About the Gun Control Symposium Participants

February 14th, 2012


Deborah W. Denno:  Deborah W. Denno is the Arthur A. McGivney Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. Professor Denno earned her law degree and Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Fordham faculty, she served as a law clerk to Judge Anthony Scirica of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and as an associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett. Professor Denno’s research has focused on topics relating to criminal law, criminal procedure, social sciences and the law, and the death penalty.  In the Supreme Court’s recent lethal injection decision, Baze v. Rees, 128 S. Ct. 1520 (2008), Chief Justice Roberts’ plurality opinion and the concurring opinions of Justices Stevens, Breyer, and Alito together cited four separate articles by Professor Denno. Professor Denno has also initiated cutting-edge examinations of criminal law defenses pertaining to insanity, rape law, gender differences, consciousness, biological and genetic links to crime, drug offenses, jury decision-making, and the impact of lead poisoning. Currently she is working on a book-length project analyzing the neuroscientific correlates of criminal intent and conduct. In 2007, the National Law Journal selected Professor Denno as one of its “Fifty Most Influential Women Lawyers in America.”

Nicholas J. Johnson:  Nicholas J. Johnson is Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. He received his B.S. and B.A. magna cum laude from West Virginia University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Professor Johnson practiced law with King and Spalding and Morgan Louis and Bockius and was Of Counsel to Kirkpatrick and Lockhart. Prior to joining the Fordham faculty in 1993, he served as Principal and General Counsel to Westar Environmental Corporation and Professor of Legal Studies in Business at Franklin and Marshall College. Professor Johnson teaches and has written numerous scholarly articles in the field of contracts, Uniform Commercial Code, environmental law, legal process, gun regulation, and federalism. His publications include the new book Firearms Law and the Second Amendment, Cases and Materials (2012) and more than a dozen law review articles on firearms regulation and the Second Amendment including “This Right is Not Allowed By Governments That Are Afraid of the People”: The Public Meaning of the Second Amendment When the Fourteenth Amendment was Ratified, 17 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 823 (2010), Administering the Second Amendment: Law, Politics, and Taxonomy, 50 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1263 (2010), and Supply Restrictions at the Margins of Heller and the Abortion Analogue: Stenberg Principles, Assault Weapons, and the Attitudinalist Critique, 60 Hastings L.J. 1285 (2009).



Richard M. Aborn:  The President of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, a managing partner of Constantine Cannon, and the managing director of Constantine & Aborn Advisory Services, Mr. Aborn has over two decades of experience in both litigation and public affairs. He received his B.S. from the University of Dubuque and his J.D. from John Marshall Law School. Prior to joining Constantine Cannon, Mr. Aborn was an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He also previously served as the senior law enforcement advisor to the Democratic candidate for the Mayor of New York. Mr. Aborn has been a leading advocate for handgun control, having served from 1992 to 1996 concurrently as President of Handgun Control, Inc. (now the Brady Campaign), the leading gun control advocacy organization in the United States, and as President of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, where he developed a program used by schools nationwide to reduce gun injuries. In those capacities, Mr. Aborn was one of the principal strategists behind the passage of the landmark Brady Bill and legislation to ban assault weapons and large capacity clips. Focusing on criminal justice and organizational integrity issues, Mr. Aborn advises police departments and criminal justice agencies in the United States and Europe on a number of issues, including use of force policy, police integrity, crime reduction strategies, and building relationships between the police and other participants in the criminal justice system. Mr. Aborn has lectured at New York University School of Law, debated at the Yale Political Union, served as a Visiting Fellow at Columbia University, and acted as consultant to the Ford Foundation. His commentary has been featured in numerous national and local television and radio shows including CNN and NY1. His articles and op-eds frequently appear in The Nation, New York Daily News, New York Post, and the Albany Times-Union, among other publications.

Patrick J. Charles:  Patrick J. Charles is an independent legal consultant on historical, immigration, and constitutional matters and a historian for the United States Air Force 352nd Special Operations Group stationed at Mildenhall, United Kingdom. Mr. Charles, recipient of the 2008 Judge John R. Brown Award, received his B.A. in History and International Affairs from the George Washington University and his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. He served as a Marine Sergeant with Marine Security Guard Battalion. Mr. Charles is the author of numerous books and articles on legal history, immigration, and constitutional standards of review, including the Second Amendment articles The Faces of the Second Amendment Outside the Home: History Versus Ahistorical Standards of Review, 60 Clev. St. L. Rev. 1 (2012), The Constitutional Significance of a Well-Regulated Militia Asserted and Proven With Commentary on the Future of Second Amendment Jurisprudence, 3 Northeastern L.J. 1 (2011), The 1792 National Militia Act, the Second Amendment, and Individual Militia Rights: A Legal and Historical Perspective, 9 Geo. J. L. & Pub Pol’y 323 (2011), and Scribble Scrabble, the Second Amendment, and Historical Guideposts: A Short Reply to Lawrence Rosenthal and Joyce Lee Malcolm, 105 Nw. U. L. Rev. Colloquy 225 (2011).

Saul Cornell:  Professor Saul Cornell is the Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History at Fordham University. He received his B.A. in History magna cum laude from Amherst College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Cornell is the author of two prize-winning works in American legal history and one of the nation’s leading authorities on early American constitutional thought. His work has been cited by legal scholars, historians, the United States Supreme Court, and several state high courts. Professor Cornell has contributed to numerous amicus briefs filed in cases including District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. His books include American Visions: A History of the American Nation (2009) (co-authored with Ed O’Donnell), “A Well-Regulated Militia”: the Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America (2006), and Whose Right to Bear Arms Did the Second Amendment Protect? (2000). Recent publications include The People’s Constitution vs. the Lawyer’s Constitution: Popular Constitutionalism and the Original Debate over Originalism, 23 Yale J.L. & Human. 295 (2011), Heller, New Originalism, and Law Office History: “Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 1095 (2009), and Originalism on Trial: The Use and Abuse of History in District of Columbia v. Heller, 69 Ohio St. L.J. 625 (2008).  Professor Cornell is currently working on a book titled The Second Amendment Goes to Court: Critical Essays on District of Columbia v. Heller.  

Robert J. Cottrol:  Robert J. Cottrol is the Harold Paul Green Research Professor of Law and Professor of History and Sociology at George Washington University. He received his A.B. in American Studies, M.A. in History, and Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. A specialist in American legal history, his writings have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, American Journal of Legal History, Law and Society Review, Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies, and American Quarterly, among others. Professor Cottrol is the author of The Afro-Yankees: Providence’s Black Community in the Antebellum Era (1982) (selected by Choice as an outstanding academic book for 1983) and editor of both From African to Yankee: Narratives of Slavery and Freedom in Antebellum New England (1998) and Gun Control and the Constitution: Sources and Explorations on the Second Amendment (1994) (Book of the Month selection by the History Book Club). Professor Cottrol’s most recent book Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture and the Constitution (2003) won the Langum Project Prize for Historical Literature in 2003 and was selected Book of the Month by the History Book Club. Other recent publications include Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms, in The Bill of Rights in Modern America: After 200 Years (David J. Bodenhamer & James W. Ely eds., 2008) (co-authored with Raymond T. Diamond) and Normative Nominalism: The Paradox of Egalitarian Law in Inegalitarian Cultures—Some Lessons From Recent Latin-American Historiographies, 81 Tul. L. Rev. 889 (2007). He is currently working on the review essay The Resurgent Second Amendment, forthcoming in the University of Tulsa Law Review.

Michael Birney de Leeuw:   Michael Birney de Leeuw is a litigation partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in New York. He received his J.D. with honors from Rutgers University School of Law, Newark. Mr. de Leeuw’s practice focuses on complex litigation in various areas including securities, antitrust, defamation, mergers and acquisitions, and bankruptcy-related litigation. He is also Adjunct Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law, Newark. Mr. de Leeuw has had a long interest in the Second Amendment. He represented the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund as amicus curiae in the Heller case. He is the author of Ready, Aim, Fire? District of Columbia v. Heller and Communities of Color, 25 Harv. BlackLetter L.J. 133 (2009) (co-authored with Dale E. Ho, Jennifer K. Kim, and Daniel S. Kotler) and A Cavalier Attitude, Nat’l L.J., Aug. 6, 2008 (co-authored with Dale E. Ho).

Don B. Kates, Jr.:  Don B. Kates, Jr. is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He received his J.D. from Yale University Law School. Mr. Kates previously worked for the late civil rights lawyer William Kunstler of Kunstler & Kinoy and for the California Rural Legal Assistance, where he served as Director of Legal Research and Senior Litigation Attorney. After many years as a private practitioner in San Francisco, Mr. Kates is now an associate with the firms Trutanich & Michel and the Law Offices of Donald Kilmer. He also maintains a civil liberties and rights practice that specializes in the right to bear arms. In addition, he has been Trustee for the Poverty Lawyers for Effective Advocacy, Member of the California State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Director of Litigation and Deputy Director for the San Mateo Legal Aid Society, Police Legal Advisor for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, Research Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, and consultant to the legal services program for the cities of Seattle and Berkeley and the state of Alaska. Mr. Kates has taught constitutional law and lectured on criminology at Stanford University, Oxford University, Saint Louis University School of Law, and the University of Melbourne. During District of Columbia v. Heller, Mr. Kates served as an advisor to the council in the Court of Appeals. Mr. Kates’ books include Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control (2001) (co-authored with Gary Kleck), The Great American Gun Debate: Essays on Firearms and Violence (1997) (co-authored with Gary Kleck), Firearms and Violence: Issues of Public Policy (1984), and Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out (1979). He has also contributed to numerous scholarly journals, such as the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, American Journal of Criminal Law, Journal of Law, Economics & Policy, and Constitutional Commentary. Recent publications include The Right to Arms: The Criminology of Guns, 2010 Cardozo L. Rev. de novo 86 (2010), Second Amendment Limitations and Criminology Considerations, 60 Hastings L.J. 1339 (2009), and A Modern Historiography of the Second Amendment, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 1211 (2009).

Gary Kleck:  Gary Kleck is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. He received his B.A. with high honors and distinction, M.A., and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois. Professor Kleck’s research was cited in the United States Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms. He is the author of Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America (1991), which won the 1993 Michael J. Hindelang Award of the American Society of Criminology, awarded to the book which “made the most outstanding contribution to criminology” in the several preceding years. Professor Kleck has also authored the books Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control (2001), Targeting Guns (1997), and The Great American Gun Debate (1997) (co-authored with Don B. Kates, Jr.). His articles have appeared in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Social Problems, Criminology, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Law & Society Review, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Journal of the American Medical Association, and many other journals. Recent publications include The Myth of Big-Time Gun Trafficking and the Overinterpretation of Gun Tracing Data, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 1233 (2009).

David B. Kopel:  David B. Kopel is Research Director of the Independence Institute, a public policy research organization in Denver, an Associate Policy Analyst with the Cato Institute, and Adjunct Professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University, Sturm College of Law. He earned his B.A. in History with highest honors from Brown University, where his thesis on Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. was awarded the National Geographic Society Prize, and his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. In March 2008, Mr. Kopel appeared before the United States Supreme Court as part of the team presenting the oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. His amicus briefs in Heller and McDonald v. Chicago were cited in the opinions of Justices Alito, Stevens, and Breyer. Mr. Kopel is one of several contributors to The Volokh Conspiracy, a leading law-related weblog, and also occasionally writes for the Wall Street Journal and other periodicals. Mr. Kopel is the author of 13 books and over 80 scholarly articles, published in journals from Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, University of Michigan Law School, New York University School of Law, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Johns Hopkins University. Recent publications include The Arms Trade Treaty: Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Prospects for Arms Embargoes on Human Rights Violators, 114 Penn St. L. Rev. 891 (2010), State Court Standards of Review for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 50 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1113 (2010), The Keystone of the Second Amendment: The Quakers, the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the Flawed Scholarship of Nathan Kozuskanich, 19 Widener L.J. (2010), and How Many Global Deaths from Arms? Reasons to Question the 740,000 Factoid Being Used to Promote the Arms Trade Treaty, 5 N.Y.U. J. L. & Liberty 762 (2010).

Nelson Lund:  Nelson Lund is the Patrick Henry Professor of Constitutional Law and the Second Amendment at George Mason University School of Law, where he has served as Vice Dean and as co-editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review. A graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, he holds his M.A. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America and his A.M. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago, where he was executive editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and chapter president of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy. Professor Lund served as law clerk for the Honorable Patrick E. Higginbotham of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court. In addition to experience in the United States Department of Justice at the Office of the Solicitor General and at the Office of Legal Counsel, Professor Lund served in the White House as Associate Counsel to the President from 1989 to 1992. Professor Lund has written on a variety of subjects including constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, jurisprudence, federal election law, the Commerce Clause, the Speech or Debate Clause, the Second Amendment, the Uniformity Clause, employment discrimination and civil rights, the legal regulation of medical ethics, and the application of economic analysis to legal institutions and to legal ethics. Recent publications include Two Faces of Judicial Restraint (Or Are There More?) in McDonald v. Chicago, 63 Fla. L. Rev. 487 (2011), Judicial Duty and the Supreme Court’s Cult of Celebrity, 78 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1255 (2010) (co-authored with Craig Lerner), and The Second Amendment, Heller, and Originalist Jurisprudence, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 1343 (2009).

Carlisle E. Moody:  Carlisle E. Moody is Professor of Economics at the College of William and Mary. He received his B.A. in Economics from Colby College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining the William and Mary faculty in 1970, Professor Moody was a Lecturer in Econometrics at the University of Leeds in Leeds, England. Professor Moody served as the Chair of the Department of Economics from 1997 to 2003 at William and Mary. Professor Moody has researched and written on a wide array of issues, focusing heavily on the areas of econometric analysis of crime and criminal justice policy. He has written extensively on concealed weapons, the relationship between prison growth and homicide, crime rates, and criminal sentencing. He has been published in the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Criminology and Public Policy, The Journal of Quantitative Criminology, the Journal of Criminal Justice, and the University of Chicago’s Journal of Law and Economics, among other journals. Recent publications include The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws, 6 Econ J. Watch 203 (2009) (co-authored with Thomas B. Marvell), Is There a Relationship Between Guns and Freedom? Comparative Results from Fifty-Nine Nations, 13 Tex. Rev. L. & Pol. 1 (2008) (co-authored with David Kopel and Howard Nemerov), and The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws, Continued, 5 Econ. J. Watch 269 (2008) (co-authored with Thomas B. Marvell).

Michael Pastor:  Michael Pastor is the Acting First Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator in the Office of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law. Mr. Pastor clerked for the Honorable Alexander Williams in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. He began his career as an associate in the litigation department of Morrison & Foerster LLP, litigating in the areas of securities fraud, antitrust, and consumer protection. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Mr. Pastor was a Senior Counsel in the Legal Counsel Division of the New York City Law Department, where he advised the Mayor’s office and other City agencies on policy initiatives and legislation, including on juvenile justice reform, the City’s ban on flavored tobacco, and proposals to reduce traffic congestion in Manhattan. In 2010, he received a Municipal Affairs Award from the New York City Bar Association for outstanding achievement as a Law Department attorney. Mr. Pastor was a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School in the spring of 2011.

Brian Anse Patrick:  Brian Anse Patrick, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Toledo, Ohio since 2000, holds a Ph.D. in Communication Research from the University of Michigan. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods, group communication, propaganda, and persuasion. His seminars Propaganda and Social Science and American Gun Policy have ranked as the most popular courses in his university’s Honors Program. A nationally recognized expert on American gun culture, Professor Patrick is often quoted in news media regarding this topic. He is author of three books: The Ten Commandments of Propaganda (2011), Rise of the Anti-Media: In-Forming the American Concealed Weapon Carry Movement (2010), and The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage (2002). He is currently at work on a fourth, PropaGUNda: The Informational War over Guns.

Adam Winkler:  A specialist in American constitutional law, Adam Winkler is Professor of Law at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. He received his B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and his J.D. from New York University. Prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 2002, Professor Winkler was the John M. Olin Fellow at the University of Southern California Law School’s Center in Law, Economics, and Organization. His scholarship has touched upon a diverse array of topics such as the right to bear arms, the right to vote, freedom of speech, affirmative action, judicial independence, constitutional interpretation, corporate social responsibility, international economic sanctions, and campaign finance law. Professor Winkler’s commentary has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Atlantic, Business Week, and the New Republic, among others. He is the author of the book Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, published in 2011 by W.W. Norton. Other recent publications include Free Speech Federalism, 108 Mich. L. Rev. 153 (2009) and The Second Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms after D.C. v. Heller: Heller’s Catch 22, UCLA L. Rev. 1551 (2009).