The events of the past several weeks have brought about two distinctly different reactions as to how best to handle mass killers. The first, as you might guess, is the traditional anti-gun screech for more gun control. This happens every time something significant happens. Not that the events in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs were not terrible, but the siren call of the anti-gunners is certainly not the answer. Many have come to realize that what they propose would only disarm the intended victims, leaving them even more vulnerable.
The other reaction is to become more proficient at defending yourself, your family, and those around you. Many churches and other places of worship have taken the latter approach. I have spoken to a couple of people who belong to churches that are forming their own defense teams. One church in New York points out that “this is not a gun free zone” on their message board.
For quite a while, certain firearm schools have been teaching classes that go beyond just concealed carry. The first of these are skill development classes. Skill development classes do just what their title suggests. Everyone should take the time for these classes. If you have a combat league near you, it is certainly a cheaper way to develop your skills over a longer period of time.
The next step in the training continuum is training with another person who lives with you, or someone you work with on a daily basis. If you have an encounter, they are most likely the people you will be with. If you were trained together on team tactics, it would be a huge advantage for both of you and would certainly increase your chances of survival. Any bad guy, with any sense at all, would extract themselves from the situation. Of course, there may be multiple bad guys. Either way, you have an advantage.
The next step is classes that deal with active shooter incidents. An active shooter can be a deranged person, a terrorist or a gang. These classes are designed for civilians in self-defense situations that may occur in churches, schools or businesses. Gunsite Academy, in Arizona, has one of the best classes but I am sure there are others out there.
The skill enhancement classes are an important first step before taking any of the partner classes or the active shooter classes. There are many of these classes around and everyone should seriously consider taking one of them. The ISRA will offer these classes though several instructors in 2018. Next year, Massad Ayoob will offer his MAG 80 class at our ISRA Range, from June 6th through 10th. The prerequisite is his MAG 40 class. MAG 80 is on the upper end of the training continuum. Remember, ISRA members receive a discount on this class.
It is interesting to note that the October 2017 NICS checks are the second highest in history. The year 2017 may be the second highest in history, despite a somewhat slow start. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal survey indicates gun owning households have jumped from 41% to 48%. It looks like less and less people are buying into the “government will protect you” baloney.
The events in Sutherland Springs, Texas, have brought out the anti-gun rattlesnakes from under their rocks. The anti-gunners don’t want to hear that Stephen Willeford used an AR15 to stop the shooter. But who gets the brunt of the criticism, the law-abiding gun owners? It is time for the gun owners, who have been sitting on the sidelines, to get into this fight. We have over 2,217,000 gun owners in this state. We have a lot of gun owners who are delinquent in their ISRA dues. The incident in Texas has, once again, shown that the only first responder who is going to show up in time to save you… is you.
Since the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, I have talked to several people who are interested in more training. Some have decided it is time to get their concealed carry licenses. Those who have concealed carry licenses have decided to take another class to enhance their skills. There are some who have decided to add a rifle to their defenses. I suggest that everyone who decides to add a rifle for self-defense, consider taking a class immediately. The ISRA has developed a basic AR15 class. We are going to run the first test class in December, for ISRA Range members only. For this class, you will need a FOID card, your own AR15 and 50 rounds of ammunition. The class is approximately four hours long and will include both classroom and range time. I will let you know how it turns out.
The pro-gun lobbyists have been working hard in Springfield; I want you to know we appreciate your phone calls, emails, letters and support. It looks like both SB1657 and SB333 (the trailer bill) are dead, for the time being. We have to start preparing for the 2018 Spring Legislative Session; January is not that far away.
In October & November Illinois had many articles on the Chicago gun trace report. As in the past few years, Chicago area gun dealers were singled out because they had a high proportion of the gun traces. There are a couple of things I would like to point out about gun traces. First, those stores have never been charged with any wrong doing. Every person who bought a gun at those stores passed the background check and went through the waiting period. Gun stores in Illinois and across the United States are heavily regulated. Typically, the anti-gunners seem to blame the stores for the gun traces. There are many reasons a gun is traced. It may have been reported missing or been found on a person who should not have had it. The other point is the same gun may be traced more than one time for the same gun. If ten police agencies were involved in an investigation, they may have all traced the same gun. Therefore, you have ten traces even though it was one gun. Trace data does not tell law enforcement if a gun has been previously traced. I was told by one shop owner that he had the same gun traced twenty-five times. Some think that a particular gun store may be targeted and the same gun is traced and retraced just to run up their trace numbers.
We are always hearing about the number of traces and the number of guns picked up. But have you ever noticed we don’t ever seem to hear very much about what happened to those people who were arrested? Last week, we were fighting HB4117 which, if passed, would give you a class 2 felony simply by having a gun trigger job on your gun, or a variety of their things that would make your gun shoot better and faster. If you or I could get a class 2 felony (3 to 7 years) for that, what in the world are the really bad guys getting, do you suppose? I have not seen any billboards saying this guy or that guy got 7 years in prison for being a felon with a gun, have you?
Maybe this is why. Let’s take the case of Simone Mousheh. Simone Mousheh was arrested in 2016 for selling two of the four guns she had purchased to a gang member with no FOID and a domestic battery conviction. Selling to a person with no FOID card is a class 4 felony (1-3 years). The straw purchase is a class 2 felony (3-7 years). Simone received 13 months’ probation and 15 days in the Sheriffs Work Alternative Program, hardly a slap on the wrist; more like a hug and a cookie from grandma. I’m sure there are many more cases like this. Gun owners have complained for years there is no real punishment for gun criminals – this is just one example.
So what is this all about? All the articles about trace data always seem to come just before another push for gun control. The media is acting as the Navy, softening up the legislative beach before the anti-gun crowd launches their latest attack. The stage is set for a renewed effort to pass SB1657, the so-called Gun Dealer Licensing Bill. SB1657 is a draconian bill with just one thing in mind – to drive gun dealers out of business.
Just so you know, we are not supposed to talk about the drug-fueled gangs that drive the murder rate up in Chicago, or the 49% dropout rate in Chicago public schools, or the fact that the city is taxing businesses so heavily that they are moving out of Illinois and Chicago, or that some of the kids who do graduate from the public school can barely read and write, so we won’t. I won’t tell if you don’t.
Speaking of anti-gunners, many of you are familiar with Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. They formed an anti-gun group known as “Americans for Responsible Solutions”. They recently changed the name of their outfit to the “Giffords”. Whatever they call themselves doesn’t matter; their goal is still the same. Recently some members of the Illinois House and Senate have been getting calls from Mark Kelly personally, verbally twisting the arms to vote for anti-gun legislation, namely SB1657. The point for everyone to take from this is the anti-gun crowd is turning up the heat. We will see more of this.
Many people do not understand what a lobbyist does, in particular, a pro-gun lobbyist. Let me explain. A pro-gun lobbyist works for things you never knew you needed, defends against things you never knew existed, in conditions that are a mixture of espionage and palace intrigue. The pro-gun lobbyist must not only take today’s political conditions into consideration but also must anticipate what may happen in the next two elections.
Perfect Christmas Gift is an ISRA Membership! It Gives all year long…
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IGOLD 2018 has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 25, 2018. We plan to you in Springfield!