|Executive Directors Message
It is hard to believe that 9/11/2001 was 20 years ago. I, like many of you, remember where I was and what I was doing when the terrorist attack happened, as well as those agonizing days after. When I was thinking about the 9/11 attacks, it dawned on me that those under 30 have little or no memory of what happened or the aftermath. It is like the memories my parents had of Pearl Harbor; I was not around yet so I had to learn what happened. Still, learning what happened does not give the feelings of what happened. That too has to be explained even though it isn’t like having lived through it at the time. History is pretty boring if all you are learning is facts and not the emotions people felt about the people involved and the events.The morning of 9/11/2001 started as a typical Tuesday. Tuesday is a slow mail day so I was looking forward to a day in the office catching up on paperwork. I got to the office about 6:45 am, made coffee and headed to my paper covered desk. The staff gets in about an hour later. We had a television in the break room which was tuned to a news station, at least in the morning. I headed to my desk and a few minutes later someone came in and told me the North Tower of the World Trade Center had been hit by an airplane. Once, on a foggy day, the Empire State Building had been hit by a B-25 bomber so this has happened before. When I saw the television, it was already obvious this was not an accident. It was a clear day. This had to be deliberate, I thought to myself. Minutes later, another airplane hit the South Tower. This is a terrorist attack I thought, recalling the 1992 attack on the World Trade Center by Middle Eastern terrorists. By this time, even news media had figured out that this was a terrorist attack.
At 9:37am, another airplane hit the Pentagon, killing 125 on the ground and 64 passengers in the airplane. The Pentagon was built to withstand attacks. Still, it was a mess.
I was glued to the television. At 10:28am, the North Tower collapsed. Later, it was discovered that of the people in the North Tower, only 6 survived. The South Tower collapsed at 9:59am, 56 minutes after impact.
A fourth airplane, Flight 93, bound for California, had been delayed on takeoff. The passengers had learned of the other attacks. After the airplane took off, it turned around. The passengers knew they weren’t going back to land, they had been hijacked. At least 4 of those passengers knew what was ahead. They quickly got organized and attacked the fortified cockpit door. At 10:03am, the airplane plunged into the ground at 500 miles an hour near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All aboard were killed but those brave souls fought back and undoubtedly saved hundreds of other lives on the ground. The target of Flight 93 is still not known but it was probably the Capitol Building, the White House or Camp David. I doubt it was Camp David because the President was not there; I am guessing the Capitol Building. The media was wondering where President George W. Bush was. In the early afternoon, I walked outside my office and heard the roar of jet engines. I looked up and there was Air Force One accompanied by F-16s directly overhead. It felt good to see those planes. I knew where the President was, he was in his Command Center directly overhead. I certainly did not tell the press.
By this time, almost all Americans were filled with rage, sadness and had a huge knot in their stomachs. By the end of the day, American flags were flying off the shelves. People flew them at their homes, on street corners and from their vehicles. In a few hours the Country had wielded together more than it had been since WWII.
The following days and months were spent cleaning up the bodies, the rubble and dealing with the cowardly attack on us all. I watched with sorrow for the victims and their families and admiration for those doing the difficult grisly work that had to be done. In the meantime, President George W. Bush was rebuilding the military which had been decimated by the Clinton Administration. I remember U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explaining to the media that “You go to war with the military you have, not the military you want.” Rumsfeld went to work laying the groundwork for the modern U.S. Military as it is today. The U.S. Military has suppressed the terrorists in Afghanistan and kept it from being a training ground for terrorists but the military was pulled out by Joe Biden. General George Patton once said he didn’t like to pay for the same real estate twice but that is just what we are going to do. We will have to go back to Afghanistan unless we want to fight these terrorists in our front yard. Something to think about on this 20th anniversary of 9/11/2001.
The adjusted NICS background check numbers are out for August. August produced the second highest number for any August. There were 1.3 million background checks performed bringing this year’s total to 12.4 million.
The Biden Administration is probably going to re-sign the UN Arms Treaty. Donald Trump un-signed the treaty. This is to give a bunch of foreign bureaucrats control over our Second Amendment Rights. Grrrr!
On September 20th, the full moon, known as the Harvest Moon, will be at its full zenith. By that time, harvest may be well under way if warm dry conditions hold. That means deer will be moving around and will be on the roadways frequently. The Hunter’s Moon will be at full zenith on October 20th. If the weather holds, most of the crops will be out by then. Depending on what part of Illinois you live in, the first frost is around October 15th. All those factors, including the rut coming on the deer, will make it crazy out there. Be careful.
It is time to get those shotguns out and make sure they are working properly. Check those barrels and make sure there are no obstructions in them. This includes debris, spider webs, bugs and who knows what else could have crawled in there. Most shotguns have choke tubes these days so take them out, lubricate with anti-seize choke tube grease and put them back in. Check the choke tubes frequently to be sure they are tight. Choke tubes may have a plastic buildup in them. You will need to take the plastic buildup out if you have any. Plastic buildup will affect your shot pattern. There are several companies that make choke tube cleaner but plastic does not come out easily. The best thing you can use is spiral brushes and copper cleaning pads. Copper is softer than steel and works for cleaning gas tubes in your semi-automatic shotguns. I would not use steel cleaning pads because small steel fibers can break off and be left behind.
If you remove the trigger group, be careful with the pins and keep track of them. Clean the excess oil and grime out of the receiver. When everything is clean, oil the inside lightly. I prefer synthetic oil because it works better in cold temperatures. If you are going where it is really cold, I would not oil the trigger mechanism at all. I always put a protective coating of metabolic oil on the outside of the gun to help protect it from moisture. There are various companies that make protective oils for the outside of firearms. All of them work pretty well.
When you are all finished, take your gun out and test it. If you do all of this now and something is not working right, you will still have time to take it to a gunsmith before hunting season. Opening day is a lousy time to find out your gun doesn’t work. Finally, don’t store your shotgun in a gun case for long periods of time. That is a prescription for rust. When in the field, it is good to carry a spare shotgun case if the one you are using gets moisture inside of it. Guns like dry gun cases. Be sure to check the manual for your shotgun or whatever gun you are cleaning. If anything conflicts with what I have said, follow the manual. Good hunting.
Ammo Quest: This week found good supplies of ammunition in some stores around the state. Once again, thanks to those members who called in. Farm King stores in Canton, Macomb and Kewanee are reported to have ample supplies. If you live near those locations, you might check there. Bigger firearm dealers also seem to have ammunition on hand.
For those who shop online, there isn’t anything earth shattering out there price wise but it does seem that ammunition is available. For those who reload components, particularly primers, they are still scarce. Hopefully that situation will ease up in the next few months.
September 9, 1942 – A Japanese float plane launched from a submarine drops incendiary bombs on the forested area around Mount Emily in Oregon. The forest fires were quickly put out. Most citizens of the United States never knew it happened until after WW II. President Roosevelt ordered a new blackout immediately.
September 9, 1956 – Elvis Presley performs on the Ed Sullivan show. My mother was appalled. Thereafter TV censors would not allow Elvis to be shown below his waist.
September 10, 1897 – A cab driver, George Smith, becomes the first person to be arrested for drunk driving after he rammed his cab into a building. He was fined 25 schillings. It is difficult to say how much that would be in today’s currency. There are 20 schillings in a British pound. I am going to guess that would be 5 or 6 dollars.
September 11, 2001 – See the above article.
September 12, 1972 – William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy) dies at age 72. Hopalong was the first western movie star to transition from the big screen to the small screen. TV producers looked down upon westerns. The viewers didn’t see it that way. Hopalong had a loyal following which translated into 250 million dollars, not bad for the 1950s. Soon there were all kinds of westerns on television. After seeing what westerns could do, you didn’t hear much from the entertainment snobs.
September 16, 1620 – The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, England, with 102 passengers. They were heading for Virginia but were blown off course. On November 21st, they reached Massachusetts. When they stepped ashore, they used a big stone, Plymouth Rock. I have been there and there is sign that says Plymouth Rock. I guess that is how they knew what to call the stone.
September 18, 1868 – Buffalo Soldiers, black troops, come to the rescue of Major George Forsyth and his 50 volunteers. Forsyth, facing an attack by 600 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors retreated to a small sandbar in the Arikaree River in Colorado. Fortunately, they were armed with Spencer seven shot repeating rifles. Two of Forsyth’s men, Jack Stillwell and Pierre Trudeau, slipped away during the night to find help. Luckily, the two men who slipped away survived and did bring help saving the few survivors of the attack. The fighting lasted for five more days. Forsyth’s volunteers had been reduced to 10 men. With many wounded, he could not move. Finally on September the 25th, the 10th Cavalry arrived with ambulances and medical supplies. The 10th Cavalry was made up of black troops named Buffalo Soldiers. The name Buffalo Soldiers is what the Native Americans called the black troops. The Native Americans revered the Buffalo Soldiers because they fought valiantly and fiercely. They honored them by calling them Buffalo Soldiers after the mighty Buffalo which they also revered. The Buffalo Soldiers fought hundreds of skirmishes with Native Americans along the frontier.