In his diary Callous and Despicable, Hoarce Boothroyd III points out the rude heckling of some in the audience at a hearing at the Connecticut state capital of Hartford as the parents and citizens of Newtown were testifying.
Shigeru pointed out the location of Colt's Manufacturing in the state. Phil S 33 wondered at this behavior in a fairly liberal state.
Perhaps being a bit older, having grown up in the New Haven area and remembering the Winchester factory, remembering the location being pointed out to me where Interchangeable Parts and the Cotton Gin were 'invented', which made possible the car I was driving in, the clothes I was wearing and the indirectly the growth of slavery & the Civil War, I wasn't surprised, that this was happening in Connecticut.
Thanks mainly to the help of Wikipedia, travel back to the early 1800's.
Although it seems others were involved too, one of the most important inventors in the new country, was one Eli Whitney. With the rifles his firm manufactured, he was considered to be the main inventor of Interchangeable Parts. This was one of the most important concepts/patents of the coming Industrial Age.
His other major invention was the cotton gin, which exploded cotton production and slavery in the south. Today, there is an Eli Whitney Museum in the New Haven area. I sharpened up my late grade school local history, by going to his Wiki page.
Samuel Colt built on the Whitney expertise, at first using the Whitneyville factory in the 1840's to sub-contract pistol parts, for an improved system of Interchangeable Parts. He opened his factory in Hartford Conn, where it remains today, Colt's Manufacturing Co. a major contractor & supplier for the Army.
The gun company with a 150+ yr heritage in New Haven was the Winchester Arms Co.. This was the "Gun That Won the West" and continued through WW I & II. The factory closed there in 2006. I recently read that people are trying to rehab the factory into dwellings and ground floor shops.
Smith and Wesson, manufacturer of mainly revolvers, started in Conn. but soon moved north to near-by Springfield, Mass. Very interestingly in a WiKi footnote via CNN, it is one Andrew Cuomo, then HUD secretary under Pres Clinton, now Governor of NY, who tried to put together a gun safety program (trigger locks, less violent ads, authorized dealers doing back ground checks), with which Smith & Wesson, then the only manufacturer to do so, cooperated. They were punished by the NRA and allied gun groups. You will recognize some of the names in the justice proceedings.
This from the Wiki entry for Smith & Wesson:
"In March 2000 Smith & Wesson was the only major gun manufacturer to sign an agreement with the Clinton Administration. The company agreed to numerous safety and design standards as well as limits on the sale and distribution of its products. Gun clubs and gun rights groups responded to this agreement by initiating large-scale boycotts of Smith & Wesson by refusing to buy their new products and flooding the firearms market with used S&W guns. After a 40% sales slide, the sales impact from the boycotts led Smith & Wesson to suspend manufacturing at two plants. The success of the boycott led to a Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation's being initiated under the Clinton administration, targeting gun dealers and gun rights groups, which was subsequently dropped in 2003. This agreement signed by Tomkins PLC ended with the sale of Smith & Wesson to the Saf-T-Hammer Corporation. The new company (Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation), which publicly renounced the agreement, was received positively by the firearms community."Seems the boycotts by the fear mongering NRA were the cause of the loss of business by Smith & Wesson. We know who was in charge of the Justice Dept in 2003 when the anti-trust suit was dropped.
At any rate, guns were important to Connecticut, even though most of them might have actually been used out of state and out of the country. The people back in Connecticut, certainly knew where their bread was buttered and kept an eye on things in their markets. And thousands who worked in the factories and as allied suppliers were/are threatened by any change in the marketplace.
Connecticut was the place where the educated invented and perfected the product , ran the factories, and counted the money. The article on Eli Whitney points out how he used his Connecticut government and Yale connections for obtaining contracts and moving favorable legislation. Some things never change.
It was a "gentlemen's" gun world then, until the NRA and the remaining manufacturers figured out how they could boost sales by hoping into bed with each other after the Vietnam War. They started "punishing' any body or firm who they saw as a threat, especially after the attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan and injury of Press Sec Brady.
As has been pointed out numerous times, people need to consider if they and their government are being used and manipulated by the NRA.
The NRA is a group that is so powerful and full of itself, they turned on one of their own constituent firms, for what they saw as a goal more important than relatively benign action to slow the loss and injury of innocent lives. They are beneath what any sensible gun ownership should involve.
Thank you to those who were not intimidated by the thuggish behavior.
I just had a history update from the 6th grade. It's pretty ugly. Even in 'nice' Connecticut.