The online publication “The Reload” reported what we already suspected about the NRA and their financial condition. The phalanx of lawsuits launched against the NRA and Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, has hurt them badly. Of course, the lawsuits were designed to do just that. Legal fees now make up 20 percent of the NRA’s expenses. The Reload sort of backhands the NRA for paying Wayne LaPierre’s legal expenses but in the real world, that is what has to be done. LaPierre was acting on behalf of the NRA and I am glad they are backing him up.
There are those who want Wayne LaPierre fired immediately. I am not one of those. First of all, to fire Wayne LaPierre at this time would give the anti-gunners an immediate victory. Secondly, just who do you have in mind to take that job at this time? You may have noticed there are no long lines of people applying for the position. Their name plate wouldn’t be on the office door before they were sued. Third, there is no one who has the corporate knowledge that he has. Like it or not, that is important. These are perilous times. You may not like the captain but it still wouldn’t be a good idea to replace him with the cabin boy.
NRA membership is down from 5.5 million people to 4.5 million people and that is still significant. Some of those members are like me, Life members or greater. The only way we are leaving is feet first. It appears the NRA will be in a struggle for a long time. Other national organizations are stepping up to the plate. These include the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCKRBA), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Firearms Policy Coalition.
NRA shooting programs are among the best anywhere. The ISRA will continue to use NRA programs, classes and certify NRA instructors. Marksmanship knowledge has to be passed on. We all need to help with that project. You can do that by taking classes, participating in leagues and competitions, and sharing your knowledge.
In Illinois, I assure you the ISRA has been, and is there fighting for your rights. Membership, donations and estate giving are all a part of it. The ISRA is engaged in Training and Education through the ISRA Academy, lobbying efforts in Springfield, and litigation. We need your support. Thank you for all you have done.
We are in the waiting mode for court cases but there is one which you might be interested in. That is the lawsuit which Mexico has brought against U.S. gun manufacturers. There are 13 states that have joined in the suit on the side of Mexico. Of course, Illinois is one of them. The others are “the usual suspects”: Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Oregon and the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia is not a state. It should be considered a foreign country.
Of course, you must remember to forget about Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Operation Fast and Furious. Don’t bring that up whatever you do, but I digress. Mexico doesn’t want to concentrate on the Mexican drug cartels because most of the Mexican government officials are on the take.
The adjusted NICS numbers are in for January 2022. There were 1,190,000, making January 2022 the 30th consecutive month over 1,000,000 background checks. The NSSF reports that the new Attorney General of Virginia has notified the Supreme Court of the United States that Virginia is withdrawing its support for the anti-gun side of New York Rifle and Pistol Association v Buren.
The action in Springfield is going to heat up in the next few weeks. Of the thousands of bills introduced only about 10% will pass. Some bills are not meant to go anywhere but are what I call “Press Release” bills or “See what I tried to do in Springfield” bills. We will keep you informed. Please stand by for ISRA alerts for witness slips and/or calls to legislators.
Right now, the ISRA Lobbying Team is monitoring about 245 bills in the Illinois General Assembly. While the committees are meeting virtually, this has not stopped bills from being introduced. Both the Illinois House and Senate have deadlines for the introduction of bills. During this time of the session, bills come tumbling out into the various committees many of which are only partially finished. Many of these bills have unconstitutional provisions in them or are contrary to Federal law.
SB 3094 (Collins D-16 Chicago) would create criminal penalties for the use of imitation firearms. This would include toy guns, water guns, BB/pellet guns, paintball guns, airsoft guns, and inert guns used for training. This is a clear violation of 15 U.S C. 5001 (g). This bill would also impose strict liability on the manufacturers of these items.
In better news, HB 4386 has passed out of committee and is on Second Reading in the House of Representatives. HB 4386 amends the wildlife code to allow rifles which use straight walled cases to be used for deer hunting in certain counties. Those would be counties with terrain similar to Wisconsin, Missouri and Kentucky. Those counties would be determined by The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
Straight walled rifle cases are less powerful than bottlenecked rifles cases with some exceptions. Those exceptions wouldn’t be good for deer hunting. My .458 Winchester Magnum would be an example (I haven’t seen an elephant or Cape buffalo in the neighborhood since I bought it). The .357 Magnum is a good example of a modern straight walled round that would be good for deer hunting. Rifles that take straight walled cases are lighter than shotguns and recoil a lot less. They would be good for young deer hunters, women, disabled people and anyone of smaller stature. While limited where they can be used, this would still give hunting opportunities to many who wouldn’t be able or have desire to hunt otherwise.
Our next big event will be Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) which will be held on Wednesday, April 6. In the next couple of weeks, you will receive our mailing on IGOLD. Your participation would be appreciated.
February 10, 1846 - The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) start to leave Nauvoo, Illinois, to head west. In 1844, the leaders of the Mormons, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith, were in jail in Carthage, Illinois. A mob entered into the jail and murdered both Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The new leader of the Mormons was Brigham Young. The Mormons had several settlements in the United States. They decided to head west or escape further persecution. Finally, in July of 1847, they arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
Brigham Young announced “This is the place”. There were only 148 in the party but they began to make preparations for the tens of thousands to follow. At that time, Mexico controlled what was to become Utah. Young wanted to escape the United States which he did, but only temporary. The United States war with Mexico brought Utah and what is now Southwestern United States in as territories and the Mormons were once again in the United States.
February 12, 1809 - Abraham Lincoln is born in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Lincoln only attended one year of school. He self-educated himself after that. He never wore a mask either and had no help, thankfully, from a nanny government. That is why he knew so much.
February 13, 1861 - The earliest military action that resulted in awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor. This military action took place before the Medal of Honor was created in 1862 and had nothing to do with the Civil War. Colonel Bernard J. D. Irwin rescued Lt. George H. Bascom and 60 troops who were trapped by the Chiricahua Apaches. Col. Irwin did not receive his award until 1894.
February 13, 1633 - Italian philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to be tried on charges of heresy by the Roman Inquisition. Galileo had been teaching the sun was the center of the solar system opposing the teachings of the church which claimed earth was the center of the solar system. Galileo pled guilty and escaped what would have been a death sentence or life in prison in some dark dungeon. Instead, he spent the rest of his life on house arrest in his home. He died January 8, 1642.
February 14, 270 A.D. - Catholic priest Valentine is beheaded for marrying people in defiance of the ordered ban on marriage by Claudius the Cruel.
February 14, 1943 - The Battle of Kasserine Pass. German General Irwin Rommel launched an offensive against allied forces in Tunisia. This was the first defeat suffered by American troops. It was also their first major battle against the Germans. The United States lost over 1000 troops in this battle. On March 3rd, General George H. Patton took command of U.S. Troops in North Africa. Life got tougher for General Rommel.
February 14, 1898 - The U.S.S. Maine blows up in Havana Harbor, killing 260 of the 400 crew members. The cause of the explosion was a mine, or at least that is what the Navy Department ruled at the time. Doubts have always been circulating about the cause. Later investigations indicated it was due to spontaneous coal combustion. The coal bins were next to the powder magazine. Battleships were a lot smaller in those days. The Maine was built in 1889 at a cost of about 4.5 million dollars; it weighed only 6,600 tons and its main batteries were twin 10-inch guns. Secondary batteries were six 6-inch guns. Even then, it was a second-class battleship but it was considered an advanced design for the time. The Maine was raised and towed out to sea where it was sunk. The mast of the U.S.S. Maine is a memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
February 16, 1878 - Silver dollars become legal tender in the United States. The mining interests and farmers were interested in silver dollars becoming part of American currency. People, particularly farmers and labors, did not trust paper money. They thought the government might print paper money like gum wrappers. Of course, they were right then and still are. On February 16, 1878, Congress passed the Bland-Allison Act to mint silver coins.
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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Saturday, February 12, 2022
ISRA Academy NRA Basic Rifle Class
Sunday, February 13, 2022
ISRA Academy NRA Basic Rifle Class
Tuesday, February 15 & 22, 2022
Tuesday Night Air Rifle League (5:00-8:00)
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