Harvard Law School
Target Shooting Club

This is an archived site of the Harvard Law School (HLS) Target Shooting Club. No new material has been added to this web site since 2003. The Club is now in other people's hands.

Last I heard, the club's site could be found here, but when I last checked (November 2020), there was nothing at that page.

On April 8, 2003, there was a debate on

Gun Control and the Second Amendment

at Harvard Law School, featuring:

Eugene Volokh of UCLA School of Law,
Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School,
Dennis Henigan of the Brady Center,
and moderated by Elena Kagan, future dean of Harvard Law School.

(All but Henigan pictured at left.) Click here for the event's handsome poster, in PDF format. See coverage of the debate in the Harvard Crimson (Apr. 9, 2003) and the Harvard Law Record (Apr. 10, 2003).

  • Our faculty advisor was Richard Parker (pictured at right), a constitutional law professor at HLS.
  • On October 2, 2002, we had 211 members, at least 163 of whom were law students -- that's over 8.5% of the HLS student body.

Georgetown Law professor Viet Dinh (HLS '93), former Assistant AG for the Office of Legal Policy, is an honorary member of the club. Viet was active in the Harvard Shooting Club when he was at the college. The founder and past president (2001-03) of the club was Alexander "Sasha" Volokh.

You can write to us at guns@law.harvard.edu.

Mission statement

The purposes of the HLS Target Shooting Club are:
  • to give HLS students an opportunity to shoot firearms;
  • to help students learn, in a safe and enjoyable setting, about different types of guns and how to use them;
  • to further knowledge of gun safety;
  • to help students understand and intelligently contribute to the public policy and constitutional debate on firearms;
  • and to connect with an important aspect of American history, culture, and traditions.
The HLS Target Shooting Club welcomes members of any political persuasion, regardless of their position on gun control or the Second Amendment.

About the club

By us Major articles
  • Meredith McKee, "Discovering the Joy of a Semi-automatic," Harvard Law Record, Oct. 11, 2001 -- about our unofficial October 6 outing. It's true -- we're not "gun-toting loonies" and are "astonishingly normal"!
  • Peter L. Hopkins, "Gunning for a Good Time," Harvard Crimson, Feb. 28, 2002, Fifteen Minutes Magazine -- note Sasha's "assassin-like resolve"! (Also, an erratum: Sasha's family emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1975, not, as, the article states, in the early 1980s.) Also observe a discussion thread about this article on a firearms enthusiasts discussion board.
  • Michael S. Brown, "College Gun Clubs Return," NewsMax.com, Mar. 13, 2002 (reprinted as "New on Campus: Guns 101," Philadelphia Daily News, Mar. 14, 2002; "The Return of College Gun Clubs," KeepAndBearArms.com, Mar. 17, 2002)
  • "Pinkos and Pistols," The Economist, Apr. 13, 2002 -- this is "premium content" on the Economist web site (i.e., you need to pay to read), but here's an excerpt:
    The Harvard Law School is arguably the command centre of American liberalism. But the school's gun club boasts some 120 members, 5% of the student body. Alexander Volokh, who founded the club late last year, takes members shooting on a range in New Hampshire. Guns are banned on the Harvard campus; the New Hampshire range displays a sign saying 'Children under 13 shoot for free.' Mr Volokh plans to hold a wide range of gun-themed events on campus, including screenings of films which feature 'regular people using guns as a force for good.' Another student wrote an article in the Harvard Law Record entitled 'Discovering the Joy of a Semi-Automatic'. . . .
    . . . .
    . . . Mr Volokh points out that enthusiasm for guns is a form of counter-cultural rebellion, rather like smoking cigars.
  • Emily Newburger, "At Home on the Range," Harvard Law Bulletin, Summer 2002
  • Mary Leonard, "Shooting Clubs Find a Niche," Boston Globe, Aug. 4, 2002 (not available for free on the web)
  • In the Oct. 4, 2001 Harvard Law Record -- a Record editorial, an installment of "Fenno," and a column by Dave Winickoff
  • More of the anonymous satirical column "Fenno," Harvard Law Record, Feb. 7, Apr. 10, and Apr. 25, 2002 -- doesn't make much sense, but hey, this is "Fenno."
  • On the popular current-affairs weblog InstaPundit, on Mar. 5, Mar. 8, Mar. 13, Mar. 15, and Aug. 4, 2002
  • Collin Levey, "Annie, Get Your Gun," OpinionJournal.com (the online version of the Wall Street Journal), Mar. 14, 2002 (erratum: the article implies that we're at Harvard College and have faculty sponsorship from the "constitutional studies department" -- we're actually at the law school and our faculty advisor is a constitutional law professor)
  • James Taranto, "Best of the Web," OpinionJournal.com, Mar. 20, 2002
  • Jonathan V. Last, "Gun Chic," The Weekly Standard, Apr. 23, 2002
  • "What's a Nice Firearm Like You Doing in a Place Like This?", The American Enterprise, July/Aug. 2002
  • The McLaughlin Group, June 3, 2002
  • Jonas Blank, "All the Right's Moves," Harvard Law Bulletin, Spring 2003
Other stuff

News about guns

Since the atrocities in New York and Washington, gun sales have shot through the roof. Gun-industry sources say many of the buyers are first-time women purchasers. And America is not just buying guns; America is arming. Unlike other periods of "panic" buying, such as the aftermath of Bill Clinton's election, these purchases are mirrored by increases in concealed-carry applications (anywhere from 25% to several hundred percent, depending on the area) and requests for firearms training.

A survey by the Polling Company, taken in mid-October, found that 31% of the 1,000 people sampled valued their Second Amendment rights "much more" after Sept. 11, with 14% answering "somewhat more." A Zogby poll, also in mid-October, found 66% of their sample agreeing that people who have had a background check and safety training should be allowed to carry a gun on their person or in their car.

The past year has been good in other ways for gun-rights advocates. Gun control was indeed the defining issue of the 2000 presidential election, but not in the way Democratic strategists envisioned. Since President Bush took office, both the Justice Department and the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have endorsed the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to bear arms. Municipal lawsuits against gun makers have been tossed out of court, and the most heralded antigun book in a decade, Michael Bellesiles's
Arming America, stands exposed as a hoax.

Michael Bane, "What's Next for Gun Rights?," Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2001

Useful links

Pictures from our outing on December 1, 2001

Above: Our outing on December 1, 2001. Here we are in the Lewis Center turnaround at HLS, about to head up to New Hampshire. From left to right: Devesh Tiwary, Lisa Giroux, Greg Weston, David Mascari, Ezra Reese, Kelly Jaske, Sean Coutain, Dom Lanza, and Sasha Volokh.

Above: Sasha Volokh and Lisa Giroux, partners in troublemaking.

Above: Devesh Tiwary, looking suave with the one-handed look.

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