We are about to experience our first brush of early summer weather which is great news for all of us who love shooting outdoors. You may see some new faces at the range, considering the number of new gun owners we have. Remember, always be welcoming; this is new territory for them. They may not know or understand all the rules. They need a mentor, not a drill instructor. Not only is this important to understand for range operators and Range Safety Officers, but individual members or patrons as well.
Warm weather brings a new emphasis on preparedness. There are those who scoff at us who are concerned about our personal safety and preparation for our own self-defense. Moreover, we are criticized by some as being paranoid. Yet those same people who criticize us believe in fire drills and tornado drills. The question is: Are more people carjacked, maimed, and murdered in Chicago than people who are killed or hurt by fires or tornadoes in Chicago? It’s best to spend your time and money on preparing for the probable rather than the possible. I rest my case.
Recent shootings like the one in Sacramento, California, and New York City have once again triggered calls for more gun control. Of course, these calls are a cover for the stupid polices in dealing with crime and criminals. The Sacramento shooter was let out of prison after only serving half of his sentence. The New York subway shooter was all over Facebook and had nine previous felonies. The police did not, could not, or would not do anything. So, the know nothing talking heads call for more gun control. Here is a little “frosting on the cake” for you. In South Carolina, mall shooter Jewayne Price was let out on bond, given an ankle bracelet, and allowed to go back to work. Mr. Price was a convicted felon who was an accessory to the murder of a 17-year-old boy a few years ago. The judge ordered him to stay away from the shopping mall. Does this judge think this guy is an upstanding citizen or what? I think Mr. Price should be in jail and the judge should be his cell mate. The Mayor of Sacramento, Darrel Steinberg, thinks 3 billion dollars should be appropriated to give behavioral health treatment to crime victims. I have a better idea. Let’s appropriate 3 billion dollars and lock up these criminals. There would be a lot less crime victims.
Years ago, the City of Chicago published all kinds or crime statistics. One of those statistics pointed out that 88% of murderers had previous criminal records. The city no longer publishes these reports. I am sure they have them, but what they show isn’t what they want the people to know.
Today, April 21, the ISRA will be picking up the keys to our new location in Sparta, Illinois. The ISRA has leased 1600 square feet on Commercial Row at the World Shooting Complex. The location will be open during major events at the World Shooting Complex. The first event will be the ATA’s AIM Junior Shotgun Championship and 3-gun Youth Camp held on July 29 and 30. The ISRA has partnered with the ATA for several years and has had between 400 and 600 participants in the camp. We will be looking for ISRA volunteers to help with this camp again this year. The new location will be open from July 31 to August 13, during the Grand American Trap Shoot. To begin with, we will open for major events. Later, we will have meetings and classes there. Plan to stop by during the Grand American if you are in the area.
Many summer shooting leagues have already begun at ranges around the state. If possible, you should participate in a league near you. Some leagues have already started at the ISRA Range in Bonfield, west of Kankakee. Here is a rundown of our range activities: The first Sunday of the month are the Black Powder and 3Gun Leagues. Both are great fun. On Tuesday, April 26, the Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League gets underway at 5pm. This is a High Power Rifle league made for rifles like the M1, M1A, and AR15. New shooters are welcome. If you want to go and observe and are an ISRA member, you can do that. On Wednesday, April 27, the Bench Rest League will begin. This is a 100-yard precision rifle league. It is shot from regulation benches on Range 4. This league is a mid-morning league. New shooters are welcome. On Wednesday, May 4, the F-Class High Power Rifle League starts. The is prone shooting from the 300-yard line, using bolt action rifles, mostly. This is a midafternoon to evening league. Varmint rifles can be used in this league. On Thursday, May 12, the ISRA Smallbore League starts. This is a .22 rifle league. These are precision shooting leagues. Later this year, the ISRA Smallbore shooters will hold their 86th consecutive Smallbore Championship, the longest running consecutive Smallbore Championship in the United States. Pretty nifty if I do say so myself.
Other leagues will be starting later. We will keep you informed. Here is the link to the ISRA Calendar of Events: Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
April 22, 1915 - Germans fire 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas at French Colonial troops. This is the first widespread use of poisonous gas. The use of poison gas was later banned by the Geneva Convention.
April 22, 1778 - Commander John Paul Jones raids the Port of Whitehaven on the coast of England. The harbor was guarded by two forts, one north and one south. The attack on the north fort failed, but the attack on the south fort was successful. The fort was set on fire. The fire eventually spread to the town and destroyed most of it. I would like to have been a fly on the wall in King George’s throne room when he got the news.
April 24, 1863 - The Army issues Order No. 100 dealing with how prisoners of war are to be treated, rules for flags of truce, and prisoner exchanges. This was the idea of a Prussian immigrant Francis Lieber. Lieber met with four Union Generals and wrote 157 articles on how prisoners of war were to be dealt with. All 157 became part of Order No. 100. This was the first document in the world of its kind. Soon, countries around the world started adopting similar rules. This document became the basis for the Geneva Conventions of 1906, 1929 and 1949. Not all countries of the world have adopted the rules of the Geneva Convention. Some say they have, but they don’t treat prisoners of war in compliance with the rules.
April 25, 1989 - James Richardson walks out of prison after being wrongfully convicted of killing his seven children. In 1967, James and his wife were picking fruit in the fields of Florida. Their neighbor, Betsy Reese, came over to heat up lunch for their seven children. Soon, the children were foaming at the mouth and died. It was discovered their food has been laced with a pesticide. The police learned that an insurance salesman had visited the Richardson’s earlier. Betsy Reese reported she had seen a bag of the same kind of pesticide in a shed on the property. The police arrested James Richardson and he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The prosecutor, hungry for a conviction, did not tell the jury all the facts. The insurance salesman had no appointment, he was going door to door. The neighbor, Betsy Reese was on parole for killing her second husband and was a suspect in the murder of her first husband who was believed to have been poisoned. This falls under the category of “how hard can this be!” When these facts came out, Richardson was released. Betsy Reese later confessed to the murders. James Richardson and his wife had their lives ruined by the prosecutor. James Richardson served 21 years for nothing. The prosecutor should have been sentenced to 21 years, in my book.
April 26, 1986 - The worst nuclear disaster in history occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station. Chernobyl is in Ukraine which at that time, was part of the Soviet Union, now Russia. A group of Soviet engineers who were not qualified to work in nuclear facilities wanted to see if the generators could produce enough inertial power to run the cooling pumps on nuclear generator number 4. These geniuses disconnected the safety system on the nuclear reactor. The nuclear reactor began to surge. They then tried replacing the rods but not knowing the difference, grabbed defective rods. Eventually, they released 50 tons of radioactive material into the atmosphere. The Soviets never said a word until a Swedish monitoring station detected a huge increase in radioactive material in the atmosphere. They admitted what had happened. Despite the engineers and authorities being goats of this crisis, there were heroes also. Local firefighters responded to the nuclear power plant, evacuated people, and did what they could. They were all volunteers; they didn’t have the proper gear or training, but they went anyway. All were exposed to lethal doses of radioactivity, and all died. Over 5000 people died and thousands more got cancer and many of those died. That number is unknown. Firefighters around the world seem to be cut from the same cloth, thankfully, for our sake.
Thanks for being a member!
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Saturday, April 23, 2022
ISRA Academy NRA Basic Pistol Class
Sunday, April 24, 2022
MTW Consulting LLC NRA 1st Step Pistol Seminar
Tuesday, April 26 & May 3, 2022
Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Paper & Steel League
Bench Rest League
Saturday, April 30, 2022
ISRA Steel Challenge
Armed Women of America
Sunday, May 1, 2022
Bonfield Muzzle Loaders
Joe Brown High Power League/Joe Brown Match
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
F-Class Rifle League
Bench Rest League
Paper & Steel League
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Range Work Day
Woolard Brothers Memorial
Gun & Trade Shows
Chicagoland’s National Civil War & Collector Arms Show – Wheaton, IL
DuPage County Fairgrounds
Date: April 23, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-4:00
McHenry County Gun Show – Woodstock, IL
McHenry County Fairgrounds
Date: April 23, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 7:30-1:00
Will County Gun Show – Peotone, IL
Will County Fairgrounds
Dates: April 23 & 24, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 8:00-3:00
Villa Park VFW Gun Show – Villa Park, IL
Villa Park VFW
Date: May 14, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 10:00-3:00
Kane County Sportsman’s Show – St Charles, IL
Kane County Fairgrounds
Date: May 15, 2022
Hours: Sunday: 7:30-1:30