ISRA Thursday Bulletin - May 27, 2021

by Richard Pearson

Oral arguments were heard in the Bradley et al v. Kelly FOID card case on Thursday, May 20, 2021.  The judge will give her opinion, by letter, sometime in the future.  That could mean days or weeks.  Whatever the opinion, I imagine this case will be appealed.  Other ISRA cases have had no new developments.

This week’s ammo quest gained very little locally.  I did receive word of a gun shop that sells ammo online with 9mm at .40 cents per round and 223/5.56mm at .395 per round, if you buy it by the case.  In general, ammunition prices inched down a bit.  Hopefully that is a good sign.  We will see.

Joe Biden’s pick of David Chipman to become head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) signals a new attack on private firearm ownership.  Chipman was a former ATF agent who went to work as a consultant for the anti-gun campaigns of Gabby Gifford and Michael Bloomberg.  Yesterday’s confirmation hearings were stuffed with four other nominees for other offices.  This was done purposely so Chipman would only have to answer questions for a limited time.  To their credit, Republican Senators grilled Chipman.  Still, this does not mean Chipman won’t get the appointment.  If he is appointed, he has gun owners in his sights.

Memorial Day is quickly approaching and while some look at it as the unofficial beginning of summer, it is much more than that.  These days we are inundated with Memorial Day mattress sales, furniture sales and all kinds of diversions that have nothing to do with what the day is all about.  Twenty-four centuries ago, Athenian leader Pericles honored the fallen soldiers who fought in the Peloponnesian War.  Pericles said of the soldiers, “They are commemorated not only by columns and inscriptions in their own country.  But in foreign lands also by memorials graven not on stone, but on the hearts of men.”  Pericles words are just as true today.

Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was originally known, has its roots deep in Illinois history.  After the Civil War in both the North and the South, people gathered to remember and honor the fallen soldiers.  There was not one specific day set aside to hold the ceremonies.  Ceremonies were held throughout late April and May.  Carbondale, Illinois, was one of the first to hold Decoration Day ceremonies.  After the Civil War, a veteran’s organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was formed.  They were a very powerful group.  Until 1900, you couldn’t get elected unless they endorsed you.  The GAR was similar to the American Legion today.  In fact, when the GAR disbanded in 1916, their records were kept and later given to the American Legions for preservation.  Every town, village and city had GAR Posts or members. 

In 1868, the Commander of the GAR for the United States was former Union General John A. Logan.  He issued General Order No. 11 declaring May 30 as Memorial Day.  In that order he also instructed that graves of soldiers be decorated with the choicest of flowers.  The influence of the GAR members made it happen throughout the United States.

I was born during WWII so my life was filled with people who had lived through that war.  Their memories were fresh, their sacrifices remembered by all, and yet not over for some.  Everyone knew someone who had been killed, everyone knew someone whose wounds would never heal.  My father was one of those.  Despite all of that, I believe we were a much better country than we are today. Everyone pitched in to do what they could during WWII.  I am reminded of a blind man in California who could make specialized parts for some type of military equipment.  He was blind but he didn’t whine.  He figured out a way to help.  In fact, he often worked at night when it was cool.  There was a blackout on the West Coast but it didn’t bother him any.  He didn’t need any light.

Bloomington, Illinois, was a rail hub for war materials.  In those days, steam locomotives pulled the trains that were laden with finished and raw materials.  It was 1943 and the big push was on preparing for the European and Pacific invasions.  The railyards were short of workers.  Everyone who was able was in the military.  Retired railroaders came back to help.  Still, there were not enough workers.  The only answer was school boys who were too young to go to the military.  These were 14, 15, 16 and 17-year-old kids.  Every school boy went to the railroad yards to help service the steam engines and railroad cars.  These kids serviced and turned 103 locomotives in a 24-hour period, working day and night.  Compare those kids to the kids today and see what you get.

Please take a few moments this Memorial Day and remember all those people who have served our great country.  Think about them and how lucky we all are that they were there when our country needed them.


May 27, 1937 – San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opens to the public after five years of construction.

May 27, 1940 - The British and French are at Dunkirk.  A regiment of 99 British troops are in a pocket trying to hold back the Germans.  Finally, out of ammunition, they surrender to the Germans.  The German Commander, Captain Fritz Knochelm, marches the men over to a trench and orders them to be shot.  Those that did not die instantly were beaten or bayoneted to death.  Two soldiers were still alive but remained still among the dead until the Germans left.  They made it to a farm house but were eventually recaptured.  One of the men was badly wounded and traded back to the British in a prisoner exchange in 1943.  No one believed his story at the end of the war.  The other prisoner returned and verified the story.  The German Captain was arrested, tried and hanged for a war crime.

May 28, 1918 - Large numbers of American troops are in France.  A Brigade of 4000 Americans and Allied troops attack and take the French Village of Cantigny, making it the first successful American operation.  The Germans had just begun their Spring Offensive and Cantigny was critical.  Over the next 72 hours, the Germans counter attacked 7 times but the Americans were ordered to not give up an inch, and didn’t.  The Allies and the Germans both thought the American troops we not tough enough.  Cantigny proved them wrong.

May 29, 1780 - Many or you have seen the movie The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson.  The story and his character are a composite of events that actually occurred in the Revolutionary War in North and South Carolina.  The vicious British Colonial is a depiction of Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton.  Tarleton was assigned to wipe out Patriots in the area.  He defeated a group of 350 Patriots.  They surrendered.  In those days, to give quarter meant that those surrendered were treated as prisoners of war, fed and taken to a prison camp.  Not Tarleton.  He massacred them and became known throughout the area as Tarleton’s quarter.  Tarleton’s quarter became a rallying cry for the Patriots.  During the massacre, Tarleton was supported by Tories or those loyal to the King.  The Patriots rallied and while they hated the Red Coats, they hated the Tories much more.  Civil War broke out between the Tories and the Patriots.  The Patriots give Tarleton’s quarter back to them, taking their property and killing every one of them they could find.  Only a few escaped.

May 30, 1911 - The first Indianapolis 500 is held.  The winner was Ray Harroun, driving a Marmon Wasp.  His average speed was 74.59 miles per hour and a total time of 6 hours and 42 minutes.

June 2, 1935 - Babe Ruth officially retires.  Most of you think of his 714 home runs which has been eclipsed.  Babe Ruth’s slugging percentage still is the highest recorded at .690.

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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar

For more information, visit www.isra.org

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Well Armed Woman

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Handgun Drills

Intro Shotgun

Tuesday, June 1 & 8, 2021

Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League

Wednesday, June 2 & 9, 2021

ISRA Benchrest League

F-Class Rifle League

Combat Paper & Steel League

Thursday, June 3 & 10, 2021

ISRA Smallbore Prone/F-Class League

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Range Work Day

CCSC/Joe Brown Garand Vintage Match

Back to Basics Holster Drawing – Concealed Carry

NRA Basic Pistol Class

Sunday, June 6, 2021

ISRA Combat Pistol/3 Gun League

ISRA Black Powder League (Bonfield Muzzle Loaders)

Paper & Steel Shotgun League

Thursday, June 10 – Sunday, June 13, 2021

Massad Ayoob MAG-40 Class

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Joe Brown Highpower League/Robert Bishop Match

Sunday, June 13, 2021

CMP 900 Aggregate/EIC Service & Rimfire Match

Monday, June 14, 2021

ISRA Military Benchrest Rifle League

ISRA Scout Rifle League


Gun & Trade Shows

Diamond Gun & Sportsman’s Show – Diamond IL

Diamond Banquet Hall

Date: June 6, 2021

Hours: Sunday: 9:00-4:00

Admission: $5.00

Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club Gun & Knife Show – Chillicothe IL

Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club

Dates: June 12 & 13, 2021

Hours: Saturday: 8:30-5:00

            Sunday: 8:30-3:00

Admission: $3.00







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