To research and analyze legal controls on the global production and trade of especially lethal weapons including nuclear, chemical, and biological as well as explosive weapons, to participate in international and national efforts to strengthen existing and create new controls on these weapons, and to contribute scholarship on the law of weapons control for the purpose of enhancing and contributing to peace.
The DePaul University International Weapons Control Center
Program on Gun Violence – Mission Statement
Each year, year after year, the talent and joy of too many people are snuffed out, in a virtual instant, by guns. Guns do not cause violence, but guns make violence more immediate and entirely with recourse or protection. A world that controls guns is not a world without violence, but it is a world where violence is far less lethal. And in a world that controls guns, the incentives for war recede while the incentives for peace ascend.
Gun violence is not new; it has been historically prominent for six centuries. What is new is the intense commitment by many people, including the President and Vice-President, to use law to control gun violence. This is a watershed moment. The role of the DePaul University International Weapons Control Center (IWCC) is to contribute to the understanding of the law of gun violence control, and thereby enable that law to be optimally effective.
A principle endeavor of the IWCC Gun Violence Control Program is to educate students inside and outside DePaul about relevant legal issues. For example, the IWCC is planning a program on the successful prosecutions of international weapons traffickers. This program will not only highlight substantial victories for national and international law, it will show the interconnectedness of global efforts to control gun violence with the priorities of domestic law enforcement and local gun control. Similar intellectually rich programs are envisioned.
A second principle endeavor is intense contribution of legal analysis to key issues of law that are too widely misunderstood. For example, the IWCC is questioning the prevailing characterizations of what James Madison intended with the Second Amendment. This question is pivotal to how gun violence control mechanisms are framed and implemented. In a completely different domain, the law governing extradition of international weapons traffickers deserves serious discussion. Scholarship on these and many other issues must be a key IWCC priority.
A third principle endeavor is to join public discourse on the issue of gun violence, whether or not invited. The controversies over gun violence have only recently arisen to the forefront of topical attention, but they will not be readily dismissed. There is an urgent needed of communities -- whether local, national, or global – to meet hoots of ignorance with analytical arguments. There is an urgent need for everyone with capabilities, including the IWCC, to steer discussion of gun violence to eventually bearing it away. This IWCC does not lobby, but it proudly advocates for rationalization of issues as imperative as gun violence.
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