Pointing Guns

30 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2020 Last revised: 12 Jan 2021

See all articles by Joseph Blocher

Joseph Blocher

Duke University School of Law

Samuel W. Buell

Duke University School of Law

Jacob D. Charles

Duke University School of Law

Darrell A. H. Miller

Duke University School of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2020

Abstract

The American gun debate is increasingly populated with scenes of people pointing and otherwise displaying guns. What is the legal regime governing gun displays, and how well can it address the distinct social and legal problems they pose? In this Essay, we argue that the current structure of criminal law does not supply clear rules of conduct sufficient to avoid the negative effects of gun displays, and that the rhetorical and expressive effects of Second Amendment debates threaten to make the situation worse. We also suggest how the legal rules might be improved, and how battles over norms—as much as criminal prohibitions and defenses—will continue to shape both social practice and law when it comes to displays of firearms in public and towards other persons.

Suggested Citation

Blocher, Joseph and Buell, Samuel W. and Charles, Jacob D. and Miller, Darrell A. H., Pointing Guns (December 1, 2020). Texas Law Review, Vol. 99, No. 6, 2021, Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2020-82, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3740700

Joseph Blocher

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Samuel W. Buell (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7193 (Phone)

Jacob D. Charles

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.duke.edu/fac/charlesj/

Darrell A. H. Miller

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

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