Quinnipiac University

School of Law Guns and Freedom Symposium

This symposium took place on November 13, 2020 and focused on gun violence and “libertarian” approaches to reducing it. The symposium, co-sponsored by the Quinnipiac Law Review, was centered on the new book, “Weapon of Choice: Fighting Gun Violence While Respecting Gun Rights,” by Ian Ayres and Fredrick Vars. The authors introduced the panelists for each session and presented closing remarks.

The Authors

Ian Ayres

Ayres is the William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School and a professor in Yale’s School of Management. He is the author of many books, including The New York Times best-seller, “Super Crunchers.” He is a contributor to Forbes, the public radio program Marketplace, and The New York Times.

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Headshot of Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School
Headshot of Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School

Fredrick Vars

Vars is the Ira Drayton Pruitt Sr. Professor of Law at the University of Alabama, where he specializes in mental health law. He works with numerous suicide-prevention organizations and is a member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Gun Violence.

Learn more about Fredrick

Headshot of Fredrick Vars, Ira Drayton Pruitt Sr. Professor of Law at University of Alabama
Headshot of Fredrick Vars, Ira Drayton Pruitt Sr. Professor of Law at University of Alabama

Session 1: Empowering Self-Restriction

Headshot of Joseph Blocher, Duke Law Professor

Joseph Blocher

Joseph is a Duke Law professor whose scholarly research includes issues of gun rights and regulation.

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Headshot of Matthew Miller, Professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology at Northeastern University

Matthew Miller

Matthew is Professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology at Northeastern University, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Co-Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC).

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Headshot of Katrina Brees

Katrina Brees

Katrina’s proposed bill, “Donna’s Law,” would create a voluntary “do-not-sell” gun list in Louisiana for people who fear they are a danger to themselves or others. The legislation is named in honor of Brees’ mother, Donna Nathan, who died by suicide.

Session 2: Harnessing Others’ Associational Choices

Headshot of Brannon Denning, Professor of Law at Samford University

Brannon P. Denning

Brannon is a professor of law at Samford University who teaches and writes in the area of constitutional law, including a casebook on firearm law.

Learn more about Brannon
Headshot of Stephen Gilles, professor of law at Quinnipiac University

Stephen G. Gilles

Stephen is a professor of law at Quinnipiac who has written extensively on the First and Second Amendments.

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Headshot of Carol Rose, professor emeritus of law and organization at Yale University

Carol Rose

Carol is a professor emeritus of law and organization at Yale and a leading property scholar.

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Session 3: Harnessing Others’ Information

Headshot of Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago's Crime Lab

Jens Ludwig

Jens is the director of the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab. He has written extensively about gun violence prevention.

Learn more about Jens
Headshot of Jeff Swanson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University

Jeff Swanson

Jeff is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke and the principal investigator of a multi-state study on firearms laws, mental illness and the prevention of violence.

Learn more about Jeff
Headshot of Sandra Wortham, attorney and activist

Sandra J. Wortham

Sandra is an attorney and activist whose brother, a Chicago policeman, was murdered 10 years ago.

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“Too often, the issue of gun regulation is polarized between advocates who call for greater ‘safety’ and those who purport to defend ‘freedom.’ This symposium shows us that this dichotomy is a false one, as it examines policy changes that can promote both safety and freedom.” - Jennifer Gerarda Brown, Dean of Quinnipiac University School of Law

Purchase the Book

“Weapon of Choice: Fighting Gun Violence While Respecting Gun Rights”

If you are interested in purchasing this book, you can do so on Amazon.

Purchase book on Amazon

Book cover for the title, "Weapon of Choice: Fighting Gun Violence While Respecting Gun Rights"
Book cover for the title, "Weapon of Choice: Fighting Gun Violence While Respecting Gun Rights"

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