ISRA Thursday Bulletin - November 19, 2020

by Richard Pearson

First and Second Veto Sessions have been canceled in the General Assembly.  There will be no more sessions until next year.  There is still work to be done.  That means we are going to see a Lame Duck Session after the New Year.  Lame Duck Sessions are simply regular sessions but some of the legislators have been defeated in their election, retiring from the legislature or leaving for a number of other reasons.  The point is that since they have no holds on them, anything can happen. This is a most dangerous time for citizens.  To override a veto it takes a 60% vote.  In a Lame Duck Session, it is simply 50% plus 1.  Why this is so important is that I expect SB1966 Amendment 1 to be called.   I believe there will be a push to get it passed. 

My guess is that the Lame Duck Session will begin the 6th or 7th of January and end on Wednesday, January 13th.  The New General Assembly will be seated on January 13th at noon.  They will have session for a day and then adjourn, usually until the first week of February.  All this is a guess in my part because the new legislative calendar will not be out until the middle of December.  What is still a guess on my part is that we will see all sorts of action on the FOID card during the Spring Session.  I will let everyone know as soon as anything develops. 

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is really cracking down on Thanksgiving.  Her Executive Order limits Thanksgiving dinners to six people from no more than two households.  If the SWAT Team breaks your door down and finds you are violating her majesty’s EO, everyone could get 30 days in jail and a $1250 fine.  It’s okay to riot, burn and loot in Oregon but everyone better knock off this Thanksgiving dinner nonsense!

I regret to report the passing of Robert J. Kukla on Wednesday, November 4th.  Robert J. Kukla was the chairman of the Illinois State Rifle Association Legislative Committee from 1958 until 1970.  Although many of you never heard of him, he was a hero in the gun rights movement in both Illinois and nationally.  He fought against the many proposals of Chicago’s Mayor Richard J. Daley.  One of those proposals was for individual firearm registration.  In 1967 and 1968 when individual firearm registration was proposed, most sportsman’s clubs belonged to the Illinois Wildlife Federation. They were mostly trap shooters and pheasant hunters. No one was prepared for the attack on civilian firearm ownership proposed by Mayor Daley.  It would be six more years before the NRA-ILA was formed.  Robert Kukla, seeing the coming threat, helped the NRA form the ILA.  From 1976 to 1978, he was the Executive Director of the NRA-ILA.  The Mayor had an iron grip on the General Assembly.  The eventual compromise was the FOID card with the mandate for individual firearm registration deleted.  Robert J. Kukla was an advisor to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  He was also a world class marksman.  Robert J. Kukla was one of those amazing Individuals that the world has too few of.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has published the 2018 production figures for the firearms industry. I thought you would like to know what they are. 

* In 2018, 11.4 million firearms were produced or imported into the United States.

* Approximately 48% were semi-automatic Modern Sporting Rifles.

* Between 1990 and 2018, 19.8 million Modern Sporting Rifles were sold in the United


* In 2018, about 434 million firearms were in civilian hands in the United States.

* There are approximately 71.2 million pistol magazines which hold 10 rounds or more in

    the United States.

* There are approximately 79.2 million rifle magazines that hold more than 30 rounds.

* In 2018, there were an estimated 8.7 million rounds of ammunition produced for the

    United States market. 

These are all 2018 numbers.  I can’t wait to see the 2019 numbers.


November 19, 1863 - Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.  Though only 275 words long, it was one of the most powerful addresses in history.  Lincoln reminded everyone of why the Civil War was being fought.  There 45,000 men killed, wounded or missing in the three day battle of Gettysburg.

November 20, 1820 - The 238 ton American Whaler Essex is sunk by an 80 ton sperm whale.  Twenty of the crew escaped but were soon starving and soon resorted to cannibalism.  On one life boat, men drew straws to determine which man would be shot to provide food for the others.  Three men who had been left of a Pacific Island were later rescued.   This event inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick in 1851.

November 21, 1877 - Thomas Edison invents the phonograph.  Rock and roll is here to stay.

November 22, 1963 - President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.  This was announced while I was in Physical Science class at ISU.  One of the girls stood up and announced the United States would come to an end.  That weekend, I was to visit my cousins, Donald and Dale Bargemen, in Peoria.  They were television engineers for CBS at WMBD.  They were called into work and I was more than happy to go along.  They were working long hours but I was still happy to be there.  I knew I was watching history as it happened and I had the best seat, other than those guys on the Grassy Knoll.  Have you ever wondered how far back the Washington D. C. swamp goes?

November 24, 1963 - Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald.  I saw it from my front row seat.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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