Title of Chapter

Comparative Law



Download Full Text (2.3 MB)


This chapter covers arms and resistance provisions in national constitutions comparative studies of arms issues and case studies of arms policies in individual nationsbrbrPart A covers national constitutions and reviews the following topics 1 the three nations besides the United States that have an express constitutional right to arms 2 constitutional guarantees of selfdefense 3 constitutional affirmations of the right and duty to resist tyranny or illegitimate government 4 constitutional support for national liberation movements in other nations 5 a short case study of Ghana and its constitutional duty of forcible resistance to usurpation of government and 6 the constitutional right to security in the homebrbrPart B excerpts studies examining the consequences of varying rates of gun ownership among a large number of countries One purpose of Part B is for students to develop skills in evaluating statistical studies Accordingly Part B begins with an explanation of some basic statistical methods and terminology The first excerpted article by Don Kates and Gary Mauser observes similarities and difference of the United States and Europe brbrThe next section introduces complex statistical analysis It begins with a summary of statistical research methods and vocabulary Next is an article by Professor Gary Kleck examining the strengths and weaknesses of various studies on the relationship between gun ownership levels and homicide levels Although Kleck analyzes data within the United States his methodological cautions provide a foundation for evaluating the international studies that follow As Professor Kleck explains one of the most daunting problems is accurately estimating levels of gun ownership especially over timebrbrSection B3 presents an especially sophisticated article by John N van Kesteren that examines 26 countries mostly European plus the United States to look for relationship between gun ownership levels and violence brbrSection B4 directs attention to the importance of culture in comparative scholarship An article by Irshad Altheimer and Matthew Boswell reports the diverse effects of higher rates of gun ownership in Western developed nations Eastern Europe and Latin America A second article by David Kopel Carlisle Moody and Howard Nemerov investigates the relationship between gun density and various measures of economic freedom economic prosperity political freedom civil freedom and noncorruption in 78 nationsbrbrFinally in Section B5 Nicholas Johnson describes ÔÇ£the remainder problemÔÇØ if social science did prove that greater gun density causes the United States to have higher rates of homicide and other gun crime than some other countries what can be done meaningfully to reduce US gun density brbrPart C presents case studies of gun control and gun rights in several nations It begins with the United Kingdom starting in the early twentieth century For earlier UK history see Chapter 2 For contrast the next nation is Switzerland with its thriving militia systembrbrThe Western Hemisphere comes next with Canada Mexico and Venezuela Asia and the Pacific are covered in sections on Australia Japan China and Thailand Kenya and South Africa are the case studies for Africa Some Notes amp Questions following sections on particular countries present material about other nearby countriesbrbrPart D considers broad perspectives in the three different ways First an article by Professor Carlisle Moody investigates European homicide trends over the last 800 years and observes that growing availability of firearms that could be kept always ready for selfdefense wheel locks and flintlocks paralleled a sharp decline in homicides brbr An essay by Professor Kopel compares and contrasts homicides in the United States and Europe during the twentieth century Europe's homicide rate is vastly higher'once one takes into account murder by government If one makes certain assumptions designed to produce the highest possible figure the United States had up to 745000 additional gun homicides in the twentieth century because the United States did not have gun control laws as restrictive as those in Europe Conversely Europe had about 871 million additional homicides by government because Europeans did not have a right to arms The essay describes the gun control policies of dictators in Europe and elsewhere It concludes with a pair of case studies showing the accomplishments of armed resistance to genocide by Armenians and other Christians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I and by Jews in Europe during World War IIbrbrThe third section of Part D investigates at length the largest mass homicide in history the murders of over 86 million Chinese by the Mao Zedong dictatorship in 194976 The essay also details armed resistance to Mao and includes a detailed description of Tibetan uprisings While Mao adopted diverse arms control policies at different times the objective was always the same his political supporters would be armed and his opponents would not

Publication Date



right to arms, gun control, comparative law, Mao Zedong, Tibet, genocide, mass murder

Comparative Law