US 2020 Elections – The Politics of Gun Control

This webinar explores where both presidential candidates stand on gun control and consider the political landscape for reform.

America’s gun problem extends beyond mass shootings. Two-thirds of US gun deaths are suicides and, more recently, concerns of pro-government militias emerged at the forefront of the issue when a white teenager took to the streets of Kenosha and murdered two citizens.

The conversation on gun control often fails to acknowledge the intersection of police brutality, racial disparity and the cyclical nature of the criminal justice system. Given that US public opinion on gun control is neither linear nor partisan, what are the prospects for reform and how are voters perceiving the debate?

What power does the US president have to mandate gun control? How can the conversation on gun control be made more inclusive, constructive and multi-faceted? How do we contextualize recent clashes between race protestors and armed pro-Trump militias? And in what areas of gun control can reformers make the most difference?

Held in collaboration with Chatham House's US and the Americas Programme, this webinar is part of a series of events looking at key issues facing voters in the 2020 US elections.

This event is for Chatham House members. Not a member? Find out more.


Professor Ian Ayres, Deputy Dean and William K. Townsend Professor of Law, Yale Law School

Lois Beckett, Senior Reporter, The Guardian, US

Joanna Belanger, Political Director, Giffords

Michael Edison Hayden, Senior Investigative Reporter, Southern Poverty Law Center

Chair: Emily Harding, Senior Events Manager, Chatham House