The FBI Uniform Crime Report is out for 2016. Remember, it takes a full year to collect and verify all the data; the 2017 report won’t be out until January 2019, just in case you think this is a misprint. According to the 2016 report, citizens took out 331 bad guys in justifiable homicides, and the police took out another 435. That is a total of 766 of these bums permanently out of the gene pool. Moreover, we don’t have to support these people in prison. In Illinois, the average cost of keeping a prisoner is $38,268 per year.
In New York City it is a staggering $168,000 per year. Whatever it is, wherever you are, it is a ton of money. This, of course, does not count the cost to the tax payers when they would have gotten out of jail, nor the pain they would have inflicted on innocent citizens when they committed their next crime. Some will say I have no faith. Nope, I don’t.
The number of NICS checks has been tabulated for 2017, at a staggering 25,235,215, making it the second highest number ever totaled. The highest was 27,538,673 in 2016. Right now we are seeing bargain basement prices on entry level AR15s. The high-end models with lots of features still remain close to their usual prices. Those models take more work and are tuned for accuracy. If you don’t own an AR15, one of the entry level models is just fine to get starred. Now is the time to buy.
Ammunition prices are also getting near or at the bottom. Now is a great time to buy for the Spring, Summer and Fall shooting season. Visit our website at isra.org and find the link at the bottom of the page for ammo.com. You can check prices there.
I have received several calls and emails in the last couple of weeks asking if being an ISRA member qualifies a person to purchase from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The answer is yes, it does, as long as you have a valid FOID Card (for those from Illinois). In fact, anyone from any state can join the ISRA to qualify for the CMP. I’m sure these inquiries have a great deal to do with the future release of the 1911s. I do not know when that date will be but I will let you know when I find out. I do know that when the 1911s are released they are going to go like hot cakes on a cold January morning. You will need to have your ISRA membership card in hand. The ISRA is the state affiliate of the CMP.
Spring is just around the corner! Well, maybe a couple of corners but it is time to start organizing for the Spring, Summer, and Fall shooting activities. For those with kids who love to shoot shotgun, Illinois now has the Illinois State High School Clay Target League. Eligible students include those who are in grades six through twelve. There is no cost to the school, and it is both a coed and a letter sport. It is also the safest high school sport. For more information, visit www.ilclaytarget.com. You only have until March 1st to register a team.
This program started in Minnesota nine years ago and that state now has 11,000 participants. A few years ago trapshooting was on the wane and, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 12 percent of the trap shooters are under 15 years old. That certainly bodes well for the trapshooting sport. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are about 5.3 million kids involved in the shooting sport, which is up by an estimated 1.2 million from 2006.
If you and your children like to shoot pistols and rifles and live in the Kankakee or Bonfield area, don’t forget the ISRA Range has an air pistol and air rifle league on Wednesday evenings, from 5pm until 9pm. For further information, contact Mike James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have mentioned that the ISRA is preparing to engage in litigation to preserve our Second Amendment Rights, not only in Illinois, but throughout the United States. The first such action will be to support an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, the Duncan v Becerra case. Duncan v Becerra is a California case that challenges the state law, which confiscates magazines of more than 10 rounds. This case will go before the notorious Ninth Circuit. Xavier Becerra is named in the suit because he is the California Attorney General. When a suit is filed against a state, the Attorney General is sued because he or she represents the state. The anti-gun side of the case is supported by Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. These people are dangerous; don’t think they are not.
In the next few months, I expect a full scale assault on our Second Amendment Rights by the lame stream media. Their purpose is to try to make gun control one of the leading issues in the state legislatures and a campaign issue throughout the United States. I expect the AR15 to be the center piece of their attack.
It is extraordinarily important that all gun owners in Illinois, and across the nation, make every effort to elect pro-gun candidates. It is most important that the United States Senate does not flip to the Democrat Party. It is a good guess that Justice Kennedy will retire at the end of this Supreme Court Session, which ends in June. The new Session starts in October. The President will nominate someone and the Democrats will try every delaying tactic possible, hoping to flip the U.S. Senate in order to get a liberal judge appointed. That must not happen. Every state that has an election for a United States Senator must have maximum effort from gun owners. Even if the conservative pro-gun candidates do not win, it forces the liberals to spend their resources on that campaign so those resources can’t be used elsewhere. We need to prepare for a tough fight. If every gun owner does everything they can, we could actually end up with a victory. Remember this column predicted that Donald Trump had a chance…a week before the 2016 election.
2017 is now in the history books it is time to consider 2018. I believe 2018 will be a very intense year for gun owners. With 2018 being an election year, everything will be on the line.
First, all of the Illinois State Representatives and one third of the Illinois State Senators will be up for election. As you are well aware, it is a continuous battle to keep our Second Amendment Rights in Illinois. The makeup of the Illinois General Assembly is key.
Second, all of the Illinois Constitutional Officers are up for election in 2018. The Illinois Constitutional Officers are Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer. While all offices are important, the Governor and Attorney General are critical offices.
Third, 2018 is the National “off year” Elections. That means all 435 Congressmen and 34 Senators will be up for election. With the election of President Trump, too many gun owners thought everything would be fine forever, which is the most dangerous thing that could happen. The 2018 elections may make the gains we have made vanish in the twinkling of an eye. While the President was able to appoint one Supreme Court Justice, others could be on the verge of retiring. The President will have an impossible task if the United States Senate is lost. There are many Justices that need to be appointed to the lower courts. Many of those appointments are still pending and this process goes on constantly as people retire. The question of National Reciprocity is in the Senate, but I do not think it is going anywhere with the Senate’s present makeup. There needs to be more pro-gun Senators elected.
There is a question that we, as gun owners, need to think about: how can we help ensure the Second Amendment locally, as well as at the state level and nationally? You may not know that answer right now, but you need to think about. Many people may think they have to do something spectacular to make a difference. That is not true. While it would be nice if you could donate $5000, but can only afford $5, it all adds up and makes a difference. Making a phone call, sending an email, attending a meeting, talking to a friend or a neighbor is important, and all of these count. The first and most important task is to make the decision to do something. Opportunities will present themselves. Some people promise more than they can deliver. Don’t do that; do what you can do. The key is for everyone to do something.
Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin may have hit on an idea that will bring 99% of the people of Illinois together. Last week, Boykin flew to New York and asked United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Fernandez-Taranto to send UN troops to Chicago to help quell the violence. Boykin points out that the UN sent troops in the conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus in Rwanda. If I recall correctly, the UN troops mostly watched while somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people were murdered in a 100-day period. No one actually knows how many were killed under the watchful eye of the UN. The murders go on to this day. Every morning, trucks go out and pick up the bodies for disposal. The reason such an action would bring everyone together is that we will all be shooting at the despised UN troops. In fact, I think we should prepare. The first step is to print targets with UN helmets in the 10 ring. It could be a fundraiser for us. In the meantime, Commissioner Boykin might stop by the Chicago Public Library and do a little research.
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