American Gunmaking: Alive and Well in the Original 13 Colonies

American Gunmaking: Alive and Well in the Original 13 Colonies

American Gunmaking: Alive and Well in the Original 13 Colonies

Oreos. Add the ubiquitous cream-filled cookie to the list of American originals that will now be out-sourced to Mexico due to cheaper material and labor costs, at the expense of 600 Chicago-area jobs. In this case, sugar is to blame—or rather U.S. trade barriers that currently mandate that the U.S. pay twice the average world prices for sugar. With 7.5 billion of the world’s most popular cookie sold annually, that’s a lot of Dominos.

This disconcerting piece of information is not unique. Tens of thousands of U.S. factories and millions of manufacturing jobs have disappeared in the past decade. It’s been said that any great nation throughout history has been great at making things. But what if we don’t make anything anymore? As a nation we consume massive quantities of, well, everything (including Oreos), and produce less and less. As a result, it is equally disturbing to consider that some of America’s most iconic products are now produced outside our borders—Rawlings baseballs; Levi jeans; Converse (Chuck Taylor) tennis shoes; Mattel toys and even millions of U.S. flags are imported annually.

The deindustrialization of America has had an impact on nearly every market. Some categories of industry, however, are actually evening out the import/export ratio. Remember when Toyota, Volkswagen and Datsun were once inexpensive alternatives to pricey imports? Ironically, the Toyota Camry has recently been deemed the “most U.S. made” vehicle on the market.

There's no question it's expensive to manufacture here. And so we wonder about the most iconic item of American manufacturing, which pre-dates automobiles and has been produced here since before our colonies united—guns. Although the firearm industry has by no means been immune to the lure of off-shore production costs, the great news is that not only has gun manufacturing in the U.S. remained, it is thriving. In fact, many foreign gunmakers have followed the automobile industry’s model of expanding manufacturing to U.S. soil, employing a sizable domestic workforce as it contributes to the production of a healthy annual supply—8.5 million of them according to recent numbers—of new and innovative firearms for the military, law enforcement and civilian markets.

The microscope recently has been on the many U.S. gunmakers that are heading south to escape increasingly politically hostile environments, particularly in what was once known as “Gun Valley.” This area comprises states in New England—Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, to name a few. So while it’s true there has been a commanding exodus to states with less stringent gun laws—by and large the southern states—the reassuring news is that some form of gunmaking still exists in all 13 of America’s original colonies, including three with European roots—much like America’s earliest citizens. It would make the authors of our Bill of Rights proud. Read about them here (BELOW LINK). (And if you are jumping up and down wondering why your state did not make the “Final 13” … hold tight; we'll get to you with the westward expansion.)

 

Read full story: http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2015/9/7/american-gunmaking-ali...