Last updated on: 10/11/2010 | Author:

Robert Cottrol, JD, PhD Biography

Professor of Law and History at George Washington University
Pro to the question "Should Adults Have the Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun?"

“In recent years a majority of states have passed laws permitting honest citizens to carry concealed weapons, and the results tell us much about self-defense and the responsibility of the average citizen. Once it was passionately argued that such laws would turn minor altercations into bloody shoot-outs; now we know better. Over 1 million Americans have licenses to carry firearms, but firearms misuse by this group has been utterly negligible. Criminologists now debate not how much harm has been caused by concealed-carry laws, but how much good…

[A right to bear arms] says the individual is not simply a helpless bystander in the difficult and dangerous task of ensuring his or her safety. Instead, the citizen is an active participant, an equal partner with the state in ensuring not only his own safety but that of his community. This is a serious right for serious people. It takes the individual from servile dependency on the state to the status of participating citizen, capable of making intelligent choices in defense of one’s life and ultimately one’s freedom. This conception of citizenship recognizes that the ultimate civil right is the right to defend one’s own life, that without that right all other rights are meaningless, and that without the means of self-defense the right to self-defense is but an empty promise.”

“Gun Control Is Racist, Sexist, and Classist,” American Enterprise, Sep. 1999

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Harold Paul Green Research Professor of Law, George Washington University, 1995-present
  • Professor, History and Sociology, George Washington University, 1995-present
  • Member, American Society for Legal History
  • Former Professor, Rutgers University
  • Former Professor, Boston College
  • Former Professor, University of Virginia
  • JD, Georgetown University, 1984
  • PhD, American Studies, Yale University, 1978
  • MA, History, Yale University, 1973
  • BA, Yale University, 1971
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Adults Have the Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun?