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Originally published on this website August 25, 2000

On June 21, 2000, the Colorado Chapter of the Tyranny Response Team had 150-200 people in attendance at the Boulder city council administrative hearing. This hearing was to gather public input regarding their (BCC) proposed gun ordinances with which TRT (and all thinking folk) disagreed. TRT used this picture in their demonstration to draw attention to the fatal results of gun control as it relates to the Holocaust. Some of the dedicated activists also wore the yellow Star of David with the words GUN OWNER emblazoned thereon - pinned to their chests. The move prompted a letter from a representative from the Anti Defamation League.

Below is a letter received by Bob Glass (one of the TRT founders, gun shop owner, and, more interestingly, a Jew) from Bobbie Towbin, Associate Director of the ADL. Bob's ever-so-magnificent response follows Mrs. Tobin's letter:

Dear Mr. Glass,

We recognize that reasonable minds may differ over the best way to solve the growing problem of violence in the United States, and we respect the right of your organization to advocate its views. However, we are deeply disturbed by the Tyranny Response Team’s exploitation of the Holocaust to advance its position.

Our office has received a number of complaints from people who were present at the Boulder City Hall hearing last Wednesday night.

According to the complainants, the presence of many Tyranny Response Team members wearing black shirts with yellow, six pointed stars, was very distressing. The distribution of flyers containing photographs of Holocaust victims served to raise even more anguish among members of the Jewish community who were present—some of whom were Holocaust survivors.

We ask – in memory of the six million Jews and millions of others – that you refrain from using the Nazi Genocide as a political tool again in the future.


Bobbie Tobin
Associate Director of the ADL

Bob's response is here:

July 24, 2000

Ms. Bobbie Towbin
Anti-Defamation League
1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 1301
Denver, CO 80203-2140

Dear Ms. Tobin,

Now that I have had some time to reflect on your letter, and the subsequent phone conversation that we’ve had, I would like to share some thoughts with you.

I must begin by correcting you on the initial faulty premise of your letter. For openers, the Tyranny Response Team is not my organization. Not that I am not extremely proud of the way TRT people conducted themselves at the Boulder City Hall meeting, nor am I trying to distance myself from the TRT—au contraire. I am simply stating a point of fact, that the TRT is a true grass roots movement, and as such, has no leader, no board of directors, no corporate charter, nor any of the other trappings that accompany any hierarchical bureaucracy.

You openly state that you respect the right of the TRT to express its views, yet claim to be “deeply disturbed” by the TRT’s “exploitation” of the Holocaust, to “advance its position.” My dear lady, you certainly have chutzpah. If there is anyone who has explaining to do about exploiting the Holocaust for their own partisan political agenda, it is the ADL, as I shall explain.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to comprehend the notion that armed citizens are more able to resist state tyranny than are unarmed citizens. One might even call that one, a “no-brainer.” When you look at some of the worst examples of state-sponsored genocide in human history, such as the Holocaust, the mass murders in Cambodia, under Pol Pot, the mass murders in the Soviet Union, under Stalin, and the mass murders that took place in China, under Mao, they all have one thing in common: their victims had been disarmed by law.

In a very touching moment, outside of the Boulder City Council chambers, where we gathered, a Cambodian gentleman came up to us and spoke of the living hell he had survived, under the murderous regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. He told us that the very first thing he did when he came to these shores was to purchase a firearm. He went on to explain to us how much he cherishes his gun and his right to own a gun. He thanked us for what we were doing. He wasn’t offended by our Star of David with the words “Gun Owner” printed on it.

I am not a religious man, but there were some of us in the crowd that were so moved by their encounter with this Cambodian fellow that they looked upon it as a true religious experience. Some people felt that God had sent that man to them, at that particular time, to tell them his story and give reassurance that we indeed were doing the right thing.

That, however, is neither here nor there. The bottom line is that the Jewish people were the victims of state-sponsored genocide. In this particular case it was Nazi Germany that acted as the executioner. One very big difference between the United States and Nazi Germany, or Cambodia, or the former Soviet Union, or China, is that the U.S. has a Bill of Rights, which includes the Second Amendment, which specifically guarantees the right—not privilege, but right—of the citizenry to own and carry arms.

As our founding fathers so astutely learned, after the war they fought for their freedom against the British and their Hessian mercenaries, all written guarantees aside, the only real safeguard against state-sponsored tyranny was an armed citizenry. “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

It is specifically because the TRT wants to honor the memory of those Holocaust victims, by learning from the lessons of history, and taking specific actions to make sure that such a thing never happens here, that we wore the yellow Star of David. This is our obligation to ourselves, to our children and to all the victims of state-sponsored tyranny—including the victims of the Holocaust.

The TRT is most certainly not trying to “advance its position” by “exploiting” the Holocaust. I am outraged and deeply offended that you would accuse me and the TRT of such a thing. If there is anyone who truly understands all of the implications of the Holocaust and the murder of innocent civilians, it is those people who are taking action to make sure it never happens again—us. We are trying to show those people who would take away our rights the dire consequences of allowing the Second Amendment to be destroyed, and the liberty that it safeguards, along with it. If the ADL was truly concerned about protecting Jews, like it purports to be, rather than getting into bed and sharing the spoils of power with the Democratic Party, it would be the most militant and outspoken defender of the Second Amendment. But no, the ADL has chosen to bow before the Gods of political correctness so it can keep those contributions rolling in, even at the risk of endangering Jewish lives. It is ironic that for an organization that supposedly exists to combat anti-Semitism, your organization is responsible for more anti-Semitism than you could ever imagine. I reeled in horror, last week, as I watched on C-SPAN, an ADL spokesman, I believe it was Todd Gutnick, plead with the Democratic National Committee to adopt numerous planks to its convention platform. Among the suggestions was an opposition to school vouchers, so as not to “jeopardize public education.” What does this blatantly partisan political stance have to do with anti-Semitism? Absolutely nothing. But the ADL certainly wouldn’t want to offend the National Education Association (NEA), now would it? So, thanks for giving all of the struggling gentile families, who bust their ass so they can give their children a decent education a really good reason for hating Jews. The ADL was lobbying for a pro-choice position on abortion. What does this issue possibly have to do with anti-Semitism? Nothing. Thank you again for giving all of the pro-life people—roughly half of the country—another good reason for hating Jews. The ADL is calling for “hate crime” legislation. This is nothing more than a slick infringement on the First Amendment. If you murder someone, the crime is the murder. Are you suggesting that murdering a man because he is gay or Jewish is worth 20 points, but a simple convenience store clerk murder during a robbery is worth only 10 points? There are a myriad of laws, already on the books, that make it clearly illegal to violate a person’s constitutional rights. So called “hate crimes” are just a new tool to promote and enforce the edicts of political correctness by limiting a person’s right to free speech. That was not the worst of it. To fight the real or imagined wave of Islamic terrorism that Mr. Gutnick seemed to think was a certainty, he wanted to give the police sweeping new powers to combat this menace.

This makes me extremely nervous. Shredding the Bill of Rights just to give you the false sense of security that you are now immune from foreign terrorism is dangerous folly. All you are doing is laying the groundwork for the kind of tyranny and murder that no foreign terrorist could even hope to achieve. If you think that by removing the strict guidelines and limitations of power that the Bill of Rights has placed on the police you will somehow be safer—you are in for a very rude awakening.

Along the same lines, the ADL is actively calling upon the federal government to enact laws to regulate and license the private possession of firearms, denigrating what heretofore had been a right into a privilege. Besides being blatantly unconstitutional, this law will make it exponentially easier for the government to preemptively disarm those individuals who it deems as “enemies of the state.” Maybe for the “safety of the community” they will make these people wear badges, so everyone else will know who they are. Does any of this have a familiar ring to you? Besides this being an horrendous idea, what does this have to do with anti-Semitism? Nothing.

Oh, and by the way, nice going, Bobbie, now you have given the 140 million American gun owners, yet one more good reason to hate Jews.

The almost incomprehensible irony of the situation has not been lost on me. Here is the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that purports to protect Jews - and collects money under the guise of doing the same - lobbying for laws that would dramatically increase the police powers of the state, increase anti-Semitism and directly threaten the lives of Jews. Haven’t you people learned anything at all from the Holocaust?

Bobbie, the stakes for what we are fighting for are too high to play politics with. Consequently, I feel that it is imperative that those people who are advocating victim disarmament understand what the ultimate implications of their actions are—another holocaust. I resent and thoroughly reject your absurd accusation that the TRT is using Nazi Genocide as a “political tool.”

The ADL is the one actively soliciting money and lobbying the government for a very partisan liberal political agenda - under the smokescreen of fighting anti-Semitism.

Free men and women do not walk into gas chambers; only slaves do. It is our aim and our commitment to regain and safeguard our freedom—so we will never be herded into the showers.

With the exception of his parents, all of the relatives on my father’s side of the family were killed in the Holocaust. My grandmother came to this country at the tender age of 13, from what was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, prior to World War I. She carried with her her most valued possession - the family photo album. She showed me this album shortly before her death. I saw the faces of all of my aunts and uncles and cousins that she left, all of the relatives that I never saw, all of the men, women and children that were murdered by the Nazis. The Holocaust has had a very deep impact on me personally, philosophically and politically. There were at least two other Jewish TRT people wearing yellow stars - that I know of - at the Boulder City Council hearing. I find it absolutely incredible that you, in your unbridled arrogance and self righteousness, find it so hard to believe that other Jews might view the issues of victim disarmament (gun control) and the Holocaust differently than the ADL. For so long, you have purported to represent all Jews, that you have actually begun to believe your own propaganda.

Your fantastically arrogant response to my genuine and magnanimous offer, for you to articulate your argument live, on Dr. Norm Resnik’s radio show, just confirms to me how little you truly believe in the righteousness of your request - and the inherent intellectual dishonesty of your position.

At first, you turned down my offer to debate on the flimsy grounds that your office closed at three o’clock and you had to leave. Only when I called you on your transparent lie and offered to arrange the radio debate to accommodate your schedule did you come clean and admit that you wouldn’t get on Dr. Resnik’s show under any circumstances. You said that “there was nothing to debate.” That debating the legitimacy of wearing the yellow star, was like “arguing the Holocaust with Holocaust deniers.” That is patently and self-evidently absurd.

No one is denying the Holocaust. On the contrary, we know and acknowledge that the Holocaust was all too real. That is precisely why we are so motivated to make sure that it never happens here—at least not while we’re alive.

The Million Mom March people want to feel all good and warm and fuzzy about their politically correct “common sense” position on victim disarmament. The last thing that they want to see are the graphic examples of the end results of their feel-good legislation. Seeing terrified, naked women lined up in front of a German firing squad is not a pretty picture. That is precisely our point: stripping people of their rights - and the implements to defend those rights - have dire consequences. These people need to be made fully aware of and held responsible for the consequences of their actions.

So if we “raised anguish” amongst their ranks—good. Maybe it will jar these very sensitive and emotional people into thinking with their brains. Destroying rights and disarming victims have consequences. They should take a long, hard look into the faces of those consequences, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll come to their senses.

The reason that these people and the ADL are so upset with our actions is not because we offended them, but rather because we have done the very thing you people fear most—showing the correlation between victim disarmament and genocide. There is an old saying, “When you start to get flak, it means that you’re over the target.”

You mentioned that some of the people who were present at the meeting that were “anguished” were Holocaust survivors. Quite frankly, I don’t believe you. I’ve had the honor and privilege in my life to speak with many Holocaust survivors, including Tuvia Bielsky, one of three surviving members of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Not a single one of those folks, especially Mr. Bielsky, have adopted the attitude that the best way to prevent another holocaust is to put their faith in the government to protect them. They all shared the belief that each individual must take the responsibility for his or her safety and their respective families. They all fervently believed that Jews should be well-armed and well-trained in the use of firearms. If, however, these people who claim to be Holocaust survivors are willing to come forward with their names and show me the numbers tattooed on their forearms, I will be happy to publicly apologize to you—on that particular point.

I find it even more amazing and ironic that when I corrected your false assumption that “All Jews would be offended by the actions of the TRT,” when I pointed out to you that I am Jewish, and I wasn’t offended, that you countered by saying, “Yes, but you are way in the minority.” For the representative of an organization like the ADL, that is supposed to be protecting the rights of a minority group, to attack a position, not based on the merits—or lack thereof—of its argument, but simply because it is a view held by a minority, stretches your credulity to the limit.

Not that this is even relevant to the argument, but for what it is worth, the ranks of the leadership of the gun rights movement, are swelled with Jewish Americans. The yellow star with the words “Gun Owner” on it was first coined by Aaron Zelman, chairman of an organization called Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO). Can you take a guess what JPFO is all about? One of the most brilliant and articulate legal defenders of the Second Amendment is David Kopel—Jewish. KHNC talk show host and tenacious defender of the Second Amendment is Dr. Norm Resnik—Jewish. The head of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is Allan Gotleib—Jewish. One of the heads of the National Shooting Sports Association, (NSSA) is Richard Feldman—Jewish. The Commissioner of Boulder County and professional newspaper columnist, and fervent defender of gun rights, is Paul Danish—Jewish. The Publisher of The Partisan magazine—yours truly—Jewish. I could go on.

The pages of the history of the 20th Century are blood-soaked with the names of innocent men, women and children who have been murdered by their own governments. Neither the ADL, nor the TRT, nor anyone else, holds a monopoly on how to acknowledge, commemorate and pay homage to the victims of the Holocaust, or any act of state-sponsored genocide. I believe that the best way to honor the victims of genocide, which include my own family members, is make sure that it never happens again.

So, I have every intention of continuing to wear the yellow Star of David with the words “Gun Owner” emblazoned on it. And I have every intention of continuing to fight with every means at my disposal, to uphold, protect and defend the Bill OF Rights and the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic. And quite frankly, I welcome you to make good on your implied threat to find “another way” to get me and the TRT to stop wearing the yellow Star of David. Hopefully you’ll try and drag me into court (I could really use the money), with some bogus lawsuit, to strip me of my First Amendment rights. The last time you guys tried that in Colorado it didn’t work out too well for you, as I recall. Oh well, win a few, lose a few. No big deal. You can always do what your good buddy, Morris Dees, has already done—that is send out fund raising letters, to guilt-ridden liberals, accusing me of Anti-Semitism and anti government extremist activities. You should be able to scare the living daylights out of them with lies about how Bob Glass and the TRT represent a new threat to Jews everywhere. That should enable you to line your coffers with a few million—at least.

Unlike yourself, Bobbie, I will be happy to defend and articulate my ideas in a public debate with you, or anyone else, anywhere, anytime. I look forward to such opportunities, because I believe in what I’m doing and the facts of history are on my side. Unfortunately, every single proponent of victim disarmament, including Tom Mauser, Arnie Grossman, John Head, Amy Sodnicar, Peter Boyles, Rabbi Foster, Dianna DeGette, Bill Ritter and many others, have all refused to take me up on my offer to debate. If you wish to take me up on my offer, as you indicated on the phone that you might, please feel free to call me.

I am not naďve, Bobbie. I don’t expect you to read this letter, break down in tears, and thank me for showing you the light. But consider this, Bobbie: When you surround yourself with like-minded, partisan political people, it is very easy to lose your objectivity—especially when they’re the ones signing your paycheck. But, what if—just what if I’m telling the truth about even some of the things that I have said?

Think about it. Discovering and embracing the truth can be a very liberating experience. You might consider giving it a try.

Yours in Liberty

Robert Glass

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