As predicted, the 4th of July violence broke out in Chicago despite extra police presence in certain parts of the city. The rough totals for the weekend were 108 shot and 17 dead. Actually, that was much less than I expected. In the South Austin area, a gunman opened fire on three people, killing one of them and wounding two. A witness to the shooting was an Illinois Concealed Carry License (ICCL) holder who shot the gunman, preventing the death of the two wounded people. As I often mention, when an attack occurs, the only people there are the attacker and the intended victims. This attack was probably over in under 10 seconds despite having 5 people involved. That is how fast these things happen. We have over 410,000 ICCLS in Illinois but that isn’t enough.
Chicago has over 120,000 gang members, Cook County has a States Attorney who won’t prosecute thugs, the jails are emptied out putting criminals on the street, the Mayor and City Council will throw the police department and individual policemen under the bus every chance they get. We are told that these things are not the cause of crime in the city. It was Covid-19, guns from Indiana, global warming or perhaps the misalignment of Jupiter and Saturn, anything but the real reasons mentioned at the top of this paragraph. Don’t drink that Kool Aid, it’s poison. Get a FOID card and get an ICCL and train. There are a lot of classes at the ISRA Range and elsewhere. There are many good instructors out there. Find one and get started.
Hats off to South Jacksonville, Illinois, for celebrating the 4th of July by becoming a 2A Sanctuary village. Mayor Tyson Manke signed the order 01-2021 not only declaring South Jacksonville a 2A Sanctuary, but also forbidding the use of local tax money to confiscate firearms. Good going Mayor and South Jacksonville.
Ammo Quest: The best deals I heard about this week were from dealers. A friend of mine found Winchester white box .380 for $19.99 a box and .45 ACP for $22 for a box of 50. I am sure this is very spotty but at least some ammo is showing up at not too bad a price. Online ammo is available and dropped a little in price. Steel case 9mm was 42 cents a round in a couple of places. Brass cased reloadable 9mm is still hovering at 50 cents a round but that is lower than last week. Steel case .45 ACP was still at 61 cents and brass cased reloadable .45 ACP was 69 cents. Online, .223/5.56 mm was 60 cents a round. Better, not good.
Gun sales in June were the second highest ever recorded. June 2020 was much higher but there was much better availability then. Many dealers are having trouble getting popular firearms to sell. Smith & Wesson seems to be the brand most available these days as far as handguns go, with Glock close behind. Without a doubt, self-defense firearms are the hottest items for obvious reasons.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will be holding four Small Arms Firing Schools (SAFS) during the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. SAFS’s are a long tradition at the National Matches starting in 1918. Originally, they were for service rifles but have been expanded to include pistol, smallbore rifles, rimfire sporter rifles as well as service rifles. Here are this year’s dates: July 13 – Pistol; July 20 – Smallbore Rifle; July 24 – Rimfire Sporter Rifle; July 31 & August 1 – Service Rifle.
One of the great things about Camp Perry besides the National Matches is the CMP store. They have refurbished military rifles for sale. Once when I was there, I found a WWI 1903 Springfield with a slot cut into the receiver for a Pedersen device. A Pedersen device turned the 1903 Springfield into a sub machine gun. This device converted the rifles from 30-06 caliber to a cartridge similar to the 30 Mauser pistol cartridges. The magazines held 40 rounds and protruded out the side of the receiver making it look a little like a Sten submachine gun. This would have been a devastating weapon in the trenches of WWI. The war came to an end before they could be deployed. In 1931, these devices were declared surplus. Fewer than 100 survived. The last one that I heard of that was sold went for over $25,000. I was just glad to get one of the rifles. That is the kind of stuff you can find at the CMP store. There is also a Commercial Row at Camp Perry where high-end target shooting equipment can be found. Last year, target ammunition could be found there. There is no guarantee of that this year but I will bet there will be some. Get there early.
For those looking to advance their pistol training, Midwest Training Group (MTG) will be holding an Advanced Tactical Pistol Class at our Range on August 28 & 29. Contact [email protected].
July 8, 1776 - The 2000-pound bell in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House summoned citizens to the first reading of the Declaration of Independence. In the Fall of 1777, the bell was removed and hidden in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for fear the British would capture it and melt it down into cannon balls. The bell was made of copper and tin. In 1835, the bell cracked while tolling for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall. In 1839, the bell was referred to as the Liberty Bell in an abolitionist pamphlet. The name stuck and it has been called the Liberty Bell ever since.
July 9, 1846 - United States Navy Captain John Montgomery sailed his warship into a bay on the coast of California. There was a small settlement there called Yerba Buena. The captain, sailors and marines went ashore and claimed the settlement for the United States, taking it from Mexico. That place was later renamed San Francisco. The United States had offered to purchase that land from Mexico but they refused to sell. Oh well.
July 10, 1940 - The Battle of Britain begins. The Luftwaffe (German Air Force) had been attacking British air fields and had them nearly wiped out. The Royal Air Corps was decimated. A German bomber got lost and dumped its bombs on London. A couple nights later the British bombed a German city. Hitler became so angry that he ordered the attacks to stop on the air fields and start bombing London and other cities. Within a week, the British would have been unable to fight the air war any longer had the attacks on air fields continued. Because Hitler lost his temper, the Royal Air Corps was able to rebuild and re-equip with new planes and pilots. Three and a half months later, the British won the Battle of Britain ending German plans to invade Great Britain.
July 11, 1862 - Abraham Lincoln signs a resolution establishing the United States Army Medal of Honor which was to be awarded to noncommissioned officers and privates for gallantry in action and other soldiers with like qualities. The prior December, Lincoln approved a provision for the United States Navy Medal of Valor. In 1863, the Medal of Honor was made available to all members of the United States Military.
A few points of interest regarding the Medal of Honor: The only President to be awarded the Medal of Honor was Theodore Roosevelt. His son, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., was also awarded the Medal of Honor for action at Normandy. He died a month later and was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. His father also received his Medal of Honor posthumously.
There have been 19 soldiers who have received two Medals of Honor. One of those was Dan Daly who was nominated for a third medal for his actions in attacking a German machine gun nest in WWI. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross instead. The youngest person awarded the Medal of Honor was to Willie Johnston, age 11, a Drummer Boy. During the Civil War, General McClellan ordered a retreat. Most of the Union troops abandoned their equipment but not Willie. He kept his drum and kept the beat going until the retreat was completed. The drum beat held the troops and prevented panic. Willie was 13 years old when he finally received his medal.
The only woman to receive the Medal of Honor was Mary Edwards Walker. Walker was a doctor and was the first female U.S. Army Surgeon. Although her Medal of Honor was rescinded, it was rewarded to her in 1977.
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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Glock Summer League (rescheduled from June 27)
Monday, July 12 & 19, 2021
ISRA Military Benchrest Rifle League
ISRA Scout Rifle League
Tuesday, July 13 & 20, 2021
Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League
Wednesday, July 14 & 21, 2021
ISRA Benchrest League
F-Class Rifle League
Combat Paper & Steel League
Thursday, July 15 & 22, 2021
ISRA Smallbore Prone/F-Class League
Saturday, July 17, 2021
NRA Basic Pistol Class
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Springfield Match 2021
Sunday, July 25, 2021
ISRA Bullseye Match
Glock Summer League
Friday, July 30 & August 1, 2021
Triple Threat Defense LLC: Tactical Carbine Level I
Gun & Trade Shows
Crown Point Gun Show – Crown Point, IN
Lake County Fairgrounds
Dates: July 10 & 11, 2021
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Pecatonica Guns, Hunting & Shooting Expo – Pecatonica, IL
Winnebago County Fairgrounds
Dates: July 16, 17, & 18, 2021
Hours: Friday: 4:00-9:00
Bloomington Gun & Knife Show – Bloomington, IL
Dates: July 24 & 25, 2021
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00