the correction. I knew what he meant but didn’t see the typo.

  5. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan August 22, 2014 10:35 pm

    “Gottlieb is no saint…”

    Well, there you have it. Some folks don’t care to share their hard earned money with someone who compromises. “If we don’t give in on this one little issue, something much worse will be shoved down our throats.” {*}You can pick the issue but Manchin-Toomey-Schumer universal background check bill was raised earlier — which Gottlieb supported.

    Still, because of JPFO, there was a place for those uncompromising types to donate their hard earned money with a clear conscious that it wouldn’t be used for more new suits and compromising tactics. Take away JPFO principled stance, and all you have done is weaken the gun-rights community.

    Besides, I would rather have a million new billboards than sell-out even 1 more of my children’s liberties.

  6. Jerry the Geek
    Jerry the Geek August 23, 2014 4:09 am

    I have NO idea what the issues are. I’d be grateful for anyone who can elucidate the issues … rather than rely on innuendo and emotional appeals to — something or other.

    I admit, I’m not very impressed by the rhetoric I’ve read so far. I had the distinct impression that the goals of SAF and JPFO were at least congruent, if not identical. Which was, I HAD THOUGHT, support of the Second Amendment.

    And here I thought I was Politically Aware!

  7. Etaoin Shrdlu
    Etaoin Shrdlu August 23, 2014 4:04 pm

    @FishOrMan: That isn’t even remotely close to what I was talking about.

    I’ve seen the video, I’ve read the stories, and Gottlieb backed out and admitted that he screwed up when he tried to negotiate with the antis on that one. He didn’t get what he was hoping for, he cut his losses and killed the whole thing. It doesn’t play well in public, deservedly so, but the end result was that nothing bad happened (other than making himself look like a compromising weasel to hard-core gun rights folks).

    Totally unlike, say, the NRA, who went down in flames on the Brady Act, insisting on putting in the “instant check database” system even though I and a lot of other IT/CS people told them it was effectively a computerized registration system. The NRA refused to listen, got its way with the bill . . . and then spent lots of your money fighting the instant-check system that THEY wrote into the bill because it turned out to be a computerized registration system. . . . Way to go, NRA, good to see you managed to have input on the Brady Act.

    Or how about the NRA destroying a CCW bill in Georgia because they weren’t the ones who wrote it — oh no, someone else was going to get credit, shut ’em down! See:
    Hmm, skimming it, it looks like that was actually the third time in a row that they did that.

    Or the NRA trying to stop the Heller lawsuit, even going so far as to try to get Congress to pass a law that would have mooted the suit, or the NRA trying to claim credit for the McDonald lawsuit because they made one argument (which was identical to one of Gura’s, and which was a lock anyway — Gura argued two reasons for incorporation, to try to overturn an old Supreme Court precedent that had gutted the P&I clause — read Thomas’s concurring opinion in McDonald to understand the second issue).

    I’ll take Gottlieb any day over the NRA. He’s not going to shaft us in the name of “I got to sit at the table!” or “I didn’t get to run the show!”, unlike the NRA.

    I’m even willing to give Gottlieb some benefit of the doubt on that compromise, because he’s killed bills before when his negotiation strategy didn’t work out. Just before i-676 in Washington (mid-1990s, darkest days of the gun rights movement in my lifetime, when absolutely everything was going against us), SAF had managed to add some safe-harbor provisions to a safe-storage gun bill that was being rammed through the legislature. No, it wasn’t great, but at least we would have gotten something out of it. And when the antis stripped out all of those positive compromises, he managed to leverage their unreasonableness into killing the bill — something that probably would NOT have happened if he had just opposed it throughout.

    As far as what I did mean, it’s personal. He treats his employees like crap and uses incoming donations poorly. He’s effective in spite of his extremely bad management of SAF. That is unfortunate, but it’s a hell of a lot better than any other national group out there right now. I won’t ever like the man, but I can respect what he does, because it works.

  8. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 24, 2014 7:39 pm


    This is more or less my view of Gottlieb as well. Certainly, NRA is much worse than SAF, no question.

    I think it boils down to the question, whether negotiating in legislatures makes sense or not. Gottlieb clearly thinks it does, and he clearly likes wheeling and dealing in the halls of power. When you do that sort of thing, even if you manage to accomplish something good, or something turning out better than if would have if you’d refrained from dealing, you are still going to look bad at times.

    Personally, over the long run, I don’t think wheeling and dealing is a good idea. Buying guns and ammo and practicing and blogging and working outside the establishment seems much more productive in the long run and does not run the risk of making a person look like he is compromising someone else’s rights away. Even if the legislature subsequently does bad things that might have been prevented, I still prefer situations like the people in New York openly violating the SAFE law, or getting around gun bans by using the black market.

  9. Etaoin Shrdlu
    Etaoin Shrdlu August 25, 2014 5:29 pm


    I don’t like the idea of negotiating rights either, but it is only one prong of SAF’s overall strategy. SAF has been very aggressive about filing lawsuits, which is how they ended up in front of everyone else with McDonald. I think Gura would have liked to have run it all by himself, but Gottlieb had his case waiting to be filed the instant that the Supreme Court ruled in Heller, and had the sense to know he’d want Gura to team up on it rather than forcing him to the side — something the NRA would have loved to do, and tried to do repeatedly throughout the history of both suits.

    I just checked Google News a minute ago, and lo and behold, SAF has another victory in California today, over waiting periods not being applicable to people who already own guns or who have obtained CCW permits.

    Most of the lawsuit victories I’ve seen in the wake of McDonald have had SAF involvement, not entirely surprising since they’ve been running national gun-rights conferences to develop litigation. Next one is in Chicago in about a month:

    Still wondering what the source of Claire’s article has against Gottlieb and SAF. . . .

  10. Pat
    Pat August 26, 2014 6:11 am

    My take on this: It’s the difference between anarchist and minarchist, between a NAP libertarian and a Libertarian Party member, between working for a cause and using the cause to increase one’s power base.

    A compromise ALWAYS compromises the crusader, NEVER the moderate or insensitive.

  11. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 27, 2014 8:19 am

    Yes. Even if you grant that SAF has done good work in the courts (and I do grant that), it is still fighting on the enemy’s chosen ground. It still legitimizes the ruling class. It still trains people to beg government for “solutions”, rather than to be self-reliant and stop obeying their slave masters.

Leave a Reply