Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959
February 1, 2001
Second Amendment Supporters Denied Entry to Million Mom March Meeting
Last night, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership sent out an urgent Alert to Second Amendment supporters in the Los Angeles area to attend a meeting at the infamous North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, California, this evening to give positive input on pending California Senate Bill 52, sponsored by State Sen. Jack Scott (D-Burbank). This Jewish community center gained notoriety on August 10, 1999, when Buford O. Furrow calmly walked in and attempted to slaughter innocent people. (http://jpfo.org/alert19990811.htm)
SB 52 would require anyone buying or selling a handgun in California to obtain a license. Scott's staff member, Michelle Brewer, was to be on hand to speak on the regulatory aspects of this odious bill should it pass in the state legislature. This forum was to be the highlight of a meeting of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Million Moms. (To learn more about the Million Moms see http://www.millionmommarch.org/).
A large group of Second Amendment supporters, along with myself, were waiting in the lobby for the meeting to begin at the scheduled 7:00 P.M., when we were informed by a woman identifying herself as Francine Naor from the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Million Moms that the meeting had been canceled.
"Canceled?", I asked in front of our supporters from JPFO, NRA and the Jewish Defense League. "Well, not exactly, but it is a closed door meeting. All of you are on private property and I'm asking you to leave immediately." Incredulous, I began to ask her a few questions, like why the meeting with Sen. Scott's staffer had been canceled at the last moment with all the advance publicity. "I am not going to argue with you", she huffed. "Wait a moment!", I said, "Is your group not interested in hearing an opposing viewpoint?" "This a closed door, private meeting", she reiterated, "And you are on private property!"
Now, as a US Army Infantry veteran, I've been shouted out by pros. This kind of puffed chest intimidation was Little League stuff.
"Madam, I am a rabbi as you can plainly see. This is a Jewish community center, I am standing in the lobby, and not intruding on your private meeting!" No voices were raised in anger, but the tension in that lobby with about 50 Second Amendment activists versus this one lady was beginning to fluster her. A moment later, an unarmed, uniformed private security guard ordered us out of the building. "This is private property, and you all can leave NOW!", he commanded. Trying to explain to him that we had come to attend a well advertised forum was wasted words. And then three LAPD officers arrived, including a sergeant. When a sergeant shows up in L.A. instead of an ordinary patrol officer, something is seriously amiss. I asked one of the patrol officers why they had been called (two patrol cars), and she answered that it had nothing to do with us. There was no trouble or threat noticeable to anyone present. Our side was the picture of calm and civility.
We left the lobby to discuss the situation in the parking lot directly outside. Again, the private security guard emerged from the building and ordered us to leave the property.
Jewish Defense League Chairman Irv Rubin was present, as well. Though we both live in Los Angeles and even attended the same high school, we had never before met. We have, he and I, had a few journalistic clashes over the years. We shook hands and exchanged cordialities. I told him in a voice loud enough for the assembled group to hear that, in spite of our differences in strategies, we shared a lot of common ground. We warmly shook hands a second time, to the approval of all present. Irv Rubin has never had any qualms about being arrested for causes he has considered vital to Jewish defense, but he agreed there was nothing for us to do but go home. The Million Moms doesn't give a tinker's damn for any viewpoint other than their own.
This is America. That's their prerogative.
I am not a conspiracy theorist--to a point. Could it be that word of Second Amendment supporters stealing their stage made the Million Moms change the evening's agenda?
You figure it out. I'm pretty sure the issue is straight in my mind.
This is how the destroyers of freedom work in America, friends. They lie and turn a deaf ear to anyone, even a peaceful rabbi-- anything to keep the truth from being heard.
My thanks to all of you in attendance this evening. We were hustled off the private property of a Jewish community center, though we had assembled peacefully for a publicized event. Your calm and dignity did our cause of freedom proud.
Where was this security guard the day Buford Furrow tried to kill small children, a teenage girl and a 68-year-old woman on August 10, 1999?
Rabbi R. Mermelstein
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