ISRA Thursday Bulletin - October 1, 2020

by Richard Pearson

Fall is upon us and before long the brilliant autumn colors will be at their peak.  North of I-70 the brightest colors will be in mid-October.  South of I-70 the colors will be at their best in the third or fourth week of October.  Fall has always been my favorite season.  This October will be exceptional because it is a Blue Moon month; there will be a Full Moon on October 1st and 31st.  Halloween will have a Full Moon and what could be better?  Harvest is moving along swiftly so watch out for the deer, they will be running around everywhere.

For the first time, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) held a two day Rifle Marksmanship 101 class at the ISRA Range.  Everything went very well.  The reason things go well is because of the people involved.  The CMP and AMU people were great.  They were not the only ones who were great; the ISRA volunteers made the class a success.  ISRA Range Master Jeff Marienthal, members of the Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League, Range Safety Officers, ISRA staff, ISRA coaches and other ISRA volunteers made it all happen.  The CMP is looking to return to the ISRA Range.  Next year, we will put together a Small Arm Firing School for pistol.  There is no date yet but it will probably be in October.  The CMP staff regards the ISRA Range as one of the best they have ever been to.  Thanks to all who helped!

I know many of you are concerned about the ISRA lawsuits.  There will be nothing happening as long as the Coronavirus Pandemic is around.  It will most likely be after January 1, 2021.  The 10 lawsuits the Supreme Court of the United States turned down will not come back into play regardless of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation.  As I have mentioned before, Chief Justice Roberts is soft on the Second Amendment.  With the new additional of Judge Barrett new lawsuits may move forward.  Judge Barrett has two good rulings on the Second Amendment.  They are Kanter v Barr in 2019 and United States v Watson in 2018.  We have had experience with Judge Barrett.  She is from the 7th Circuit which is our path to the SCOTUS.

Voting is one of the most important privileges we have as American citizens.  In 2016, only 61.4% of the voting age population in the United States reported voting.  The 2020 election is rapidly approaching, and it is vital to participate in the 2020 election. Important dates to remember: October 6 –Voter registration deadline; October 29 – Absentee/ Mail-in voting deadline; November 3 – Election Day (32 days).

In Waukegan, Illinois, Jimy and Christian Tenorio dressed as utility workers and decided to pull a home invasion at 10:30 am on September 22nd.  They pushed their way into a home when a woman with a baby answered the door.  Of course the woman screamed which alerted a fellow who rented a room in the basement.  He armed himself with a semi-automatic pistol, came up the stairs and engaged Christian Tenorio who was armed with a revolver.  The tenant then went back to his room and retrieved what was described as an assault rifle and re-engaged the brothers.  In the gun fight that ensued, both the Tenorio brothers ended up dead in the front yard.  To my knowledge no one else was hurt.  As far as I am concerned, the police should have just bagged them up and set them out on the curb for the garbage man to pick up on his usual route. 

Congratulations to my longtime friend and friend of the ISRA Massad Ayoob on becoming President of the Second Amendment Foundation.  Massad replaces Joe Tartaro who passed away earlier this year.  We look forward to working with President Ayoob in these tough and turbulent times.


October 1 – October 8, 1918 - The story of the Lost Battalion occurred.  The Lost Battalion was part of the 77th Division which was made up of mostly first and second generation immigrant Americans from the tough streets of New York City.  They were commanded by Major Charles W. Whittlesey, an attorney in civilian life.  His second in command was Captain George G. McMurtry.   Our European allies and the Germans both looked down on Americans, viewing them as inferior.  What happened with the Lost Battalion gave them a new prospective.

Major Charles W. Whittlesey was in charge of 554 troops made up from parts of several companies, all of which were part of the 154th Infantry Brigade.  Whittlesey’s Battalion was to take the Ravin d’ Argonne and continue to advance on other objectives.  The entire area had been pre-targeted by German artillery, covered in barbed wire and snipers.  Whittlesey and his command moved forward and soon outdistanced the American Troops on his right flank.  The French troops on his left flank retreated after a German counterattack.  Whittlesey found his command surrounded on all sides.  Runners were sent back to headquarters to get help but all were killed or captured.  No one knew where Whittlesey and has command were, which is how they became known as the Lost Battalion.  To add to the problems of the Whittlesey’s command, American artillery was also shelling them because they had the wrong coordinates.  The Germans threw in their elite Storm Troopers equipped with flame throwers but they still couldn’t overcome the Americans.  Whittlesey had to get the American artillery to stop.  There were no radios in those days so homing pigeons were used to carry messages.  He was down to his last homing pigeon, Cher Ami.  As soon as the pigeon took off, a shell exploded downing Cher Ami.  The bird struggled to fly and finally made it to the American headquarters.  The little bird was wounded in the breast, blinded in one eye and had a leg dangling but the message got through.  Cher Ami was treated by Army doctors and survived.

By this time, the Lost Battalion was out of food, low on water and nearly out of ammunition.  Airplanes were sent to drop food, water and ammunition but those supplies fell behind German lines.  Fighting became hand to hand.  Still, the Germans could not overcome them.  On October 8, 1918, they were finally reached by a relief column.  Out of the 554 men in the battalion, only 194 men had not been killed or wounded.  Because of the valiant efforts of Whittlesey and his officers and men, the Germans were stopped and had to fall back breaking their defensive lines, hastening the end of WW I.  Major Whittlesey, Captain McMurtry, and five others received the Medal of Honor.  There were 33 Distinguished Service Crosses presented and one Silver Star.  The Europeans finally recognized the American fighting spirit.  Major Whittlesey was promoted to Lt. Colonel and served as one of the pall bearers for the soldier who is interred in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  All of this happened 102 years ago this week.

October 2, 1835 - The first shot was fired in the Texas uprising when Mexican troops tried to disarm the people of Gonzales.

October 3, 1789 - George Washington declares a Day of Thanksgiving.

October 3, 1863 - Abraham Lincoln declares the fourth Thursday of November the official Thanksgiving holiday.

October 6, 1927 - Babe Ruth, of the New York Yankees, hits a record three home runs in the World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series anyway.

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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar

For more information, visit www.isra.org

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Range Work Day

The Well Armed Woman

Sunday, October 4, 2020

ISRA Combat Pistol/3 Gun League

Bonfield Muzzle Loaders

Black Powder Confederation

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League

ISRA Indoor Air Rifle League

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Benchrest League

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Black Powder League State Championship

Sunday, October 11, 2020

2 Gun Drills




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