Aaron Zelman is executive director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, a pro-Second Amendment group based in Milwaukee.
THE NEW AMERICAN: What is your organization's main goal?
Aaron Zelman: Our main goal is to destroy gun control. We are an organization that believes we have the moral authority to point out to the rest of the world the evils that have come from gun control and how humanity has suffered because of gun-control schemes.
TNA: Are people who aren't Jewish members of your organization?
Zelman: We have members of our organization that have told us they are not Jewish. We don't ask people what their religion is. And we are not an organization that is preaching religion to anybody.
We think the history of gun-control schemes has been so harmful to Jews that we have the moral authority to speak out. We welcome anybody who accepts the JPFO position that gun control must be destroyed.
We're not interested in compromise. We are only interested in the destruction of something we consider to be a very evil and deadly policy known as gun control.
TNA: How did you become involved in something like this?
Zelman: Well, I've been involved in promoting gun ownership because of my family history to some degree. When my father was about six months old, his family had to leave the Ukraine in Russia because Stalin came to power. Stalin was not interested in kulaks owning land.
And so they lost everything they had, essentially, and fled to Canada where my dad was raised and served in the Canadian Army during World War II. So, I learned at a very, very early age what happens when you can't defend your life against a government gone bad.
TNA: Could you give us some examples of what has happened in other nations where gun control was in place?
Zelman: Well, there are several. Why don't we start with the film we created called Innocents Betrayed? The film shows the history of and the connection between gun registration, confiscation, and how a police state is able to come about. It shows how the police state can target individuals they don't want to live and murder them--otherwise known as genocide.
TNA: Where has this happened?
Zelman: Historically it happened in Turkey, known as the Armenian Genocide, and then, of course, in China, Russia, Germany, Cambodia, Rwanda, Uganda, and even now in Darfur.
TNA: You've actually obtained some of the documents from these different countries, and you've translated them so that we who read only English can read them?
Zelman: A number of years ago we started this project of trying to find out if there was a connection among governments and if governments did the same thing. As we put it, these folks all go to the same dictators' school. Indeed, there is a connection because there is a pattern.
They realize they can't stay in power if the peasants have pitchforks and can march on the gates of the city. The way to bring about a dictatorship or police state is to make sure the people are disarmed.
TNA: I understand you have done work showing the source of the 1968 gun law here in the United States.
Zelman: The 1968 Gun Control Act, as we know it today, became law during the Johnson administration. The history behind the 1968 act is indeed fascinating.
The author of the federal Gun Control Act, Senator Thomas Dodd, was an attorney with the U.S. Justice Department at Nuremburg. He obtained the Reichsgesetzblatt, which is the German equivalent of our Federal Register. He was able to use the German gun-control laws after giving them to the Library of Congress to translate for him. They did indeed translate the laws for him, and that was the model, the basis, for the 1968 Gun Control Act in …