Aaron validated something in our hearts: Yes, he would remind you, it is permissible to crave personal freedom and liberty. Yes, it is permissible to stand up for righteousness and truth. Yes, it is quite alright to be unashamed and proud to be an American, and fervently hope this nation will return to the best of its roots.
Very few people could credibly declare that freedom is the Almighty’s will for us. Aaron Zelman could. I, and many others, took him at his word. And let everyone out there know right now: We still take him at his word.
Aaron was born in America just after World War II. In his youth in Arizona, Aaron carried a ﬁrearm as if it were absolutely nothing unusual … because it wasn’t. It was expected. A gun was a badge of freedom. Maybe those of us old enough can remember a similar time in our own lives, even in some of the larger cities.
This was a different nation then: Somber from the horrific loss of the greatest of wars, eager to make the best of the brighter future, and determined that those who died to protect our freedoms would not have made that ultimate sacrifice in vain.
Can you imagine being a teenage boy, a pistol on your hip and a rifle slung over your shoulder, roaming the Arizona desert in the 1950s? There cannot have been a freer place on Earth in the entire history of the world. Liberty, self sustenance, curiosity, pride, loyalty, and a quiet spirituality, were in the very sunlight and air. A youth nurtured in such an environment could make one an unrepentant and irreversible freedom lover. Such, thankfully for all of us, was the case of Aaron Zelman.
Later in his adulthood, Aaron served his country as a Marine Corp medic during the Vietnam War. He did not see combat … he saw its aftermath. As best he could he gave aid and encouragement to crushed and broken men. This profoundly affected him. It was during this time that he became forever suspicious of the immense, and growing, power of government. He told me that, as he looked down at the wounded all around him, he asked himself: “What purpose has this served?”
Friends, a great man has given his life for us, leaving behind his wife Nancy and two sons Erik and Jeremy, of whom he was immensely proud. For more than twenty years Aaron Zelman worked tirelessly to protect our freedoms and to restore dignity and honor to this failing nation. As we remember Aaron we must ask ourselves the question: “What purpose did he serve?”
♦ “...“No” to evil, and by saying “Yes” to truth, and love, and loyalty. We have been handed a torch that Aaron Zelman lit. Let us never waiver in our resolve.”
We must each answer that ourselves by saying “No” to evil, and by saying “Yes” to truth, and love, and loyalty. We have been handed a torch that Aaron Zelman lit. Let us never waiver in our resolve. In his memory. Amen.
Kirby Ferris, JPFO contributor and strategist, collaborated intensively with Aaron Zelman over the past two years.
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20 Years of Fighting for Your Freedoms
Awards and Accomplishments
The above awards, left to right – 2000 – Brass Roots, Brass Cajones Award: 2005 - Communicator Awards – “Bill of Rights or Bust – Talkin’ to America”: 2006 - Videographers Award of Excellence – “Bill of Rights or Bust – Talkin’ to America”: 2005 Bronze Telly Award – “Innocents Betrayed”: 2009 First Place Telly Award –“2A Today is Good for You and the U.S.A.”
Other Awards –
January 1998, Best of The Net from The Mining Company.
2001 - We the People Award from Americans for Constitutional Enforcement.
2002 - Heritage Freedom Award for Internet Excellence.
2003 - Conservative Site of the Day – www.enterstageright.com,
Freedom Home Page of the Week – www.market.net,
Outstanding Political Website – www.vote.net
2005 International Film and Video Festival Certificate for Creative
Excellence – Innocents Betrayed
2006 Bronze Telly Award - “Bill of Rights or Bust – Talkin’ to America”
Communicator Award - “Bill of Rights or Bust – Talkin’ to America”
2010 EMPixx Awards - “2A Today is Good for You and the U.S.A.” and “No Guns for Negroes”
Through 20 years of JPFO, Aaron worked tirelessly on fighting for your freedoms. Please take the time to view the many awards, accomplishments and projects of JPFO. Click here to visit the page.
“If even two or three percent of the probably
EIGHTY MILLION gun owners utilized JPFO’s material,
we would not have ‘gun control’ in America today.” ~ Aaron
The Legacy and Imperative
of Aaron Zelman
By L. Neil Smith
Aaron Zelman was a man uniquely driven by principle.
He did not believe in any moderation, gradualism, a “meeting of the minds”, nor in “reaching across the aisle” to what he perceived as evil. He knew, down to the bone, as well as he knew his own name, that any compromise with evil is -- evil.
Aaron believed in doing what is right, and he acted, not just consistently with logic and common sense, but in accordance with precepts validated by four thousand years of accumulated Biblical wisdom. On the other hand, he believed the greatest obstacle to reclaiming liberty does not lie in the ideas, words, or deeds of those who are evil, but in the way so many otherwise decent individuals cherish and defend their victimhood.
Aaron was nobody’s victim. It perplexed, disturbed, and outraged him that the people who suffered the most brutal tyranny in history could allow themselves to be talked out of obtaining, owning, and using the means to preserve their freedom and security. To him, this violated the mandates of intelligence, experience, Constitutional law, and the fundamental edicts of his most deeply held spiritual beliefs.
In creating JPFO in the face of nay-sayers and ideological enemies, Aaron assumed a crushing burden, to save not only the individual right to self-defense, or the right to possess and employ the means of self-defense, but the survival of American culture and ultimately of Western Civilization itself.
Aaron was critical of those he called “quackers” -- politically passive gun owners accustomed to saying, “I don’t care what the government does, as long as I can keeping using Dad’s old double for duck hunting,” or “Hey, I send the NRA fifty bucks every year, what else do you expect of me?”
“In creating JPFO in the face of nay-sayers and ideological enemies, Aaron assumed a crushing burden...”
He understood the mechanics of appeasement, the assertion that the enemies of freedom only want a “reasonable” amount of control over our lives, that what they demand “only affects criminals”, or that there is virtue -- invariably undefined and assumed to be undeniable -- in “just meeting us halfway”. His intellectual and visceral courage in resisting these appeals -- the “poison pills” so many other advocates and the media always swallowed foolishly -- was almost without precedent, until he taught it to a whole new generation. Aaron expected every American to do his or her duty in defense of values that self-evidently make American civilization unique. His objective -- one of them -- was to drive the “quackers” out of their comfort zone by telling the hard-hitting truth, no matter the cost, and accepting no compromise in the cause of freedom.
Aaron was one of a small number of advocates who fully understood what was at stake in this conflict. He knew why indifference -- mere passing or passive support -- endangers not only our immediate rights, but the wellbeing of future generations. Politicians who would take our guns want to do things to us we wouldn’t let them do if we were armed. This is not -- nor can it ever be -- a polite dispute among friends, not when the other guy wants you dead or enslaved.
Almost singlehandedly, Aaron ripped the “humane” mask off gun control, showing it for what it is, victim disarmament, the prevention of self-defense. He exposed the contemptible connection between the 1968 Gun Control Act and the Nazi gun laws it was copied from, concept by concept, by a corrupt and despicable leftist politician. With the discovery of the correlation between mass disarmament and historic acts of tyranny and genocide, he shattered any claim anti-gunners might make to public safety or civic virtue.
All these considerations moved Aaron to become the influential -- and greatly feared -- leader he remained for decades. Now that he has left us, we must continue his struggle as he would want us to. It is one thing to mourn the loss of a hero. It is another to honor the hero whose loss we mourn by carrying his great work forward.
“Almost singlehandedly, Aaron ripped the ‘humane’ mask off gun control, showing it for what it is, victim disarmament…”
The years to come will make it clear, sooner than we expect, how Aaron’s bravery and persistence -- his combination of imperturbable wisdom and outraged innocence -- made him unprecedentedly capable of altering the course of history. We, our children, and our children’s children will be living, before we know it, in a world Aaron made.
Inevitably the question arises, who can take his place? Who can guide JPFO, walk point in the battle to protect and extend the individual right to obtain, own, and carry weapons? Who can take this great man’s place at the forefront of the freedom movement?
“...who can take this man’s great place...? Don’t wait for someone else to answer, look in the mirror…JPFO isn’t stopping, it’s moving on…”
Don’t wait for someone else to answer, look in the mirror. JPFO isn’t stopping, it’s moving on beyond this sad and sobering moment. What will it take to win? It will take as many individuals as possible following the path of uncompromising integrity that Aaron alone walked so often. In countless ways, it will be up to everyone he ever inspired to carry his legacy forward.
The famous words of another Arizona native son never applied to anyone better than to Aaron: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”
Aaron’s birthday was March 4th ("March Forth") -- that is exactly what we must do.
L. Neil Smith
L Neil Smith has worked with JPFO for over ten years, co-authoring works with Aaron, and allied research/writing functions.
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Dear JPFO Members and Supporters,
I write to you today with sadness and urgency, both of which surround the loss of Aaron Zelman, of blessed memory. Aaron was not only the founder and director of JPFO, he was not only my colleague and mentor in producing “The Ten Commandments of Self Defense” and “No Guns for Jews”, but he was also my friend.
Aaron’s approach to our rights as US citizens was uncompromising, and his chutzpah – his non-conformist, gutsy audacity – knew no bounds. When Aaron first heard a series of Torah classes I had given on Torah Law and self-defense, he recruited me to create “The Ten Commandments.” I was drawn to JPFO by his vision of what the lecture would do for Second Amendment rights, and I have to admit that I was surprised to see that he was spot on.
"The Ten Commandments" Led the Way
An instant success with both Jews and non-Jews, “10C” clarified the Biblical foundations of the G-d-given right of self-defense, a right so intrinsic and fundamental to civilization that the Talmud simply summarizes it rather than making any effort to prove it exists: “If someone is going to murder you, preemptively strike first.” (Sanhedrin 72a)
But Aaron refused to let me rest on the success of 10C. He wanted an even more impactful piece, one that would awaken both Jew and non-Jew from complacently taking our 2A rights for granted.
Aaron recognized the importance of JPFO′s work for both Jews and non-Jews. For righteous Gentiles, JPFO produces materials that expose the gun-haters′ lies. It provides grounding in the shared heritage of the Hebrew Scriptures, supplying ammunition against the pacifist preachings of the uninformed. JPFO reminds us that the right to defend ourselves is granted by G-d′s Law, that it pre-exists the Bill of Rights, and that blindly following man′s law leads us to gun confiscations and genocides.
For Jews, living with the legacy of decades and centuries spent facing the muzzle end of the gun, JPFO′s offerings provide a jolting shock, a wake-up call to the dangerous realities of our world and the tenuous rights that tyrannical leaders seek to infringe on day by day.
Introducing Aaron′s Masterpiece
I had the privilege of working hand-in-hand with Aaron on “No Guns for Jews”, his last of many great achievements. While mine may be the face in the production, his is the talent behind it. The Torah content that I brought into our partnership simply speaks the truth, but Aaron knew how to package and present that truth in the most impactful fashion.
Shortly before Aaron was hospitalized in his last weeks, we were preparing to send an invitation to rabbis to view NGFJ. Aaron′s goal was to raise sufficient funds to deliver NGFJ on DVD′s to Jewish leaders, putting the disc in their hands to encourage viewing. He wanted to engender conversations on the Torah view of self-defense at synagogues and Jewish Community Centers through the country. When I last spoke with Aaron, he was delighted to hear of an e-mail I had sent him that would greet him on return from the hospital -- a draft of a letter to American rabbis inviting them to view NGFJ.
Help Me Deliver Aaron′s Letter,
and those DVDs, to Tens of Thousands
Aaron never saw that letter, so I can only ask that you help me now to fulfill his vision for where it would go. Now, more than ever, JPFO needs your support.
Thank you for your involvement with JPFO, and thank you for helping me to actualize one of Aaron′s last dreams.
Below is Aaron′s Memorial Fund information, including details about membership renewal and upgrade. Please note whether you would like your donation applied directly to the goal of getting a "No Guns for Jews" DVD into every synagogue in America. This particular project was under way within hours of his passing.
May G-d bless you and keep you safe.
Rabbi Dovid Bendory
Rabbinic Director, JPFO
Aaron′s goal was to raise sufficient funds to deliver "No Guns for Jews" on DVD′s to Jewish leaders, putting the disc in their hands to encourage viewing. It is now the ongoing mission of JPFO to achieve just that. We invite you to make a donation, stating whether you would like your contribution applied specifically to the goal of getting a "No Guns for Jews" DVD into every synagogue in America.
JPFO also welcomes new members, or renewal (or expansion) of membership, all of which will further help its ongoing success and objectives.
To this end we offer the following options:
Make a donation to The Aaron Zelman Memorial Fund.
Join JPFO or renew membership.
If you prefer to mail or fax a contribution, please
download and print the dedicated form.
Order Line: (800) 869-1884, during office hours CST.
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