On the surface, it’s been a little quiet at The Zelman Partisans this week. Behind the scenes — not so! The gnomes of TZP (led by the amazing Jo Ann Alpert of the Missouri Bullet Company, one of our founders) have been busy prepping for our next advance.
‘Til now, we’ve been just a blog. Our next steps turn us into a “real” organization. To some, the updates we’re soon to unveil may seem minor. But trust me, as a step toward our long-term plan of carrying out the legacy of Aaron Zelman, they are huge.
Among other things, we’re developing TZP merchandise to help fund future projects and operations. We’ll start small, but with your help, we’ll build.
With that in mind, I’m asking: What types of merchandise would you like to see (and more important, what would you purchase)? Targets? Posters? Bumper stickers? Reader-friendly booklets? Wearables? Knives? Toss your ideas into comments. How much we’ll be able to do, and how soon, will depend on a lot of factors. But YOU can help point our thinking in the right direction. So have at it!
We’re already working on one cool item suggested by a reader. Then this week we received the delightful suggestion of TZP-logo kippot (yarmulkes) — an idea that would have brought a smile to Aaron’s face. Can you imagine the conversations those might start in Jewish communities?
Heck, personally I’m neither Jewish nor male (and who else has use for a kippah?), but if those became available, I’d buy one. Just because. 🙂
Oh. And as I was writing this The Amazing Jo Ann already intro’d a couple of our new features. Take a look over there on the right, below the banners for our friends and supporters, Dragon Leatherworks and the Missouri Bullet Company. Check out our Queensboro store, which specializes in high-quality wearables with our nicely embroidered logo. Then visit our CafePress store, where you can get logo-printed items for yourself and even your best friend. (A store of our own is yet to come.)
Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post …
The same person who suggested TZP kippot — a business owner and long-time JPFO supporter — also expressed mild concern about us. Or specifically, our identity. He wrote:
It’s really a loss that JPFO went the way it did — the name told you everything you needed to know about the organization. Unfortunately, as important as it is to honor Aaron Zelman’s work and memory, “Zelman Partisans” requires explanation when talking to people who don’t know about JPFO’s (former) mission. I’m not sure what you can do, or what you’d even want to do, about the branding…
I agree that the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership was a wonderfully descriptive name. It was also so clunky that hardly anybody ever used it. One time when the freedomista columnist Vin Suprynowicz did use it, he was accused (seriously!) of being an anti-Semite for “making up” such a “ridiculous” group.
‘Cause everybody knows that all Jews loathe guns. Ptooey! And that is precisely the perception Aaron wanted to change — and so do we. He wanted to change that perception among Jews and Gentiles alike — and so do we.
The name “Zelman Partisans” does need explanation. But that gives us all the opportunity to open conversations. (“What? Why are there rifles crossed on that Star of David?”) Opening conversations can open eyes.
Besides, aside from honoring Aaron, I hope the name draws us together. Jews and friends of Jews, if we all understand that firearms are genocide-prevention tools and we’re willing to stand to protect gun rights as lifesaving civil rights, then we truly are partisans in the fighting sense of the word.
We are together in this. Outnumbered but undaunted. Outsiders united.
Powerful forces oppose us. Our resources are miniscule compared with those of our enemies. As partisans we come from diverse backgrounds and are driven together by need. We find each other in hardship. We join together in times that are increasingly perilous for Jews — and for freedom. We may not enjoy comfort and ease. But, always, the bold outlaw spirit of the partisan prevails.