ISRA Thursday Bulletin - December 10, 2020

by Richard Pearson

We have lost a true American hero.  On Monday, December 7, 2020, General Chuck Yeager passed away at the age of 97.  General Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier in level flight.  Yeager flew the Bell X-1 rocket plane to a speed of Mach 1.06.   The Bell X-1 was nicknamed The Bullet because of its shape.  It was a good name for the plane because it was designed in the shape of a .50 caliber machine gun bullet.  They just added wings and a rocket engine.

Chuck Yeager flew a P-51 Mustang in the European Theater in WWII.  He is credited with 12.5 kills.  He shot down five Messerschmitt 109s one day, and on another, he shot down four Focke-Wulf 190s.  In his career he logged more than 10,000 hours in 360 different military aircraft.   Chuck Yeager was one of those rare people.  It can truly be said, “They don’t make them like that anymore.”

Recently, we have been receiving phone calls from members who would like to do business with pro-gun companies.  Our members want to do business with people or companies that support the ISRA and their ideals.  For $35, what better way can you show your support for them?  The Illinois State Rifle Association is offering a Commercial/Business application.  By February, we will list Commercial /Business members on our website.   The Illinois Shooter, our quarterly newspaper, will also recognize these members.   This will let those people know who is pro-gun.  Please print the application off and send it in.  You do not have to be a gun shop or range.  We have photographers, dentists, ICCL instructors, auctioneers and all kinds of other businesses.  If you own a business and would like to be listed, please call the office for your application.

Broward County Florida resident, Bill Norkunas had just stepped out of the shower when 23 year old Timothy Johnson tried to break in Bill’s home.  Bill, age 70, had been disabled from polio as a child and can only walk with the aid of crutches.  Bill grabbed his handgun and called 911. Bill spent 15 minutes on the phone with 911 and was told deputies were on the scene.  Neither Bill nor six of his neighbors, who had also called, could see them even though 18 deputies supposedly showed up.  It would seem 18 or so squad cars with flashing lights would be noticed.  Finally, Johnson left and was arrested.  Johnson was out of jail within a few hours.  Bill Norkunas is glad he had an alternate plan if 911 doesn’t work.  In this case, it didn’t work.

Another incident occurred in New York on Staten Island.  Mac’s Public House stayed open in defiance of the COVID 19 closure order because he was going to go bankrupt if he didn’t.  New York sheriff’s deputies showed up and found food on the premises and arrested Danny Prest, the owner and led him away in handcuffs.  So, someone who is trying to break in an occupied home with criminal intent walks and a business owner who is trying to make a living gets tossed in jail.  Ain’t that just dandy.

Joe Biden’s nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to take the helm of the Department of Health and Human Services is a clear indicator of his anti-gun Intentions.  Becerra is a long time anti-gun zealot.

A three judge panel in the Second District of Illinois has ruled against most parts of the Easterday v. Deerfield case.  That does not mean it is over by any means.  We have 21 days to ask for a rehearing and 35 days to file for a petition for Leave to Appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.  We will keep you informed.  This is an example of why all of this is so expensive.   If you haven’t made your tax deductible donation to the ISRA Legal Assistance Committee now would be a good time to do so.  You can mail a check to ISRA – LAC, P.O. Box 494, Chatsworth, IL 60921.

The Illinois State Police announced the number of Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses is up to 343,299.  I don’t have exact FOID card numbers.  At the end of November, the ISP has received 445,944 FOID applications in 2020.  This number includes both new and renewal applications.  Every member of your household should have a FOID card.  An Illinois Concealed Carry License is also a really good idea. 

With Christmas coming up many are scratching their heads trying to figure out what to buy loved ones, friends and relatives who love to hunt or shoot.  This year is harder than most with shortages of most everything you can think of.  When it comes to optics, lights, lasers or other accessories, it is hard to make a choice for someone else.  To solve this problem I suggest an old fashioned gift card.  It solves the problem and it is easy to wrap.  Gift cards can also be used to purchase time at your local indoor range if one is nearby or may be used to purchase the ultimate gift, an ISRA membership.


December 10, 1915 - Ford builds its 1 millionth car.  Ford hardly noticed it.  By 1927, they had passed the 15 million mark; and by 1931, they hit the 20 million mark.   Henry Ford’s production line set the standard for the world.

December 11, 1941 - Germany declares war on The United States.  Franklin Roosevelt knew we needed to go to war with Germany but didn’t really have a reason.  Adolf Hitler solved the problem for us. 

December 11, 1872 - Buffalo Bill Cody makes his first stage appearance in the Chicago production of “Scouts of the West”.  Buffalo Bill earned his name when he was hired to provide buffalo meat to workers on the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868.  Between 1869 and 1872, Bill worked as a scout for the Army.  He fought in 16 battles with Indians.  One General was impressed.  He praised Cody by saying he has “extraordinarily good services as a trailer and fighter, his Marksmanship being very conspicuous.”  Cody’s other exploits encouraged the writers of the popular dime novels that make him famous.  Eventually, he was featured in over 1700 dime novels.   In 1883, he started his Wild West Show. The show was still touring when he died in 1917.

December 12, 1901 - Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi sends the first radio transmission across the Atlantic.  Other physicists said that it wouldn’t work and disagreed with Marconi who thought radio waves would follow the curvature of the earth.  The other physicists were right but radio waves actually bounced off of the ionosphere which was unknown at the time.

December 14, 1799 - George Washington dies at Mount Vernon at the age of 67.  Washington had been sick.  One of the treatments was bleeding.  It didn’t work and probably hastened his death.

December 16, 1773 - The Boston Tea Party.  The British Parliament enacted the Tea Act in 1773. About 60 members of the Son of Liberty dumped $18,000 worth of tea into Boston Harbor.  Parliament was outraged and passed the Coercive Acts also known as the Intolerable Acts.  This act made British Officials immune from prosecution and forced colonists to quarter British troops in their homes.   All of this, as well as other grievances, led to the Revolutionary War.

December 16, 1944 - The Battle of the Bulge begins.  Adolf Hitler hurled 250,000 German troops and five Panzer Divisions against 80,000 American troops.  Despite the overwhelming odds, the determination and grit of the Americans held and on Christmas Day, General George Patton attacked and the German lines began to collapse.  The skies cleared and Allied Airpower doomed the Third Reich.

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