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Thursday Bulletin – Feburary 29, 2024

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Thursday Bulletin – Feburary 29, 2024

February 28, 2024

Executive Director’s Message
Richard Pearson

I recently read an article about gun ranges in Finland, written by Lee Williams. Growing up, my father always spoke highly of the Finnish people. The reason for this was for the how they handled the Russian invasion in World War II. Indeed, my first rifle was a Finnish version of a Mosin-Nagant.

The Finnish people love their guns and most able-bodied men, and some women are members of the Finnish Civil Guard. When World War II broke out, the Soviet Union tried to invade Finland. They wanted Finland’s natural resources. Finland’s army was badly outnumbered, outgunned, and out- supplied. What they did have, was excellent Marksmanship skills. There were firing ranges all over their country.

Finland is a small country. Today the population is only 5.6 million people.  Recently Finland’s defense forces have announced the building of 300 more firing ranges for public use, to encourage the people of Finland to take up shooting as a hobby, and to bolster the national defense. This would bring the total number of firing ranges to a little over 1000 in a country with a small population.

There are those who claim that civilian militias are ineffective. If you ask that question of the Russians, who tried to invade Finland, they might disagree with you. In fact, the Finnish armed civilians devastated the invading Russians. The most successful sniper in history was a Finnish farmer. When the Russians invaded, he picked up his trusty Mosin-Nagant rifle and went to the front. His rifle was equipped with only iron sights and no telescopic sight, yet this one man alone accounted for 540 communist casualties.

Armed civilians are a force to be reckoned with. Enemies of the United States or Finland better beware. Japanese Admiral Yamamoto reportedly told the Japanese imperial government in World War II, that invading the United States would be impossible because there was a rifle behind every blade of grass.

I once interviewed a friend who owned a hunting preserve. After the collapse of the Soviet Union more Russians started coming to the United States. Many of them like to hunt. So, some Russian hunters arranged to go hunting at my friends hunting preserve. Among the hunting parties were former members of the Soviet Union’s famous KGB (secret police). In conversation with some of the hunters, the Russians told my friend, that invasion of the United States by the Soviet Union was off the table, because of the huge number of armed civilians in the U.S.

In 1903, Theodore Roosevelt recognized the value of well-trained civilian Marksmen. Roosevelt placed the training of marksmanship in the hands of civilians because he knew that the United States would be invulnerable to invasion, because they had that defense. The world today is a lesson we should not forget, because if we do, we will pay dearly.  

Knife Fight vs Gun Fight
It has long been known that it isn’t a good idea to bring a knife to a gunfight.  New information has just come in from Texas, which adds to that paradigm.

A home invader armed with a hammer broke into a home in Texas, and even after being asked to leave multiple times, hit the homeowner with a hammer. The homeowner shot the home invader who is now in critical condition. So, apparently, not only is it not a good idea to bring a knife to a gunfight, it is not a good idea to bring a hammer!

Jewelry Store Robber Shot by Employee
This past Saturday morning’s robbery did not go as planned for two offenders. Upon entering a jewelry store in downtown Chicago and unsuccessfully attempting to take property, an employee who had a Concealed Carry license intervened, and shot and wounded one of the suspects. At this time, the two robbers have been released without charges. Apparently, robbery of a jewelry store in Chicago is okay!

NSSF Hails Introduction of Protecting Privacy in Purchases Act
The Firearm Industry Trade Association, approves the introduction of the Protecting Privacy in Purchases Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.). The legislation would uphold the Second Amendment in pertaining to the privacy of firearm and ammunition purchasers, from financial service and payment card providers compiling purchase history that has already proven to be exploited by the federal government for political purposes.

More California Laws in Illinois?

Join Executive Director Richard Pearson talks more about how Illinois Lawmakers are trying to enact California gun restrictions and hide more potential gun registries in their efforts.

Getting to IGOLD!

Private Bus Information

If your gun club, gun shop, hunting group and/or organization is thinking about bringing a bus to IGOLD with your members, NOW is the time to plan it.

If you are bringing a bus, please let us know by April 1st. The ISRA must pay for your bus parking in advance. Please notify the ISRA Office and speak with Shirley at 815.635.3198 Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4pm. You can also email Shirley. Please put BUS NOTIFICATION in the subject line. We will update you on IGOLD as we get closer to the date.


IGOLD Bus Seat Signup – Alton, IL  

There are seats available to IGOLD from Piasa Armory, in Alton. First come-first served. Location: Piasa Armory, 3685 E. Broadway, Alton, IL 62002. 618-433-2715. Please click either link below to make your reservation and for more information. IGOLD bus signup or click here:

You can email questions to Scott Pulaski.

Amtrak Train Schedule

Inbound to Springfield
(1/2 mile from train station to the Bank of Springfield Center)
Departs: 7:15 am Chicago Union Station
Arrives: 10:10 am Springfield Station

Outbound to Chicago
Departs: 4:46 pm Springfield Station
Arrives: 8:00 pm Chicago Union Station

Sponsorships for IGOLD Are Available

We are now offering sponsorships for IGOLD.  We have 4 different sponsorship levels to choose what’s best for you, your company or your organization.


February 29, 1940 – Actress Hattie McDaniel First Black American Actress Wins Oscar. As a fan of classic movies, it’s people like Hattie McDaniel. Walter Brennan, and a host of other character actors that make the movies what they are. Hattie McDaniel’s portrayal of Mammy in Gone with the Wind was a prime example of people who overcame great adversity and triumphed.

March 1, 1692 – The Salem Witch Hunt Begins. By the time the witch trials were over, 19 men and women had been executed in October of that same year. Governor William Phipps of Massachusetts dissolved the court and replaced the judges who passed those death sentences.

March 2, 1943 – The Battle of the Bismarck Sea Ends in U.S. Victory. Japanese forces were attempting to reinforce their troops located on New Guinea in the western Pacific. United States reconnaissance planes spotted 16 Japanese ships bound for New Guinea. Before the battle was over, the U.S. had destroyed eight Japanese troop transports and four Japanese destroyers. United States fighters and bombers destroyed 102 of the 150 Japanese planes attacking them. My father was stationed in New Guinea at the time. I am sure he was glad for the American victory.

March 3, 1791 – U.S. Congress Passes the First Tax Law. The first tax law was imposed against alcohol, among other things. The Revolutionary War was fought partially because the colonists objected to taxation without representation. Since that time, we have all learned that taxation with representation is not that great an idea either!

March 5, 1770 – The Boston Massacre Occurs. Five American colonist are killed by British troops. Although the British were not entirely to blame, this act became one of the causes of the American Revolution.

March 6, 1857 – The Supreme Court of the United States Hands Down Decision on the Sanford v Dred Scott. Dred Scott was an enslaved person who had been brought to Illinois in 1834. Illinois was a free state. From there, they moved to Wisconsin where Dred Scott’s master died. Dr. Emerson’s widow wanted to keep him, so Dred Scott sued her for his freedom. He lost his case at the local level but kept appealing until his case made it to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court’s decision against Dred Scott was one of the most terrible decisions made in U.S. legal history. This decision furthered the division in America on the issue of slavery and was a major step towards the United States Civil War.

March 7, 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell Patents the Telephone. Next time your cell phone rings, and it annoys you. Remember, it is all Alexander Graham Bell’s fault.

The Illinois State Rifle Association
is the home of marksmanship in Illinois. 
At the Range

Click here to view the entire calendar. All classes and events are open to the public & all range members, unless otherwise noted.  here

Our NRA Basic Pistol Class

Open to the public. Scheduled for March 24, 2024, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm., at the ISRA Range. Limited to 10 students. The cost is $75 (ISRA member) and $150 (non-member). Class covers instruction on firearm safety, rules, ammunition types, and proper instruction of semi-auto pistols and revolvers. Topics include firearm selection, shooting fundamentals, firearm maintenance and cleaning. Instructors: Mandi Ehler, Mike Cialdella & Jeff Marienthal. To register, contact ISRA Office at 815.635.3198 or via email.

M1 Maintenance Class

We are glad to announce that we will have an M1 Maintenance Class scheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2024, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the ISRA Range in Bonfield, IL. We have found a highly qualified instructor, Larry Collinson, who has been with Springfield Armory for a long time. Mr. Collinson is an expert on the M1 Rifle. You will learn to take apart, clean, reassemble, and maintain your M1 Garand Rifle during this class. The class size is limited to 32 people. The cost is $65 (ISRA member) and $110 (non-member). Lunch will be provided. If you have special dietary needs, you will need to provide your own lunch. There will be no walk-ins allowed.

To register, contact the Office at 815.635.3198 and talk to Mel or Shirley. You can also email Mel or Shirley. If you are interested in taking this class, it is filling up quickly, so please register soon. If this class becomes full, or you cannot come to the class on this date, please call us and we will add you to a list to schedule another class at a later date, provided we have enough people on the list.

Range Schedule This Week

3-01 –

3-02 –

3-02 – Range Work Day – 8:00-4:00

3-03 – Bonfield Muzzle Loaders – Range 2 & Clubhouse – 7:00-2:00

3-03 – ISRA 3 Gun – Range 8, 9, 10, 11 – 7:30-5:00

3-05 – Air Gun Practice & League – Range 12 (Indoor Range) – 5:00-8:00

3-06 – F-Class Indoor League – Clubhouse/Range 12 – 10:00-2:00

3-06 – Air Rifle Practice & League – Range 12; Clubhouse – 11:00-3:00

The ISRA Range is located at 1589 N 7000w Rd, Bonfield, IL 60913.

The ISRA Range offers great classes and leagues
for shooting enthusiasts!
Interested in joining a league?
Just show up 15 – 30 minutes early.
Range memberships are available.
A day at the ISRA Range is always a  great day!

Thank you for being a member!


If you are not an ISRA member,  join today
Upcoming Meetings:
Upcoming Range Events:

Upcoming Gun Shows & Events

While the gun show information shown in this email is believed to be correct – sometimes changes occur. This is provided for informational purposes only.

Hunter Safety Class in LeRoy.

A Hunter Safety Class is being offering on 3/8/24 at 6:00 ­­pm – 9:00 pm, through 3/9/24 at 8:30 am – 5 pm, by LeRoy Sportsmen’s Club. Must attend both sessions. For more info and to sign-up, call or text Lyndall Cuba at­ 309-530-4124.  

Locate other Hunter Safety Classes on IDNR’s website listing classes state-wide by county & by date:

Mar 2 – 3   Belleville Gun & Knife Show, Belle-Clair Fairgrounds, Belleville

Mar 2 – 3   Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee Co. Fairgrounds, Kankakee

Mar 8 – 10   Illinois Deer Classic, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria

Mar 10   Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles

Mar 16 – 17   Peoria Gun & Knife Show, Exposition Gardens, Peoria

Mar 23 – 24   Springfield Gun Show, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield

Mar 23 – 24   Sauk Trail Gun Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton

Apr 13 – 14   Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Gun & Knife Show, Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club House, Chillicothe

Apr 14   Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles

Apr 18   IGOLD, Bank of Springfield Center, Springfield

April 20    Civil War & Military Extravaganza, DuPage Co. Fairgrounds, Wheaton

April 20 – 21   Will County Gun Show, Will County Fairgrounds, Peotone

Download a Shareable Copy of the Bulletin

“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.”

Lily Tomlin

“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”

Editor of KABA LIBERTY ADVOCATE, Friday, July 30, 2001

“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.”

Tpr. M. Padgett

“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.”

Lori Broadhead

“How dare politicians continue to pass insane laws forcing good, law-abiding people to be defenseless and helpless.”

Ted Nugent

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.”

Samuel Adams, Massachusetts' U.S. Constitution Ratification Convention, 1788

“One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.”

Thomas B. Reed (1886)

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution (1776)

“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.”

Alan Dershowitz

“Every 13 seconds in America someone uses a gun to stop a crime.”

Sen. Larry Craig

“The AK-47 is not a device of aggression … I devised this machine-gun for the security of my country,”

Mikhail Kalashnikov, April 1997