The City of Hartford, Connecticut’s two most legendary residents have to be Mark Twain and Samuel Colt. So, it seems appropriate that on Friday, March 22, a public forum on gun control will be held at the historic Mark Twain House. On the dais will be Joe Bartozzi, senior vice president and general counsel of O.F. Mossberg & Sons, the oldest family-owned firearms manufacturer in America.
Ahead of that forum and to help preview it, Bartozzi wrote an op-ed for the forum’s sponsor, The Hartford Courant. Samuel Colt paid his workers well in the late 1800s and his old factory may soon become a national historic site. In recent weeks, workers and executives of Connecticut firearms manufacturers Colt’s Manufacturing, O.F. Mossberg and Stag Arms (joined by Smith & Wesson and Savage Arms of Western Massachusetts) have been at the state’s General Assembly to fight for the well-paying jobs that they provide today.
Twain remains famous, of course, for his irreverence regarding politics. Twain wrote of his impression of the Colt factory after visiting it, “It comprises a great range of tall brick buildings, and on every floor is a dense wilderness of strange iron machines… a tangled forest of rods, bars, pulleys, wheels, and all the imaginable and unimaginable forms of mechanism… It must have required more brains to invent all those things than would serve to stock 50 Senates like ours.” Remember, those were Twain’s words, not ours.