Since the Biden Regime has taken control of the government, we have been inundated with experts who are telling us, or at least trying to tell us, what to think. It is important to remember that these so-called experts are either employed by the government or work for a quasi-government organization that is beholden to the government for their existence. If you remember the first few hours of the COVID-19 news, some experts disagreed with Dr. Fauci but they were rounded up and soon fell into line. This is how all this works, in my view. The government strategists tell the experts what their opinion will be. Then the government asks them what their opinion is and they regurgitate the government propaganda line they were told to give. Then the President, or whoever the spokesman is, tells us to follow the science. Winston Churchill had a great quote regarding experts and the United States: “Nothing could be more fatal for the United States than to get into the hands of experts. Expert knowledge is limited knowledge, and unlimited ignorance of the plain man who knows where it hurts is a safe guide than any rigorous direction of a specialized character”. You said it, Sir Winston.
I have received a few questions about fingerprints and the FOID card. The idea was that if you supplied fingerprints, your FOID card would become a lifetime FOID card. The original idea was to use any fingerprints you already had on file with the State of Illinois. It turns out the feds have laws against such uses. The Illinois State Police were told they could not do that. So, starting January 1, 2023, if you want to supply fingerprints to the ISP, you will have to get a whole new set of fingerprints and submit them to the ISP. I do not expect there to be long lines to do this.
I am about two thirds of the way through Stephen P. Halbrook’s book “The Right to Bear Arms” and I must say it is interesting. I can’t say it is light reading, but the topic dictates that it shouldn’t be.
Our laws are based on English law. Halbrook’s book traces the origins of the right to bear arms through English law, American colonial times, the American Revolution, the constitutional debates, the antebellum (pre-Civil War), post-bellum (after Civil War) period and the time surrounding the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Like I said, not light reading. I could write pages about Halbrook’s book. I will probably write more but not thousands of words. I suggest you buy a copy and save me some time. You will love the book if you are a Second Amendment enthusiast.
The Founding Fathers were gun owners and shooters. All carried pistol both concealed and openly for personal protection. They were also hunters and shooters. One reference cites Thomas Jefferson winning a shooting match in 1768. His prize was one schilling and six pence. The important point here is that he was a marksman.
Another question I have always had is what is well drilled militia. Somehow, I imagined a bunch of militiamen marching around the village green. While that may have happened occasionally, shooting practice was the order of the day. They were often on the village green alright but they set up targets, complete with a backstop, or butt, as it was sometimes referred too. They would also meet at taverns or farms to do the same thing. They were excellent marksmen, with some being better than others. Shooting matches were and are still considered training. At the Battle of Cowpens, the British scorned American riflemen but after the battle, which they lost decisively, they were appalled at the number of British troops who were shot through the head. British soldier couldn’t shoot that accurately.
I have a copy of a print entitled “Rifle Frolic” by Gayle Hoskins which gives the viewer an idea of what colonial rifle practice was like. The target is a wooden door with the Profile of King George III as the target. His nose and butt have both been shot off.
February 3, 1959 - The day that music died. Stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. (Big Bopper) Richardson die in a plane crash on their way to Morehead, Minnesota. The Beechcraft Bonanza would only hold four people, including the pilot, but there were four rock stars wanting to go. The Big Bopper flipped a coin with Waylon Jennings and Jennings lost. Sometimes when you lose you win.
February 4, 1789 - George Washington is elected President of the United States. The American experiment starts.
February 4, 1861 - The Confederate States of America is formed. A few weeks, Fort Sumter was fired upon and the American Civil War was under way.
February 5, 1777 - Georgia adopts a new constitution which abolished primogeniture and entail. What are those things you ask? Primogeniture ensured that the oldest son would inherit the largest share of his father’s estate. Entail guaranteed the lands of the estate remain in the hands of only one male heir. Women, girls and younger brothers were on their own. This was British law. Younger sons of British gentry took whatever money they had, left Great Britain and moved to the United States. Georgia was the first to overturn these practices; soon other states followed.
February 5, 1840 - Hiram Maxim, inventor of the Maxim machine gun is born in Sangerville, Maine. He was a prolific inventor. His first patent was for a hair curling iron. He also invented a system for using illuminating gas and a locomotive headlight. He has many more inventions. In 1884, he moved to London where he invented the machine gun and cordite, a smokeless powder. He did invent a better mouse trap, by the way.
February 6, 1917 - A German submarine torpedoes the S.S. California off the coast of Ireland, killing 43 people and angering many Americans. A few days later, the interception of the Zimmermann Telegram and Mexican raids the United States, pushing the United States into WWI. The Zimmermann Telegram was a proposal that Mexico become an ally of Germany. The reward for Mexico would be that they could annex Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if Germany won the war.
The border with Mexico had never been all that peaceful. Poncho Villa had been raiding towns along the U.S. Mexican border. In Columbus, New Mexico, Villa had murdered 10 civilians and killed eight U.S. soldiers at Camp Furlong, an Army Post near Columbus. Eight U.S. Americans who were traveling by train were murdered and American property owners in Northern Mexico were attacked and murdered in Mexico. In all, Mexican raiders attacked the United States 38 times, killing 35 U.S. citizens and soldiers. On March 15, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered Brigadier General John J. Pershing to pursue Villa and the Mexican raiders in Mexico and kill Villa. The expedition last 11 months. Pershing failed to kill Villa. The U.S. expedition returned to the United States on February 7, the day after the S.S. California was torpedoed. Pershing was to be made Commander of the U.S. Expeditionary Forces sent to Europe.
My father went into the Army at age 17 and was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where many of the troops who were on General Pershing’s expedition were also stationed. He knew many of them.
Pershing’s expeditions into Mexico saw several firsts. This was the first use of air reconnaissance, first general issue of the 1911 pistol to troops. They were equipped with 1903 Springfield rifles and Lt. George Patton used motorized vehicles (Dodge Touring Cars) the first time in U.S. combat. All of these events caused many to push for war against Germany. On April 6. 1917, the United State declared war on Germany.
February 7, 1812 - One of the most powerful earthquakes occurs along the New Madrid Fault. Estimated at 8.8 on the Richter Scale this quake caused the Mississippi to flow backwards, created Reel Foot Lake and Big Lake. Most people think Illinois is safe from earthquakes. Actually, there have been 406 earthquakes recorded in Illinois since 1795 that recorded 2.0 or more on the Richter Scale.
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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Tuesday, February 8 &15, 2022
Tuesday Night Air Rifle League (5:00-8:00)
Tuesday Afternoon Air Gun League (1:00-5:00)
Saturday, February 5, 2022
Range Work Day
Saturday, February 12, 2022
ISRA Academy NRA Basic Rifle Class
Sunday, February 13, 2022
ISRA Academy NRA Basic Rifle Class
Saturday, February 19, 2022
Air Pistol League
Saturday & Sunday, February 26 & 27, 2022
Illinois CCL Class – 16 Hours
Gun & Trade Shows
Quad Cities Gun Show – Rock Island, IL
QCCA Expo Center
Dates: February 12 & 13, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Kane County Sportsman’s Show – St Charles, IL
Kane County Fairgrounds
Date: February 13, 2022
Central IL Gun Collectors New Berlin Gun Show – New Berlin, IL
Sangamon County Fairgrounds
Dates: February 19 & 20, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-4:00
Boot City Opry Guns, Knives & Outdoorsman Show – Terre Haute, IN
Boot City Opry
Dates: February 19 & 20, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
McHenry County Gun Show – Woodstock, IL
McHenry County Fairgrounds
Date: February 20, 2022
Hours: Sunday: 7:30-1:00
Bloomington Gun & Knife Show – Bloomington, IL
Dates: February 26 & 27, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-3:00