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Thursday Bulletin – March 28, 2024

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Thursday Bulletin – March 28, 2024

March 31, 2024

Executive Director’s Message
Richard Pearson

This is just a general update on the status of our litigations. We are working on several cases at this time. It’s kind of like toiling in the mines. There is all kinds of detail work to do. While that’s unexciting, it is absolutely necessary to win the cases. We’re still waiting to hear back on our appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States on Harrel v Raoul. I will keep you updated on that.

History of ISRA
The history of the Illinois State Rifle Association has always been a fascination of mine. Much of the records from the early days has disappeared and I’m constantly on a quest to recover whatever I can. We have acquired a few medals from the early days, but no real records or notes from anyone.

Recently, we acquired the records, notes and pictures of an ISRA member named William Garlington. Mr. Garlington lived in Chicago and was an extraordinarily active shooter in local and national matches. With his records, we found a scorebook, targets, shooting equipment, and even his stool and folding table that he carried with him. There were photographs of the rifle team practicing on the University of Chicago football field, and on the basketball court. I knew there had to be a use for those places! 

Garlington was an active shooter in both .22 caliber, Smallbore and High Power. In looking through his scorebook and seeing the scores of other shooters, it is evident that he and the other ISRA members knew what they were doing. They did not have the equipment that we have today, but they knew how to shoot.

I have not gotten through all of Mr. Garlington’s memorabilia yet, but a couple of interesting finds include a certificate from the Small Arms Firing School, dated 1911, and a score book dated 1918, from the same school, which was authored and prepared by the famous rifleman, Lieutenant Colonel Townsend Whelen.

There are also membership cards from 1933, when he converted from an annual member to a life member. The cards are in “like new” condition. We found his 1933 ISRA Life Member patch, brand new and stored in a box. It had never been sewn on his jacket. There is also a photo album containing pictures of matches and the national matches from 1916 to 1933. Mr. Garlington carefully notated all his pictures. There are many names I recognize, but this is the first evidence showing their very high-level participation and friendship. I’m sure I’ll find more information as I go through the boxes.

If you have any ISRA memorabilia, we would be very interested in it. We want to preserve our history. We have a small museum with ISRA memorabilia in the Chatsworth office, and some pieces at the Range office. If you do have any ISRA memorabilia that you are willing to donate, please call me at 815-635-3198.

NRA World Shooting Championship
Held on April 3-6, 2024, at Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Indiana. This competition gathers the top shooters in the world, will have them compete in multiple types of major firearm shooting sports including pistol, rifle, shotgun and combined firearm sports, in either professional or amateur categories for cash and prizes of over $250,000.

Thanks to Walther and many other sponsors, this match will continue to supply all firearms equipment and ammunition required for the 12 stages of competition. Click here for more information.

The Countdown is on for the Total Solar Eclipse ~ Just 11 Days!
The 2024 solar eclipse will be visible over approximately 128 miles on April 8, as it passes over Illinois, lasting for 4 minutes and 9 seconds, beginning at 1:58 pm CDT when it crosses the state line into southern Illinois, ending at 2:06 pm CDT. The partial phases of the eclipse will last longer. The eclipse’s “path of totality” includes the southern tip of Illinois, but partial eclipses up to 95% will be experienced as far north as Chicago and west to Quincy, as its path arcs northeast into Indiana and Michigan.

Wear protective eyewear that is rated for viewing the eclipse, ordinary sunglasses won’t work. D­on’t miss one of nature’s most spectacular events. The next total solar eclipse isn’t until August 12, 2045!


Still on the Fence about going to IGOLD? ISRA Board Member Mike Wiseman talks about why we go. Need transportation? More Buses have been added inc. Alton, Decatur, East Peoria Visit the IGOLD Page for more information.

Show Your Support / Be an IGOLD Sponsor!
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. Please click here for our sponsorship form, or ­­­call the ISRA office at 815.635.3198 to become an IGOLD sponsor and reserve your ad spot today!  Ad Deadline is Monday, March 25. 

Vendor Booth Space at IGOLD
Only 10 spaces available – First come, first served. Tables & chairs will be ­provided (8-foot tables). The Illinois State Rifle Association reserves the right to approve all vendors. Reserve by April 12th. Call 815-635-3198 or email Mel or Shirley. Cost: $100

If you and at least 2 other members of your gun club come to IGOLD, we’d like you to please stand when we announce it, so we can recognize your gun club.


March 28, 1969 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower Dies
Eisenhower graduated from West Point in 1915. This is one of those classes that the stars fell on, meaning that many other people in that class became generals.

Eisenhower was what was known as a political general. That means he had to deal with many Prima Donnas as he rose in the ranks. During World War II, he had to deal with many generals as well as the leaders from many different countries, keeping them all together in the European Theater of World War II. Under his command, with help of his capable staff, he directed the invasions of Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, and finally the Normandy invasion.

In 1948, Eisenhower retired from the army and briefly became president of Columbia University, before he was called back to service as supreme commander, when the combined land and air forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed.

Many people wanted Eisenhower to run for president, so he resigned his NATO command and ran for the office. He achieved a landslide victory in 1952, becoming America’s 34th president. As president, he was a leader in planning and initiating the interstate highway system. He also oversaw the development of US intelligence building the CIA into a powerful organization to spy on America’s enemies. Eisenhower was not a great speaker, but he was a great leader and accomplished many things wherever he was in office. We certainly need such people today, but the pickings are mighty slim.

March 30, 1981 – President Ronald Reagan Shot
The president was shot in the chest in Washington, D.C. by John Hinckley, Jr. It was an assassination attempt, with the President Reagan barely escaping death. The White House press secretary, James Brady was shot and suffered severe brain damage. This led to the rise of the Brady campaign for gun control.

Hinkley had been previously arrested on weapons charges in Tennessee.  After being arrested for attempting to assassinate the president, he was tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyers claimed his obsession with the lead actress, Jodie Foster in the 1976 film “Taxi Driver”, was the reason that he attempted to reenact the events of the film, in his own life. Thus, arguing the movie, not Hinckley, was the driving force for shooting the president.

Hinckley was confined to a mental institution for many years until he was released in 2018, to his mother in Williamsburg Virginia. The condition of his release requires constant meetings with his psychiatrist and social worker.

March 31, 1889 – The Eiffel Tower Dedicated
To honor the centenary (100th anniversary) of the French revolution, the Paris International Exposition was planned with a competition for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars to mark the event. Gustave Eiffel was a noted bridgebuilder who had designed the framework for the Statue of Liberty, won the competition with his design that was initially greeted with great skepticism. After 135 years, it has proved that it is structurally sound!

The Eiffel Tower was the tallest man-made structure at the time reaching 984 feet above the city. In 1909, the tower was almost demolished but was saved by recognizing its value as a radio transmission antenna.

April 1, 1552 – All Fools’ Day
The “Council of Trent” called for France to switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. People in parts of France were slow to get the news. They became the butt of many jokes, and “April Fools’ Day” was born. Excuse me, your shoe’s untied.

April 2, 1917 – President Woodrow Wilson Asks for War Declaration
President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to send troops to fight Germany in World War I. Until that time, the US military was staffed by voluntary enlistees. Wilson realized that this would not be enough men to fight, and the Selective Service Act was passed. The goal was to increase the number of men in the army, from 200,000 to 4 million by the end of the war.

April 3, 1860 – The Pony Express Established
A letter could get from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California in only 10 days. These brave mail carriers rode day and night to get the mail through, stopping every 10 to 15 miles to change horses. The Pony Express Mail lasted only 19 months. Soon the telegraph took over and messaging was nearly instant.

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

Bonfield Muzzle Loaders League

Come and shoot your period firearms with others who share your passion! Next meet is April 7. Click here for more details.

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.

If your club or organization is holding a gun show, event or class, let us know the details, and we’d be happy to post it in our Thursday Bulletin.

Looking for a Hunter Safety Class?  You can them here throughout the state on the IDNR website, which lists classes by county and date: 

Apr 3 – 6   NRA World Shooting Championship, Camp Atterbury, IN

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    National Civil War & Collector Arms Show, DuPage Co. Fairgrounds, Wheaton

April 20   Wing Shooting Clinic, Moraine View State Park, Leroy, IL

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

April 28   McHenry County Sportsman’s Show, Woodstock

May 3 – 5   Pecatonica Gun Show, Winnebago County Fairgrounds, Pecatonica

May 18 – 19   Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee Co. Fairgrounds, Kankakee

May 19   Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles


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