Hussein Abdi, 19, had never given much thought to the gunmaker down the street from his high school. He often passed the Smith & Wesson factory and its flashing marquee touting the company’s deep ties to the city, “Since 1852.” Nyasia Jordan, 18, knew it only as the place where her mom used to work. It’s one of the city’s largest employers. Others saw Smith & Wesson’s presence as another detail central to Springfield’s identity, the place where basketball was invented, Dr. Seuss was born and guns are made.
But this once-easy relationship between city and gunmaker has been rattled by the discovery that the firearm used to kill 17 people at a Parkland, Fla., high school last month was made here.