Colt shuts plant, workers talk to Conn. lawmakers
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The president of one of the nation's oldest gun manufacturers closed down his Connecticut factory Thursday morning and bused 400 of his workers to the state Capitol so they could personally urge lawmakers not to pass gun control legislation that they say could risk their livelihoods.
Dennis Veilleux, president of the Hartford-based Colt's Manufacturing Co., said even though he has spoken with legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's staff about his trepidations several times, he believes they don't truly understand the financial ramifications of the legislation being proposed in the wake of the deadly Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Now, it's great that Colt did this, don't get me wrong. I think it is important that the folks passing these laws realize that their actions affect more than they realize. Should Colt decide to leave Connecticut - or simply shut their doors - there are hundreds of families without jobs. There's tax revenue that will be lost. The impact of making rash legislative decisions about a perfectly legal business is more than simply some faceless gun nut somewhere not being able to put a folding stock on a rifle.
However, like I mentioned in my title, it's not like they cared very much when they sued the tobacco industry into oblivion...
"These are the faces of the jobs at Colt," Veilleux said in an interview with The Associated Press while riding on a bus back to the factory. "Each of these people represents other people in the state. They represent the community and, in a lot of cases, they're the breadwinners of their families. And more and more, manufacturing jobs are hard to come by."
Colt has been operating in Connecticut for the past 175 years.
Yep. And Connecticut - like MA with Smith & Wesson - is counting on that storied history to keep Colt in-state. I think, here, that Magpul has a strong chance to really blaze a trail if - no, when - they make good on their promise to move out of Colorado. As more information comes to light about the true nature of the current gun control bills proposed on the federal level - like the criminalization of lending someone a firearm for the afternoon - it becomes less likely that these regulations will pass. This means it's up to the individual states to pass gun control legislation, as we've already seen in New York.
If the states are made to feel the ramifications of passing feel-good, do-nothing gun control like magazine capacity bans or "assault weapon" bans, perhaps the focus can be turned towards the real issues. Instead of trying to ban the tool used, perhaps we might have a dialog on mental illness. Rather than blaming Glock for selling pistols with standard capacity magazines, we can look at why gang members and other criminals don't think twice about firing randomly into crowds like the gunfire that killed the young girl in Chicago who sang at President Obama's inauguration.
But then again, it's so easy to blame an inanimate object than the people that misuse them, isn't it?
That is all.