I’m not going to sit here and try to patch up differences people have with Gottlieb. I’ve had them myself in the past, and I’ll be surprised if I don’t have them again. I have good friends who can’t stand him, and think I’m being duped by not joining them in that assessment, and for giving him credit when I think it’s due him.
Here’s the thing: I’ve talked to the guy many times, face-to-face, on the phone, and via email conversations, and it’s easy for those who have not to draw a portrait based on the impressions of others who may not have.
I had a good relationship with Aaron Zelman, too. Guess what: I didn’t agree with him on everything, either.
And I’m not going to condemn Claire Wolfe for taking an action I know to be principle-based and required no small amount of courage, even if I’m not embracing her conclusions. She would not take a paycheck for her final article. That tells you something.
I don’t presume to be smart enough or influential enough to play peacemaker in this. What I’m interested in doing is helping, and seeing that positive efforts toward liberty are promoted and supported. So all I can do is that which I’ve said from the start, from before the JPFO news became public knowledge: I will continue my efforts for the organization until such time as someone tells me they don’t want me to, or until I come to see that my faith has been misplaced.
If I feel further association is untenable due to changes in organizational principles, interference, censorship, control issues, you name it, I’ll bail too.
Please go read David’s entire assessment. He ends with this: “And yeah, I get that all I may have done here is get supporters of both sides mad at me.”
It’s a hazard of the job. I’m convinced that half of my readers (or more) stay pissed off at me most of the time. I’ve got readers who regularly read my prose for the purpose of increasing their hatred of me. David has run with the big dogs for a while now. I’m doubt that he will be persuaded by reaction from the readers.
Here is my take – for whatever it’s worth. I’ve gotten extremely mad at the NRA for endorsing Harry Reid before (or did they simply say nice things about him?). It makes no difference to me. Yet I’m still a member – begrudgingly.
One has to consider the limits of his patronage of a given organization very carefully. Alan Gottlieb has a fundamental problem of perspective, and a fundamental divide with me given his (past) support of universal background checks. Alan forgets why the progressives want it.
The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.
Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it. The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.
And yet Alan was prepared to give on this non-negotiable point. That tells me everything I need to know about Alan.
But I don’t have relationships with corporations or organizations. If I did, I would have already divorced the NRA. I have relationships with people, and two people I consider friends write for JPFO: David Codrea and Kurt Hofmann.
As long as David and Kurt are writing for them, I’ll continue to link there. I know in my heart of hearts that both would rather starve than sell out gun owners, even though I know no such thing about Alan Gottlieb. When the time comes that I see articles at JPFO advocating universal background checks, regulation of semi-automatic firearms, magazine capacity limits and the like, I’ll separate myself from them and link no more.
Like David, I believe that He and Kurt have a right to eat too. I’ll help as much as I can, even thought it may not be much. In the mean time, I feel no compunction whatsoever to support organizations or corporations with my money. If you think differently, don’t waste your time trying to convince me that you’re right.
Listen, I’m doing as much as I can do sending the NRA my small amout just to see the progressives have a nervous breakdown thinking that the evil gun group is telling its members what to do and what to think. That’s about as far as I can bring myself to go. Any other help will be to an individual, not a corporation.
So there you have it. On the one hand, I won’t send the JPFO my money. On the other hand, I won’t seek a separation either. I’ll take a wait and see attitude, expecting David and Kurt to lead the way telling us what they’re experiencing at that organization so that I can make a more educated assessment.