The Boston Globe ran an editorial today discussing the potential for firearms manufacturers located in New England to leave for more gun friendly states if the Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island legislatures adopt micro-stamping legislation.
Colt’s management has already told Connecticut back in 2009 that they will be relocating if the state did adopt the requirement for micro-stamping.
After devoting a full paragraph to how easily micro-stamping can be defeated and that it has questionable utility in the first place, the Boston Globe editors essentially tell the gun manufacturers to sit down, shut up, and put up with this intrusion into their manufacturing practices.
While firearms manufacturers have a right to lobby against this legislation and explain their objections to it, it is inappropriate to wield the jobs of hundreds of workers as a weapon. Micro-stamping does not place any significant burden on the sale or manufacture of guns. It is not a ban or an arduous tax. It merely requires the engraving of a serial number in one more place on the weapon. If a state legislature decides micro-stamping is appropriate, it should not be forced to choose between citizens’ lives and citizens’ livelihood.
The Globe’s editors don’t get it. They want to eat their cake and have it, too. They want to have onerous gun control and they want the well-paying jobs provided by the gun industry. Sorry guys but it doesn’t work that way.
There are many other states with good industrial locations, great industrial training programs, and which are gun friendly who would love to have the Colt’s, the Smith and Wesson’s, the Mossberg’s, and Ruger’s of the gun industry relocate to their state. Even the New York Times – the owner of the Boston Globe – recognizes this in a recent story.
The Globe concludes:
Massachusetts has had gun-control laws for almost three centuries, and the Connecticut River Valley has been a center of gun-making since George Washington established an armory in Springfield. There is no reason that both gun control and gun manufacturing cannot co-exist for the next few centuries as well.
Inertia and the existence of a well-trained force of machinists and gunsmiths is one reason that the gun industry has remained in the Northeast. However, if these states think inertia will keep the gun industry in a place that treats them like something the cat drug in, they are sadly mistaken.
Kurt notes that:
Industries have no moral obligation to remain in states (or countries, for that matter) that actively work against them. They have every right to move their tax dollars and good jobs to states that won’t use those resources to implement and enforce laws that work directly against the industries’ interests.
Sebastian takes apart their claim that Massachusetts has had 300 years of gun control.
The Globe describes gun control in New England as a “centuries old tradition”. Reality is, it’s not even a century old tradition, at least not for the kind of gun laws that the Globe regularly speaks in favor of. Most of it, in fact, is less than a half-century old, and much less than 25. Centuries old Boston gun control was regulating where and how one could set up for target practice on Boston Commons, or the old Boston ordinance that said if you’re going to store your rifle, musket, pistol, bomb grenade or artillery piece, it would be nice if you stored it unloaded/deactivated so as not to cause fire hazards. It was still, until the 20th century, legal to carry a loaded pistol around Boston. Does the Globe favor returning to that gun control tradition?