June 15, 2023
|Executive Director’s Message
|The combined lawsuits, Harrel et al v Raoul and Barnett et al v Raoul et al, is moving along as scheduled in the Seventh Circuit. Our brief is due Monday, June 19. The State of Illinois’s reply will be due Monday, June 26. The oral arguments will be heard on Thursday, June 29. I do not expect a decision for several weeks. Whatever the decision is, it will be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Click here if you would like to contribute to help fund this lawsuit and other ISRA lawsuits – We appreciate your support.
The May numbers are in from the National Instant Check System (NICS) regarding firearm purchases. NICS reports that an estimated 1,130,000 firearms were purchased in May 2023. The citizens of the United States have been consistently purchasing over a million firearms a month, for some time. Some estimate there will be 500 million firearms in private hands by the end of 2023. I believe that number has already been achieved. It is interesting that despite what the anti-gun crowd claims, the number of accidental shootings continues to drop as well as the murder rate, as the number of firearms increases. Dean Weingarten, writer, and firearms expert, points out that the number of firearm accidents has been dropping since 1934. Since that time, the accident rate with firearms has dropped 94%. This decrease has a lot to do with the efforts of the National Rifle Association over these many years. I have a manual written in the late 1930s or early 1940s, for the training of civilians in marksmanship before going into the United States military. In that manual, are the same safety rules we still use today. Over 700,000 people were trained using this manual before entering military service. Thousands of civilian instructors did the training. Because of the NRA, standardized firearm safety rules have become part of every firearm class. The NRA has saved thousands of lives and yet gets no credit.
The number of legal, firearm-owning Americans is well over a hundred million and growing. Let’s hope they vote in the upcoming elections.
A recent self-defense case in Louisiana gives us a lesson in what we are all facing, like it or not. Last weekend at 6 am, a homeowner shot and killed 20-year-old Kamerom Serigny in his living room. Serigny was caught on surveillance cameras pounding his chest and eating grass before he broke into the house. As he broke through the door, the homeowner fired one shot knocking him down. Serigny got up and continued the attack, forcing the homeowner to fire several more shots killing Serigny. It was later determined that Serigny was under the influence of drugs.
As drugs spread more and more, the chances that you will encounter someone on drugs increase. You have to be ready. You simply have to shoot until they drop. When an attacker uses drugs, those drugs keep them going long after a person not under the influence would quit. If they go down, you still have to be ready because they may get up.
At The Range this week all the leagues will meet. Be sure to check The Range Calendar.
Please arrive 15 – 20 minutes early for registration. We aim for leagues & classes to start promptly.
The first Springfield Pistol League of the summer will be held on Saturday, June 18 on Range 11. The start time is 8:30am. It will end at noon.
The Vintage Military Rifle Benchrest League will be Monday at 3pm on Range 5. Get out that old Springfield, Enfield, Mauser, Mosin-Nagant, or whatever you have, and come to the league. We need a few more shooters.
The MTG Defensive Rifle Class will be on Range 5 on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25. There are still openings. Check the ISRA website for details and signup information at: https://isra.org/event/defensive-rifle-range-11-clubhouse-800-600/
The Bullseye League will meet on Ranges 1 & 2 on Sunday, June 25, at 8:00am
The first Glock League of the summer will be on Range 11 on Sunday, June 25.
The ISRA Range has memberships available. If you would like a tour of the ISRA Range at Bonfield, call 815-939-1909 to schedule a time.
Range time is always a good time!
The Alaska Territorial Guard is formed.
In 1942 the United States was still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor and being thrust into a war with Japan and Germany. In the Atlantic, the German U-Boats were sinking merchant ship after merchant ship, loaded with supplies of all types to Great Britain. The Japanese were still unstoppable in the Pacific. The United States could not train soldiers fast enough. On June 7, 1942, the Japanese attacked United States territory in Alaska.
The question was, how could Alaska be defended? The answer was to call out the militia. The Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) was formed. The ATG was made up of people who were too old, or too young to serve in the U.S. Military. The age limits were from age 16 to 80, although some as young as 12 years old served. Women also served. If fact, the best shot in the ATG was Laura Beltz Wright who qualified with an average of 98% with her rifle. While some were equipped with M1 Garands, most were issued 1917 Enfields. There were only 21 paid staff of the 6,389 people who served. The rest were unpaid volunteers. Actually, it is estimated that as many as 20,000 people served in the ATG. The ethnic makeup of the ATG was Aleut, Athabaskan, Inupiaq, Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Yupik, and probably others. They soon were given the nickname “Eskimo Scouts”. Much was made of their ethnic backgrounds. I just call them Americans.
The duties of the Eskimo Scouts were varied. They did everything from guarding the 6640-mile coastline, air-sea rescue, firefighting, guarding airfields that served the vital Lend-Lease program to the Soviet Union, guarding supply depots, to shooting down Japanese spy balloons, and more. In fact, ATG received recognition for rescuing airmen and shooting down Japanese spy balloons. The last one is interesting: If during WWII, a group of militia made up of 12-year-old kids, 80-year-old men, and women, can shoot down spy balloons, why can’t Joe Biden? But I digress. The Eskimo Scouts were disbanded in 1947. They are a proud part of American History.
June 15, 1775
Congress votes unanimously to appoint George Washington to lead the Continental Army. Washington had many concerns about the poorly trained troops, and lack of supplies. Everything the army needed was in short supply or nonexistent. Washington overcame all of the many obstacles before him.
June 15, 1917
Congress passes the Espionage Act which made it a crime to interfere with the United States armed forces, or to promote the success of our enemies. A year later, Congress passed the Sedition Act which included the abusing of the U.S. Flag, interfering with the production of war materials, and advocating or defending such actions.
June 17, 1775
The Battle of Bunker Hill
The British called it the Battle of Bunker Hill, but it was really on Breed’s Hill. It did not matter, the name stuck. The British won the Battle of Bunker Hill but at a high cost. The Patriots lost 370 soldiers, the majority of which were shot while retreating. The British lost over 1000 soldiers and 92 officers. The Patriots ran out of ammunition. The great patriot leader Dr. Joseph Warren was killed which was a blow to the Revolution. Dr. Joseph Warren was as valuable as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and many others, but he has sadly been forgotten by many, because of his early, untimely death.
June 18, 1812
The War of 1812 begins. The British were at war with France. Seamen were hard to come by, so the British would impress American seamen into the British navy. Impress is a nice word for kidnapping and forced labor. The British were disrespecting the new United States in various ways. In 1814, when Napoleon was defeated, the British could pour more resources into the war with the United States. The upstart Americans had tried to invade Canada but were beaten back. The British in turn invaded the United States and burned the Whitehouse in August of 1814. There was no love lost between the United States and Great Britain. There was no question the British had gained the upper hand. An unusual and particularly violent hurricane hit the area around Washington D.C., destroying British supplies and killing many British troops. The mostly uneducated British troops thought they had incurred the wrath of God and were unwilling to fight, as well as having little to fight with. The British were forced to retreat. In another turn of events, American forces defeated the British fleet on the Great Lakes, and on Lake Champlain in upstate New York, forcing the British to retreat back to Canada. On December 24, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed ending the War of 1812. Neither the British nor Americans knew the war was over. On January 8, 1815, American forces under General Andrew Jackson and the British met in New Orleans. Jackson was badly outnumbered. He supplemented the United States troops with volunteers from Kentucky, Tennessee, pirates, slaves, and literally anyone else he could find. Jackson hated the British. Jackson and those who fought alongside of him, remembered the atrocities the British had perpetrated on Americans during the Revolutionary War. The British also wanted the land Napoleon had sold the United States in the Louisiana Purchase and did not recognize the Louisiana Purchase as being legitimate. Jackson and his troops were ready. The British attacked and were promptly shot to pieces by the Americans. The statistics were lopsided. The United States had suffered 71 dead, killed, wounded and missing, or captured. The British had 2,307 killed, wounded and missing, or captured. The British commanding general and second in command were both killed. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the news was delivered to Parliament.
Harriet Beecher Stow said: “Never give up, for that is the time and place the tide will turn.” The last few months of the War of 1812 is a perfect example of what she said.
June 20, 1782
Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States.
June 21, 1788
The United States Constitution is ratified. The great experiment begins..
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Upcoming Meetings: https://isra.org/isra-activities-and-events/
Upcoming Range Events: https://isra.org/the-range/#range-calendar
August 4-5 Prairie State Long Rifle Show, Princeton
September 16-17 Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee County Fairgrounds
September 17 McHenry County Gun Show, McHenry County Fairgrounds, Woodstock
October 8 Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles
October 22 McHenry County Gun Show, McHenry County Fairgrounds, Woodstock
October 28-29 Sauk Trail Gun Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton
November 4-5 Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee County Fairgrounds
November 12 Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles
November 19 McHenry County Gun Show, McHenry County Fairgrounds, Woodstock
November 25-26 Sauk Trail Gun Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton
December 2-3 Will County Gun Show, Will County Fairgrounds, Peotone
December 10 Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles
December 16-17 Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee County Fairgrounds
December 17 McHenry County Gun Show, McHenry County Fairgrounds, Woodstock
“Ninety-eight percent of the people in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”
“The people who work against your gun rights are basically saying to you, “The right of the criminal to rip you off, rape and kill you shall not be infringed.” And they wonder why we’re a bit testy”
“I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”
“You may find me one day dead in a ditch somewhere. But by God, you’ll find me in a pile of brass.”
“Using inner city kids as your proof that guns and kids don’t mix, is like using an alcoholic to prove all people will abuse alcohol.”
“How dare politicians continue to pass insane laws forcing good, law-abiding people to be defenseless and helpless.”
The said Constitution [shall] never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe or to prevent the people of the United States from keeping their own arms.”
“One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.”
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution are courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the constitution THEY don’t like.”
“Every 13 seconds in America someone uses a gun to stop a crime.”
“The AK-47 is not a device of aggression … I devised this machine-gun for the security of my country,”