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ISRA Thursday Bulletin - December 24, 2020

by Richard Pearson

The ammunition shortage continues to be a topic that shooters are talking about.  For those of us who like to shoot in competitions, leagues, take classes, practice or just go out and plink, this is a problem.  In a recent interview with Jason Vanderbrink, president of Vista Outdoors, the company that makes Federal, CCI, Speer and now Remington, pointed out that ammunition companies are working every minute of every day to meet the demand.  These companies, and I am sure their competitors, are adding employees, machinery and space to produce enough to meet the new demand.  One of the challenges these companies face is educating and training new employees.  The making of ammunition is a precise business in the United States and those standards have to be maintained.

From March to November, 7,000,000 more Americans became new gun owners.  To supply these new gun owners with just 100 rounds of ammunition each, adds 700,000,000 rounds into the equation.  We all know that 100 rounds isn’t enough to break in a new firearm, let alone get proficient with it.  It was reassuring to hear Mr. Vanderbrink speak on this subject.

I mentioned that Remington Ammunition has been sold to Vista Outdoors.  Remington, as most of you know, has been going through rough times.  This was due to a couple of lawsuits that has put America’s oldest gun maker in financial distress.  The sale to Vista Outdoors should relieve some of the problems of supply in the future.  Vista Outdoors has deployed manufacturing teams to the Remington Ammunition plant and I am sure infused much needed capital as well.  We are assured that Remington will stay a brand name. 

For those who reload, components are also in short supply, particularly primers.  Components are in the same supply chain that feed completed ammunition and are being snapped up as fast as they are put on the shelf.

It continues to look like the Illinois Senate will have a Lame Duck Session starting January 7, 2020.  I expect the session will go straight through to January 13 when the 101st General Assembly ends and the 102nd General Assembly begins.  All bills not passed will die on the 13th of January.  The official term is Sine Die which means adjourned without a future date.  This will be the last chance for the anti-gunners to pass the onerous SB1966 which requires fingerprinting just to have a FOID card.  There is nothing good in this bill.

Here is the link to the fact sheet SB1966.  Please call your Illinois State Senator and make sure they oppose this bill.  You can be sure if it doesn’t pass we will see this bill again in the New Session which begins on the 13th when the old session ends.  The new bill will have a different bill number.  This transition from the 101st General Assembly to the 102nd General Assembly will take place at noon on Wednesday the 13th.

The hearing on the Injunction to force the Illinois State Police to issue FOID cards in the required 30 days has been postponed until January 15, 2021.

The Illinois Policy Institute reports that Illinois lost 79,467 residents between July 2019 and July 2020.   Illinois leads the way in both raw numbers and percentages.  Few people know that Santa Claus and his vast empire of toy shops were once located in Illinois.  Santa packed up and moved to the North Pole some years ago over repeated threats of an elf tax on top of his already too high property taxes.  Mrs. Santa Claus was also upset over the sales tax on wrapping paper.  To Santa’s credit, he moved over 2000 hardworking elves to the North Pole with him.

The Grinch is alive and well, particularly at Christmas and the holidays.  I used to say don’t make yourself a target but it seems we are all targets these days.  Last year, there were over a 1,000,000 home invasions.  Right now crime is rising in every category with burglaries, thefts, home invasions, carjackings and identity thefts among the leaders.

Here are some tips to help you not be a victim.  There are no guarantees and this list is not all inclusive but it will raise your awareness.

* Keep all doors and windows locked.  This includes your garage door and the door between the garage and your living quarters if you have an attached garage.

* Lock all your outbuildings if you have any.

* If you have children in the house, they love to open the door to all those who knock or ring the doorbell.  You need to tell them not to do that.

* Don’t leave lawn mowers, bicycles, snow blowers and other valuable equipment lying around the yard.

* Instead of hiding the key to your house under the flower pot, in the secret rock or under the door mat, give your key to a trusted neighbor if you have any.  If you have to hide a key, put one under the flower pot and make sure it doesn’t fit in your lock.  Put the real key in a realtor’s type lock box with a combination and put it somewhere else.

* If you leave your home, make your house look occupied.

* Keep your vehicle locked at all times, even in the garage.

* Keep your valuables out of sight in your car.  Don’t leave cell phones, laptops, tablets, shopping bags and purses in sight.  Don’t drive around with a purse or brief case riding on the passenger seat.  Put those items on the floor behind the passenger seat if possible.

* Don’t put your name and address on your keys.

This certainly isn’t everything but it is a start.

In spite of all of this, the ISRA Staff, Officers, and Directors wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Tidbits:

December 24, 1851 - The Library of Congress burns, destroying two thirds of its 55,000 volumes.  Congress quickly responded and replaced all of the lost volumes.  Today the Library of Congress is housed in three buildings.  The Library has 39 million volumes and millions of maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints and drawings.

December 25 - Merry Christmas!  The first mention of a Christmas celebration was in the year 06.  In 336AD, the celebrations included the Nativity.  At least that is the first findable mention of it.  Santa Claus comes to town.  St. Nicholas was born in 280AD.  St. Nicholas, a monk, was noted for giving gifts.  Over the centuries, the concept of Santa Claus grew.  Christmas celebrations by the Dutch including Santa Claus were noted in colonial newspapers in 1773.  The Dutch called him Sinter Klaas.  The spirit of Santa Claus has grown throughout history.  Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade first featured Santa in 1924.  The rest is….well history.

December 26, 1776 - George Washington and his troops cross the Delaware and surprise the Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey.  The Hessians were mercenaries hired by British and well known for their fighting skills.  They were Germans.  Washington surprised the Hessian garrison of 1400 troops and overwhelmed them killing their commander.  The news of the victory spread and Washington and the Continental Army started gaining support among the colonies.  A few days later Washington gained another victory at Princeton which further enhanced his reputation. 

December 26, 1944 - General Patton and his army relieves the soldiers at Bastogne.  The German Army begins to crumble.

December 28, 1895 - The first commercial movie (admission was charged) is shown at the Grand Cafe in Paris.  Two French brothers, Louis and Auguste Luiere, developed a projecting camera called the cinematograph. 

December 29, 1845 - Texas becomes the 28th state in the Union.  Texas is the only state that was an independent country: The Republic of Texas.

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