The history of Americas’ Labor Day stretches back to the industrialization of the American economy in the 1800’s. Always celebrated on the first Monday in September, Congress declared it a national holiday in 1894. This holiday is to honor the American laborer for their contributions to the world’s greatest economic engine.

Right now you might be asking yourself; “How is the Second Amendment of the US Constitution linked to Labor Day?” With the necessity for sufficient arms and ammunition readily apparent after the Revolutionary War, both the Springfield and the Harpers Ferry Armories were established.  But they suffered initially from low production rates and the need for skilled gunsmiths to actually hand fit virtually every part of each weapon. What America, and eventually the world, needed was easy to assemble firearms from standardized parts, that could be repaired on the battlefield if needed. We have all heard of Eli Whitney and his cotton gin, but his greatest achievements were in the design and manufacturing of precision parts. Never a gunsmith, he still produced in record time 10,000 stands of arms after demonstrating to President John Adams the ability to assemble ten different rifles from parts laid out on a table in the Whitehouse. Whitney created machines and the components so precisely, it literally launched the processes and procedures needed to birth the Industrial Revolution.

The need for a fledgling nation to arm up as quickly as possible eventually led to the industrial revolution. It was the mistreatment of employees from those revolutionary changes that eventually brought about more humane treatment of employees over the ensuing decades.

So this Labor Day, as you show off your favorite BBQ gun to your guests as you prepare to honor our fellow Americans over a meal, remember, it’s all because of the need for Arms that we enjoy all of the benefits of modern technology.

Shoot straight, speak the truth, and never surrender our liberties.

Dave Funk
President, IFC