The DePaul International Weapons Control Center (IWCC), under the direction of Professor Barry Kellman, is committed to advancing law’s campaign against weaponized violence. This campaign to control weapons has never been so strong. By strengthening the sinews that hold down the violent use of weapons, the IWCC intends to contribute to peace.
The IWCC is a fusion center, bridging professional communities of lawyers, law enforcers, policy makers and academia. Our purpose is to strengthen legislation, litigation, regulation and punishment of weaponized violence. Our methodology is to facilitate cross-fertilization of work among a hugely diverse network of experts and students. Through both our own work and through linking to the work of others, we intend to be a force multiplier, highlighting the issues that are critical to controlling weaponized violence and advancing law’s answers to those issues.
For nearly two decades and with support from major foundations, the IWCC has promoted global initiatives to prevent violent use of uniquely lethal technologies. The IWCC has advanced the cause of controlling chemical weapons, developing law for implementing international verification. The IWCC has advanced the cause of controlling nuclear weapons, developing law for preventing proliferation and restricting criminal trafficking. The IWCC has advanced the cause of controlling biological weapons, developing law to criminalize the hostile infliction of disease. The IWCC has contributed to discussions of controlling weapons in areas of severe conflict including the Middle East and East Africa.
In 2013, the IWCC’s primary focus is on gun violence. This is a unique moment to advance legal controls on access to guns and enforcement systems against illegal distribution or use of guns. Guns represent, of course, the overwhelming majority of actual weaponized violence – a condition that has been true for the last five hundred years. Too many have already died from gun violence. This is a watershed moment for controlling this slaughter.
The IWCC Gun Violence Program concentrates on two domains: (1) national legal measures to curtail domestic gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment; and (2) holding weapons traffickers, international and domestic, accountable. While law does not provide all the solutions – critical responsibilities fall to public health, urban policymakers, and the private sector -- strengthening law is imperative. The IWCC proudly advocates for progress on curtailing gun violence.
Throughout all of its work, the IWCC takes seriously its place in legal academia. We are an institution dedicated to sophisticated legal scholarship because that intellectual grounding is mandatory if pillars of constraint are to stand. The IWCC is also a library of information resources on issues within our domain, tracking new developments, linking to persuasive scholarship, and distributing useful legal products to wider communities that the IWCC is dedicated to serve. The IWCC is ultimately a teaching institution, teaching the law of weapons control and gun violence to as many students as possible. Student involvement in the IWCC’s work, including preparing papers and organizing workshops and events, has been and continues to be enormously significant to the IWCC’s success.