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Time honored values get lost with passing of time

Growing numbers of Americans are active in gun rights organizations.
Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

In the world of societal changes that inevitably occur with advancing years and generations, it is generally noted by most sociologists and other observers that somehow the values, ideals, and precepts held by the founders of organizations and nations are gradually discarded by each succeeding generation. This observation is not presented as the way things ought to be but as a fact to be understood. A person may well deplore this gradual slipping away of time honored values while acknowledging that this is, indeed, what we can observe happening time and again.

Going back as far as the ancient Biblical texts we find an acknowledgment that perhaps this is one aspect of common human behavior, though often that behavior is to be deplored. For example, in the ancient texts of the Hebrew Bible, commonly known as the Old Testament, we find these words, "Now there arose up a new king in Egypt that knew not Joseph," (Exodus 1: 8).

When taken within its context, that one statement alone is loaded with broad implications, not just for the ancient Hebrews but for all mankind in general. Joseph, of course, is the son of Jacob, the grandson of the great Hebrew patriarch Abraham. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. While in captivity in Egypt, Joseph was able to endear himself to the Egyptian king. Joseph became so trusted and cherished as an advisor to the king that he eventually became the second most powerful man in the country. This would be good for the entire region when famine struck. Joseph had foreseen dire straits for Egypt and everyone else in the region. Thus, he developed a plan. During their time of bounty, they would store the surplus that would not only prevent them from starving to death during the coming famine but enable them to help neighboring groups of people, even the Hebrews who lived to the north of Egypt. When the famine struck, just as Joseph had foretold, Egypt had plenty enough food to survive. He was even able to help his brothers who had sold him into slavery. So widespread was the starvation that these Hebrew men came to Egypt to get food. It was Joseph they had to see in order to ask for the food, but little did they know it was their own brother.

The result was that Joseph's fame spread throughout the region. He was hailed as a strategic genius who saved the nation during famine. But he was also known as a deeply spiritual man of high moral and ethical standards. Several generations of Egyptian kings looked to Joseph as a trusted advisor. But then the day came when Joseph died. In the meantime Joseph's entire Hebrew family relocated to Egypt, and as time passed their children and grandchildren greatly increased and filled the land with Hebrews. These Hebrews were respected by the various kings because they knew that they were Joseph's relatives, and they believed Joseph was genuinely a good man. But in the wake of Joseph's death, time passed to the point that there arose a king in Egypt who "knew not Joseph." The collective memory of the Egyptians had faded when it came to Joseph. This would signify an ominous turn of events for the Hebrews living in Egypt. The new king saw the Hebrews as a threat, given their growing numbers. Thus, the king gradually turned the Hebrews into slaves who were forced into "hard labor," much to the advantage of the Egyptians.

The passing of time does this to nations, organizations, and other entities. The time comes when succeeding generations forget the values of their forebears. Many liberty oriented citizens have sounded the alarm, incessantly, that today America has forgotten the time honored values of our Founders. This has been to our peril.

But this process can also be seen in organizations. An example is Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO). With the death of its founder, the late great Aaron Zelman several years ago, one had to wonder if the organization would remain true to its original mission. JPFO was one of the few gun rights groups that took a no-nonsense, no compromise approach to preserving the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It isn't so much that JPFO lost its voice or watered down its message. In this case it was a matter of finances. Zelman was the driving force behind JPFO. Without his leadership it seemed that the impetus for donating to the organization began to wane. This was not necessarily the fault of its board or its current leadership. They worked tirelessly to save JPFO, and such relentless activity eventually took its toll on the health and energy of those who are left.

In time JPFO began to gain ground again. But then a slump took hold, and the organization now finds itself unable to pay its August bills. A sense of panic set in among the leadership, and then the bombshell was dropped today that the board has been in talks with the Second Amendment Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, whom Zelman detested. Zelman believed that Gottlieb is nothing but an opportunist and that his organization exists to do nothing more than secretly promote more gun control so that his organization can raise more funds from gun owners to fight it. The problem is that many believe Gottlieb is not fighting it but basks in the money he is able to get by constantly alarming his donors with reports of strict gun control, much of which Gottlieb himself supported behind the scenes, according to Zelman

This troubling state of affairs has led at least one of JPFO's most prolific writers, Claire Wolfe, to resign. Wolfe wrote today that no information has been relayed to the organization's writers about the secret deal to turn JPFO over to SAF and Gottlieb. But apparently she knows enough about the secret deal that she felt it necessary not only to resign but to write about the crisis today. All of the details can be found in her blog entry today.

But the good news in the midst of this dark cloud is that Wolfe also sees some rays of hope breaking through the cloud. She says that the merger can still be stopped. Wolfe presents that plan for saving JPFO in her blog entry linked above. But the window for stopping this travesty dead in its tracks is quickly closing. The deadline is next week. If thoughtful, sincere gun rights activists wish to preserve the extraordinary work of a most amazing man, Aaron Zelman, the time to move is now. Note that a petition is available for concerned persons to sign. The names of the members of the board are also provided by Wolfe in her blog post, along with timely updated information.

(Hat tip to David Codrea).

You may also be interested in the following:

My personal blog, The Liberty Sphere.

My popular series titled, Musings After Midnight.

My ministry site, Martin Christian Ministries.