6 months ago
The author of this article at The Boston Globe, Akilah Johnson, is obviously trying to show the human side of gunsmiths and mechanics at Smith & Wesson as opposed to the ugly, boogeyman portrait the progressives paint. But it reminds us (1) that Smith & Wesson has no business whatsoever still being ensconced in Springfield, and (2) this would never have to be done in most other locations in America (can you imagine a journalist having to show the human side of gunsmithing in, say, Charlotte, N.C., or Greenville, S.C.?).
Furthermore, this article isn’t really very friendly to Smith & Wesson or the place they live for the discerning gun owner. Consider.
… to many, including US Representative Richard Neal of Springfield, who participated in that demonstration on the House floor, it is the hometown company.
“My own position has always been: Be helpful in that every police officer or patrolman in America ought to use a Smith & Wesson, and I think the American military ought to use a Smith & Wesson,” Neal said in an interview. “At the same time, there will be disagreements as it relates to guns.”
Their own member of the House participated in that juvenile sit-in, and would presume to mention firearms ownership within the context of LEO and the military, but noticeably didn’t mention anyone else. What a horrible place for Smith & Wesson to do business. Just horrible.
“It’s a good job,” co-worker Marc Holland called out from across the bar at the neighborhood watering hole early one morning last month.
Holland, 54, retired after 25 years at a paper mill and was looking for a way to stay busy. Six years ago, a friend at Smith & Wesson told him about an opening. Now, he works the machines that make triggers among other things.
“I can do like 3,600 triggers in a shift, over 10,000 in a week,” he said.
Excuse me, but I wouldn’t be bragging about how many triggers I could push out to the next mechanic if I were you. Instead, I would be bragging about how I focused my time and effort on quality and craftsmanship. Listen to me, Smith & Wesson gunsmiths and mechanics. There are so many pistols, revolvers and rifles out there that competition will run you into the ground if you begin to work the line in order to maximize production instead of quality. Gun owners will notice. You’ll be shut down not because you can’t produce enough, but because we’ll be calling your stuff shit, and we’ll do it over forums, in blogs, and at the range.
Refocus on quality. Tell me something about how you wake up in the morning and can’t wait to work that trigger to ensure its smooth action for that working-man buyer who is just like you, earning a living by the sweat of his brow. Don’t tell me how fast you can do it. I suppose that’s why I buy from the S&W performance shop if I buy S&W. I know somebody has put some knowledge, skill, effort and craftsmanship into it. I want to know that somebody left part of his soul in that machine when I pay that kind of money for it. I leave my soul at work many a night when I leave. It’s all I’ve got, and I’ve given it to a job I consider a blessing, with professionalism and excellence. I want you to do the same thing, and if you can’t do it I want to know because I’ll never send another penny your way.
Neal said House Democrats were left with little recourse besides the sit-in to get the attention of US House Republicans, which after mass shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino, Calif., and Aurora, Colo., he figured would be easier to do.
“This highlights how difficult it is in America today to have a conversation about these sorts of things,” he said. “The majority in the House makes no effort to accommodate the concerns of the minority. That was true when we were in the majority, and it’s true now.”
Neal said he supports background mental health checks, closing gun show loopholes, and keeping those on the government’s no-fly list from being able to purchase firearms.
“I think those are reasonable positions by any standard,” he said.
The barber shop owners’ late father once worked for Smith & Wesson. Ralph Ricciardi, 45, said when his father first emigrated from Italy, he needed steady work before he could become a citizen. At the time, authorities did not consider being a barber secure employment.
“So my father actually made guns, from ’70 to ’74,” he said while cutting a client’s hair. “He opened up his shop in ‘74.”
“It’s just like a business. It’s just like a store or something,” said David Tancrati, 58, as he waited to sit in Ralph’s chair.
“We don’t even think about it. It employs a lot of people.” Ciro Ricciardi, 47, Ralph’s brother said.
Well, you should think about it, about the Puritan work ethic that brought you this kind of industry to begin with, and about the good weapons do for mankind. If the only thing you can be proud of is a paycheck, and you have to ignore the product you’re making, you’re unworthy of the industry that calls Springfield home.
And to Congressman Neal, it’s easy to have conversations about guns. We do it every day here. And not one more law. And I’ll converse with you about that until your eyes turn red and your heart stops, but conversing won’t change my mind. Just as Springfield is unworthy of S&W, you are unworthy of the trust the people of your state have placed in you. You should be ashamed, and I only hope that in the future, you get to look at the shuttered doors of the Springfield S&W plants as they have shut down and moved. May your precinct turn into a ghost town.