Every once in a while, a bittersweet moment pops up in our lives that rises above the useless noise that is going on in the world right now. On September 26th, the residents of Livingston County, Illinois, were notified that a World War II veteran who had been missing for 80 years was at last coming home. PFC John Lewis Ferguson of Flanagan, Illinois, has been returned to us. Mr. Ferguson had died in the Japanese Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp in the Philippines on December 10,1942. He had survived the Bataan Death March. For those who don’t know, the American and Filipino prisoners were forced to march 65 miles without food or water. If they collapsed during the Death March, they were shot or bayoneted to death on the spot. Filipino citizens who tried to give the prisoners food or water were also shot, bayoneted, or beaten to death. PFC Ferguson was sent to Cabanatuan after the death march. I don’t know why or how he died. American and Filipino prisoners were tortured, starved, and beaten. However, he died, I’m sure it was painful. There were no medical facilities for POWs.
Congratulations to the Firearms Policy Coalition for their victory in Delaware in the Rigby v. Jennings lawsuit. In short, the Federal District Court struck down Delaware’s ban on self-manufacturing and possession of home-built firearms. The court held that the Second Amendment implies the right to manufacture a firearm. While I am happy with the ruling, I imagine we have a long way to go. This ruling will have to be upheld by the United States Supreme Court before it has precedent.
On September 30th and October 1st and 2nd, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) held Range Officer classes, Pistol Marksmanship 101 classes and Rifle Marksmanship 101 classes at the ISRA Range near Bonfield, Illinois. It could not have been more beautiful weather. The mornings were cool and crisp; the afternoons were all those wonderful sunny warm Fall days. I want to thank the CMP, AMU, ISRA staff and ISRA volunteers who made this all happen. We had 35 signed up for Pistol 101, 23 signed up for Rifle 101, and 24 for the advanced Range Officer Classes. Teaching marksmanship is the original duty of the ISRA, and last weekend certainly measured up to the highest standard.
About 8 weeks ago, the ISRA started a Women’s Precision Pistol Team. All were new to precision pistol shooting. Six of the nine women were able to take the class. Five of the women ended up in the top half of the class and Mandi Ehlers won the match. Mandi won points toward the coveted Distinguished Pistol Marksman Badge.
I was not directly involved in the Rifle Marksman 101 class, but those participants also did well. One new shooter also achieved points toward his Distinguished Rifle Marksmanship Badge.
On the lawsuit front it is quiet right now. This is common near election time which is only a few days away. The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected two bump stock cases. I would remind everyone that the reasons the Supreme Court rejects cases are several. Sometimes they are rejected by our friends in the court because they may be poorly written, poorly argued, or incomplete in some way. The last thing we need is a bad decision on a flawed case.
In Boston, Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor dismissed Mexico’s suit against Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger and Company, and others (this is the Country of Mexico not the State of New Mexico). Mexico was seeking 10 billion dollars in damages claiming that American manufacturers undermined Mexico’s gun laws. Gun laws in Mexico are a farce anyway. The drug cartels run the place. Gun laws are there to prevent law-abiding citizens from firearm ownership. It was very difficult digging up the details on this case. For some reason, the media wasn’t wanting to talk about it.
We are seeing more lawsuits being filed against anti-gun states and municipalities. The Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit against Glendale, California, who restricted the rights of people to carry on public property. In a Massachusetts case, the state tried to put so many hurdles in front of people who were trying to get a concealed carry permit, it was impossible to obtain one. That case has been remanded back to a lower court so the plaintiff can get justice.
We are days from the Midterm Elections. The polls in various states will start moving closer together between opponents. Nevada looks like it will be a close one and Pennsylvania will tighten up also. I would like to see Mark Kelly of Arizona (Gabby Gifford’s husband) defeated. These are ones to watch.
In watching races around the country, my nomination for the biggest hypocrite is Stacey Abrams of Georgia. Gubernatorial candidate Abrams is a dyed-in-the-wool kool aide drinking avowed guns for me but not for the candidate. Abrams has been spending an average of $120,000 a month on personal security. I hope she not only gets defeated, I hope she gets trounced.
Here in Illinois, I don’t expect too many surprises. Governor Pritzker has almost nothing on his schedule meaning he is pretty confident. It doesn’t matter, go and vote anyway. There may be some down-ballot pro-gun State Representatives and Senators that can be picked up. Never give in.
The NRA used to be accused by the anti-gun left of buying politicians off. The NRA is poor compared to Everytown, Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun front group. On Monday, Everytown announced it was dumping 2.3 million dollars into Michigan alone. Anti-gun wacko Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to beat down anyone who supports the Second Amendment.
If you ever thought the Biden Administration and their assorted appointed flunkies were really going after bad guys with guns, think again. While the ATF is busy driving legitimate firearm dealers out of business over simple clerical errors, they are letting the bad guys skate away. A case in point here is three California men were converting and trafficking in fully automatic firearms and threatening to kill people. Each count would be worth five years in the Federal Pen and a fine of $250,000. One guy was charged with one count and got three years. The other two got probation with nothing else.
One of the new problems we may be facing soon is a nationwide rail strike. While many of us were led to believe this was not going to happen, it is quite possible. There was no settlement, just a cooling off period until after the Midterm Elections. What a coincidence that it would come after the Midterms. Firearms, ammunition, and other supplies the shooters depend on are shipped by rail at some point. We still have a supply chain problem, and a rail strike would make it worse. I suggest you stock up now on anything you think you might need. Why take the chance? Rail transportation accounts for about three quarters of a trillion dollars in the United States economy each year, a very significant amount.