My heart (what there is of it, I know with some that is up for debate) is broken. While some will counter I have no heart, I would counter in some cases I have more heart than brains.
The battle to save JPFO was one of those cases. Even after we heard the contracts had been signed I kept praying and hoping for a miracle, and emailing the board. I know G-d is perfectly capable of those. When there was a problem for the second time with a signature (a different one each time) I kept praying the board would buy a clue and realize perhaps this takeover was not in the best interest of JPFO. But alas. I was notified yesterday after my shift at my “day job” that it was in fact final.
A number of things anger me about this.
1) There WAS a viable, VERY viable alternative plan by people who had loved and supported JPFO for a very long time. Some had worked for JPFO for a very long time, some hadn’t. Yes, I was one of the “resistance fighters”. As far as I was concerned, we were fighting back against the forces of evil. Perhaps SAF has done some good, no doubt. However, when they point to KeepandBearArms.com as a triumph of allowing it to remain independent, I shudder. It is a shell of it’s former self. We had financing in place, we had experience, ideas and committed, devoted people in place.
The board refused to listen. They made their decision without allowing the group to see one single financial record all the while demanding a “concrete plan”. Really? Cause I’m pretty sure they allowed SAF to see the financial records. Why were we denied the same courtesy? We were in the unenviable position of fighting with two hands tied behind our backs, and yet, we fought on. The board never asked us one single question. One board member whined he never got anything from us. Every time we tried to email him his aggressive spam filters blocked our emails. We would fill out the form Earthlink would send, and get an error message. Yeah. So my dream? That people named Meier will no longer want to name their children Robert. For fear that when they get older they will go by “Bob” and be confused with the man who sold a legend like Aaron Zelman out. That people will begin to use “Bob Meier” like they do “Benedict Arnold” or “Judas Iscariot” or “Judas Goat”. Not that I bear him any ill will. Oh, and like a friend of mine, I agree, a hoard of locust in his backyard would be great too!
2) There was on on-line petition, it asked for 500 signatures. We got almost 1,500. They didn’t listen.
3) The team of people I would have been working with are legends. People I have admired for years. One I am fortunate enough to know in person. And I treasure that. Two more I will always treasure that I fought alongside in the battle. And they are wise, brave, tough, smart women. The four of us were “all in” for this battle. The other blessing to work with, while he didn’t join in the battle was the Rabbi I had for the length of time I was with JPFO. My Rabbi was known as “The Gun Rabbi”. How perfect.
I explained to him why the SAF takeover was bad, in my opinion. For one, universal background checks, which Gottlieb bragged about helping Manchin-Toomey write worked out SO well in Germany for people, right? It’s not like mating a wolf and a dog. It’s more like mating a cheetah and a Chihuahua. Both are fine animals, to be sure. But they don’t belong together. SAF has their place, it’s NOT taking over JPFO.
4. I work at a very special place. My boss and my supervisor could both tell something was eating at me big time. Part of it was dropping weight. Part of it was I had about 2 hours sleep last night before working a 12 hour shift today. I can’t believe I made it through. I couldn’t sleep last night because of the heat, and because this column was demanding to be written. I actually figured I’d write it tomorrow morning, but I didn’t want to spend another sleepless night.
So when I told them what had happened, at first I had to clarify. Yes, I was sad to lose the position, but more than that, I explained, JPFO was the last STRONG Second Amendment organization. While others may become shooting clubs, which are great, but that’s NOT what we were about. WE were about education, about recalibrating freedom meters. About explaining WHY things like universal background checks stink. I explained that JPFO, NEVER shut up, NEVER backed down, NEVER backed off and NEVER compromised in the case of freedom. Both of them kind of laughed and looked at me and said, something to the effect of “no wonder you fit it, and they would want you for Public Relations. That is you to the core”. And it is. Even still. Which brings me to my next angry point.
5. Every person I’ve explained that it’s the lose of JPFO that is upsetting me. There are people that won’t know any better because there isn’t such a group. These people have all had a similar comment. Something along the lines of “So, when are the group of you going to start another group that will stand in the gap”. CRAP, I say that in Hebrew too if you’d like. Along with a few other useful words I’ve picked up during this battle. I really am not even sure how to go about that, nor am I sure if they would be interested. I have an idea where we might be able to pick up a few more writers with similar mindsets. But I’m tired. I’m so very tired. I just feel wrung out. I want to crawl in a hole and pull it in over me. Like Scarlett O’Hara, I don’t want to think about founding another group tonight. Or this weekend. I don’t want to be challenged by everyone who knows me to rise to the challenge. My boss told me that sometimes, when these things happen, it is because G-d had something else in mind. That he kind of thought perhaps I was being pushed to do something along those line. I just want to be plied with chocolate and Israeli coffee. Perhaps even at the same time.
6. They are right. All of them. I don’t know what G-d wants me to do about this. I fought as long and hard as I could, and I still feel he wanted me to do that. And I KNOW my boss is right. G-d can absolutely take this situation and make something good of it. I don’t know what that is right now, but I know he can.
So, tomorrow I will get up and finally finish cleaning my house. I need some peaceful, serene surroundings. About a week ago I was begging to go to the Gaza strip to get just that. Yeah, that bad. Then if I can get the house finally a bit better, I will go back to trying to work with my horse. My horse loves me and has missed me. He told me so. G-d has put blessings in my life. I need to remember that. And when I am stronger, and recovered, and appropriately caffeinated with my beloved Israeli coffee, I will ask the others to join me in surveying the wreckage and see if they are interested in taking the resistance fight to the forest and continue the battle in another form. Because the evil never stops, and good people must rise up, as best we can, to battle it.
Here’s some opinions on the takeover: