Meet Aaron Zelman, the Jew Who Loved Guns

Polite Arizonan Saw Guns as Only Path to Jewish Survival

getty images

By Dan Baum

Published March 05, 2013, issue of March 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Mainstream Jews shunned him, he said. “The Jewish Federation doesn’t like me. The ADL doesn’t like me.” He took a joyless sip of water. “At the shul we belong to now, I make a point of not talking about what I do, because there are Holocaust survivors there who argue with me.

“But you know, in all the time we’ve been doing this, nobody’s ever said, ‘Oh, Zelman, you’re wrong, and here’s the proof.’ Time after time, the gun laws were there. The laws were enforced. And the genocides happened. Bodies don’t lie. And people who think it can’t happen here? Ask Japanese Americans, the American Indians, the African Americans. They’ll tell you it can happen here, because it already has.”

Aaron died later that year, on December 21, 2010.

You can still visit JPFO online — the logo is an electrifying red, white and blue Jewish star flanked by a musket and a machine gun — and Aaron’s two books are still available. “Death by ‘Gun Control’” examines nine 20th-century genocides — including in Rwanda, Cambodia and Ottoman Turkey — and the gun bans or restrictions that preceded them.

“‘Gun Control’: Gateway to Tyranny” reveals that Senator Thomas Dodd, who was a prosecutor at Nuremberg, asked the Library of Congress to translate Hitler’s 1938 gun-control laws into English so that he could consult them when working on the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Neither book made much of a splash. But I still think about Aaron.

Dan Baum is the author of “Gun Guys: A Road Trip” (Knopf, 2013).


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.