ISRA Thursday Bulletin - October 24, 2019

by Richard Pearson

I am often asked what it is like in Springfield.  Let me say that any legislative body tends to be messy.  The bigger the legislative body or the bigger the jurisdiction it represents, the messier it is.  Illinois is one of the bigger legislative bodies and jurisdictions as far as population.  It is more than just issues; it is all the people, organizations and bureaucratic government entities that will be affected, or at least think they will be affected.  Most of the time we pretty well know who these are but it is not uncommon for one of these people or groups to come forward that we may not have recognized or anticipated.  Many times, people have misinterpreted what they read or understood.  Sometimes people see things we did not see.  What I have learned is that the simple answer may not be so simple.  Whatever the case, it all has to be dealt with.  The ISRA Lobbyists will be there and ready.

Next year is an election year.  I expect we will be dealing with every anti-gun idea ever invented, from Adolf Hitler to Michael Bloomberg.  Sometimes they are strangely similar.  We have not gotten the 2020 legislative calendar yet because that does not usually come out until after Second Veto Session.  I will keep you informed.  In the meantime, we have to keep working and organizing.  In 2020, we will see the strongest anti-gun attacks we have ever experienced.  This will be true not only here in Illinois, but at the National level also.

Hearings on the Gun Dealer Licensing Certification Act (GDLCA)Rules begin today in Springfield.  The Illinois State Rifle Association will not be commenting at the hearings. The reason for this is that the ISRA has pending litigation against the GDLCA. It is our understanding that the Illinois State Police has received about 4000 comments.

November 2nd is opening day of Upland Game Season.  When I was growing up, all I knew was that opening day was pheasant, rabbit and quail season.  I didn’t know about waterfowl and deer season that was just starting.  The big attraction was pheasants.  At that time, my home town was Chatsworth, Illinois, and dozens of others like it were in the heart of pheasant country.  For about six weeks, Chatsworth went from being a wide spot in the road to a mecca, as least for pheasant hunting.  Gas stations, restaurants and taverns took in more money related to pheasant hunting than for Christmas.  Chatsworth had an advantage because it had a Winchester Dealer, Shorty Culkin’s Hardware Store and a Sears & Roebuck farm store.  In the center of the Sears store was the gun department, as it should be.  Both of these businesses did well during hunting season. 

Hunting was more civilized in those days.  The season started at noon on Saturday.  The noon start gave everyone plenty of time to get to where they were going.  In my case, our relatives would show up about 9:30 am.  My mother would have fresh coffee cakes, pies and other pastries ready.  Some of the relatives would stay at our house and some would go on to other relatives.  My uncles and cousins were from the Peoria area and they always had the latest in hunting gear.  I remember how impressed I was when my cousin showed up in a hunting coat with a built-in game bag.  Overalls and denim had been the standard hunting uniform until then.  I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get a hunting coat.

I started to go hunting with my bigger relatives.  I walked behind the hunters because I wasn’t old enough to be the dog yet.  I busied myself with adding to my spent shotgun shell collection.  When I was in sixth grade, I came down with a bone disease that made it difficult to walk but when I was a freshman, I could once again get into the field.  I was far behind.  My dad was an avid pheasant hunter and marksman but losing his right eye in WWII slowed him down.  Still, he would take me hunting as soon as I could go.  He taught me about shooting and hunting.  Those were the days when boys went hunting with their fathers, uncles and other relatives.  It was that time after WW II when men taught boys the lessons of manhood.  The men doing the teaching were real men who understood their responsibility.  It was a golden era and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.

I started out using my mother’s Western Field bolt action .410 but when I was 16, my dad decided it was time for something better.  Shorty Culkin’s Hardware Store had a brand-new Winchester Model 12.  It still resides in my gun cabinet across from my desk.  It was about halfway through pheasant season when I got it for my birthday.  Dad worked until noon on Saturday and my birthday was also Saturday.  After dinner, we headed out to see if we could kick out any pheasants.  For a long time, we didn’t see any that were close enough.  The sun was getting that yellow glow around it that often happens in December as it starts to descend below the horizon.  Suddenly, a rooster burst out of a fence row.  He was too far away but I shot anyway.  My dad was in the process of admonishing me for taking a long shot when the pheasant folded up and hit the ground.  He never moved.  Dad was astonished.  It was the first of many pheasants my Model 12 and I would get. 

By the late 1970’s, three severe winters and changing farming practices doomed the pheasant, rabbit and quail populations.  There are still a few good spots around Chatsworth but most are gone.  The greatest tragedy is the loss of camaraderie people had hunting together.  The old saying was, “take your boy hunting and you will never have to go hunting for your boy.”  That is the truth.

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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org

Saturday, October 26, 2019
The Well Armed Woman
RSO Meeting

Sunday, October 27, 2019
Glock League
ISRA Bullseye Match

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Lobby Day
Tuesday Afternoon High Power League

Saturday, November 2, 2019
Range Work Day

Sunday, November 3, 2019
Black Powder League

Gun & Trade Shows

Kankakee Gun Show
Kankakee, IL – Kankakee County Fairgrounds
Dates: October 26-27, 2019
Hours: Saturday: 8:00-4:00
           Sunday: 8:00-2:00
Admission: $6.00

Sauk Trail Gun Show
Princeton, IL – Bureau County Fairgrounds
Dates: October 26-27, 2019
Hours: Saturday: 8:30-4:30
           Sunday: 8:30-3:00
Admission: $2.00

Tuscola Survivor Show
Tuscola, IL – Tuscola Community Building
Dates: October 26-27, 2019
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
           Sunday: 9:00-3:00
Admission: $5.00

Kendall County Gun Show
Yorkville, IL – Kendall County Fairgrounds
Dates: November 2-3, 2019
Hours: Saturday: 8:00-4:00
           Sunday: 8:00-2:00
Admission: $6.00

Bloomington Gun & Knife Show
Bloomington, IL – Interstate Center
Dates: November 9-10, 2019
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
           Sunday: 9:00-3:00
Admission: $6.00

Kane County Sportsman’s Show
St Charles, IL – Kane County Fairgrounds
Date: November 10, 2019
Hours: Sunday: 7:30-1:30
Admission: $7.00

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