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Innocents Betrayed...In New York City

By Richard Stevens


New York City is not a haven for gun owners and pro-self defense people. Nevertheless, a pro-rights activist, Dr. Larry Parks, arranged a speaking tour for me there in early February. I did not expect to receive a warm or even very polite reception in New York, but I knew it was a chance to test the film Innocents Betrayed on potentially hostile audiences.

Talking About The Big Picture

Dr. Parks proved that it is possible to arrange for showings of Innocents Betrayed at social clubs and discussion groups, even in “hostile territory.” I spoke first at the Rotary Club of New York City. The previous week the Rotarians had viewed a 25- minute excerpt from Innocents Betrayed, which included some of the genocides and some of the American experience presentation. The title of my talk was: “Evil, Power & Betrayal: From Street Crime to Genocide.”

In that talk I explained how evil ideas, in an environment where the aggressors have the power and the victims are defenseless, can produce terrible results, from child abuse to street crime to mass murder to genocide. When you consider that betrayal of trust is an element in the most horrific cases, then the message becomes clear. We must fight evil, we must oppose laws and ideas that render civilians powerless, and we must hold our trusted authorities and leaders fully accountable for their actions.

The feedback from the Rotarians was mixed. Many of the attendees understood the position well, some agreed with it. Others objected to the argument but could not defeat it on its terms.

I showed Innocents Betrayed in a shortened form and gave a similar presentation, entitled “The Century of Treachery: What Made Genocide So Easy,” to the University Club. The responses from the audience again were mixed, but no one really had an argument to defeat the key premise. Mostly the counter-arguments challenged me with this concept: "What — do you want everybody armed to the teeth? We'd have more crime and violence than you can imagine if that were true!"

The third talk I gave was to the Junto Club where a large crowd gathered. That club had widely advertised the presentation and the film. The title of my talk was "The Untold Story of Civilian Disarmament and Genocide." As it happens, technical issues prevented showing the film that evening, so I gave a fuller presentation of the ideas, using examples from history and the recent news in the U.S.

The Junto Club audience was generally receptive; many were enthusiastic about the message and some bought the film sight-unseen. The Junto Club plans to show the film at the next meeting.

Finally, Dr. Parks invited me to appear as a guest on his weekly cable television program, "Extreme Consumer Advocacy." On that 30-minute show, we presented a 12-minute excerpt from Innocents Betrayed and then discussed the key concepts.

These Ideas Have Power!

I learned from my trip to New York three main things. First, there are some New Yorkers who really do understand the need for the right to keep and bear arms, and they need moral support because they are outnumbered there. Second, the argument that Innocents Betrayed presents is not easily refuted, even by people who sincerely would like to refute it. Third, the film supplies a dramatic and powerful social group presentation to stimulate discussion, especially if a speaker can introduce the film and the overall points to be made.

Hundreds of people saw the presentation of these ideas in New York. If the ideas can survive scrutiny there, then they can certainly survive in other cities, towns, clubs and family living rooms. Activists in Scottsdale presented Innocents Betrayed at the Public Library theater there on February 20, and we conducted audience discussions afterward. It's that easy.

Get the Short Version

You can get a copy of Dr. Larry Parks’ television interview program as it was broadcast in New York, featuring an extended clip from Innocents Betrayed, free with your membership (while supplies last). It’s a great film to show on your local cable television station!

Joining JPFO is still only $20 per year. The only qualification for membership is support for the Bill of Rights, especially the right to keep and bear arms. If you are reading this publication, then you probably qualify!

Click on www.jpfo.org, or call (800) 869-1884. Join today and get the 30-minute video free (DVD only). Don’t need to join now? Just send $4.00 to cover postage and we’ll send a DVD to you.


Copyright 2005, by Aaron Zelman. Permission is granted to reproduce this article in full, provided that JPFO contact information, website and phone number are included. J.P.F.O., Inc. * P.O. Box 270143 * Hartford, WI 53027 * (262) 673-9745 * (800) 869-1884.


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