Gun Violence in America: Experts to Gather at Law School on March 6 to Discuss Crisis

At UChicago Symposium, Leading Scholars to Take Multidisciplinary Approach to Complex Problem

DC gun violence protest
The February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sparked protests across the country. To examine the issue of gun violence in America, the University of Chicago will host a symposium, addressing the crisis from perspectives across law, medicine, public policy, and business.
Photo by Mobilus In Mobili, March 2018.

Across the United States, more than 36,000 people are killed by guns every year. Understanding this violence and potential solutions requires a comprehensive approach that brings together policymakers and trauma doctors, legal scholars and leading economists.

On March 6, the University of Chicago will convene experts from around the country at the Law School to discuss the gun violence crisis from perspectives across law, medicine, public policy and business while exploring research-based strategies to the problem. As a global leader in urban research and impact, the University is uniquely positioned to examine the complex issue of gun violence and ways to confront it.

“Gun violence is a complex social and legal issue,” said Law School Dean Thomas J. Miles, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics. “Unraveling such a knotty issue requires the sort of interdisciplinary collaboration that we work to foster, both through this forum and on a continual basis at the University.”

The University of Chicago Symposium on Gun Violence will be divided into five panels, each moderated by deans from the University of Chicago Law School, the Pritzker School of Medicine, Harris School of Public Policy, the School of Social Service Administration, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The panels will focus on the following topics: legal issues, such as regulations pertaining to criminal law and domestic terrorism; politics and policy, including the 2020 election; medical and public health initiatives; research initiatives in education and behavioral science; and the roles of philanthropy and private sectors.

The panels will feature leading UChicago scholars, including Professor John Rappaport of the Law School, Professor Robert Gertner of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Professor Jens Ludwig of the Harris School of Public Policy, Professor Harold Pollack of the School of Social Service Administration, and Selwyn Rogers, director of UChicago Medicine’s trauma center.

They will be joined in conversation with speakers including Johns Hopkins University’s Joseph Sakran, a renowned trauma surgeon; Duke University’s Darrell Miller, one of the nation’s foremost scholars of the Second Amendment; and Kris Brown, the president of the gun control non-profit Brady.

“A lack of understanding about effective, humane solutions to gun violence and its related social problems is something that an urban research university like Chicago is uniquely positioned to help address,” said Ludwig, director of the UChicago Crime Lab. “The fields that take research and development seriously—fields like medicine or technology—are the ones making major advances over time. We think that is no coincidence, and that something similar is possible for social problems.”

The units participating in the symposium are members of the UChicago Urban Network, which comprises research institutes, policy labs, and schools across campus united in their commitment to promoting the ideas, science, art, and engagement advancing the future of cities and enriching urban life.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Glen A. Lloyd Auditorium and will conclude with closing remarks at 4 p.m. Learn more and register for the event here.

Gun violence