The U.S. Gun Violence Crisis: An Interdisciplinary and Human 

Rights Approach 

On November 2-3, 2018, the Harris Institute hosted a conference and experts' meeting on The U.S. Gun Violence Crisis: An 
Interdisciplinary and Human Rights Approach
.  The conference brought together leading scholars, NGO representatives, and more 
than 150 attendees to discuss the U.S. gun violence crisis. The event was held as part of the Harris Institute's Gun Violence and 
Human Rights Project, launched in 2017 to examine the U.S. government's responses to gun violence in light of U.S. obligations 
under international human rights law. The event was co-sponsored by Washington University's Institute for Public Health, the 
Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series, and the Journal of Law and Policy, as well as by the International Human Rights 
Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Mike McLively, Director of the Urban Gun Violence Initiative 
at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, opened the 
conference by highlighting the scope and scale of the U.S. gun 
violence crisis.  Australia's world-renowned expert on gun violence, 
Philip Alpers, concluded the meeting with a comparative analysis 
of gun control and policy around the globe. Other speakers, 
including Professor Barbara Frey, former U.N. Special Rapporteur 
on the Prevention of Human Rights Violations Committed 
with Small Arms and Light Weapons, noted the usefulness of 
international human rights regimes in reframing the thinking 
about this issue.

The Journal of Law and Policy is publishing a special symposium 
edition on this topic in fall 2019.  Articles include Gun Violence 
and Human Rights
 by Professor Leila Sadat and Harris Institute 
Fellow Madaline George, which provides an overview of the U.S. 
gun violence crisis, surveys the patchwork of federal and state 
gun control laws, and considers the U.S. government's obligations 
to protect its population against the harms associated with gun 
violence and the proliferation of firearms. Other articles include 
The Strange Story of the Second Amendment in the Federal Courts, 
and Why It Matters 
by Washington University Professors Lee 
Epstein and David Konig and Suicide as a Human Rights Priority 
for Prevention
 by Dr. Sean Joe of the Brown School of Social Work.

Gun Violence & Human Rights Project

Prof. Lee Epstein, Washington University School of Law

Mr. Mike McLively, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Participants at the 2018 conference on the U.S. gun violence crisis