How better gun laws could have saved the life of Christopher Bizilj

Bet no one expected that title here. Let me explain. I refer to the tragic death of 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj at a machine gun shoot in Massachusetts (also discussed here). This tragedy has, of course, spurred plenty of calls for changes in the law–from more age restrictions, to even more draconian regulation of fully automatic firearms than is already on the books.

Well, I also have an idea for a change in the law. My idea probably won’t appeal to folks like John Rosenthal and the New England Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, but then again, I’ve never really expected to find any common ground with the forcible citizen disarmament advocates.

My idea? Repeal the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA). The Hughes Amendment, of course, is that bit of legislative genius that makes fully automatic firearms manufactured or imported after 1986 ineligible for private ownership. Because of that, innovative fully automatic firearms like the KRISS, with its impressive ability to mitigate recoil and muzzle-climb, are unavailable to the general public.

I am not, of course, claiming that such a change in the law would necessarily have prevented Christopher Bizilj’s death–the people in charge of the event would still have been free to exercise the very poor judgment that led to that tragic outcome.

Still, citizen disarmament advocates call guns “the only unregulated product in the United States” (a demonstrably, laughably false claim–but that’s another discussion). Now, however, a safer submachine gun is developed . . . and the law makes it unobtainable.

Feel safer?


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