Gun violence prevention groups strike middle ground to meet goals

July 17, 2017

A study led by Oregon State University researchers found that American organizations identifying as gun violence prevention groups advocate for the right to bear arms and for some gun purchase and ownership conditions, which they argue will curb gun-related injuries and deaths.

The finding contrasts with some depictions of gun prevention groups as "anti-gun."

"When people talk about the 'gun debate,' it typically revolves around gun rights supporters and anti-gun people with no one in the middle," said Aimee Huff, an assistant professor in OSU's College of Business.

"We found these groups are in the middle. They strike a balance between individual rights and responsibilities to reduce death and injury."

The study is one of the first to look at American gun violence prevention groups (GVPGs), many of which have formed in recent years after events such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The study is based on two years of analysis of nine gun violence prevention groups, some of which are focused nationally and others regionally or locally. The researchers interviewed leaders of the groups, attended their rallies and training sessions, talked to state legislators about them, monitored their social media pages and analyzed media coverage focused on them.

The consumer culture researchers sought to unpack the messaging of these groups, whom they describe in the paper using pseudonyms to protect their identities. They wanted to understand who the groups focus on, how they reach those people and the outcomes they hope to achieve.

They found that the groups position themselves as supporters of the Second Amendment, direct their messages to the middle-ground majority and communicate the everyday toll of gun violence using non-polarizing language.

The researchers assert that the gun violence prevention groups are having some success. Some examples they cite include:

  • Policy changes that have led to an increase in the number of states requiring universal background checks from 12 in 2012 to 18 in 2016.
  • Institution of restrictive firearms policies by prominent companies such as Target and Starbucks banning the open carrying of firearms.
  • Support of cultural changes championed by gun violence groups from editorial boards of major newspapers (New York Times and USA Today), celebrities (Beyonce and Jennifer Aniston), and professional sports and entertainment associations (NBA).

Further, the researchers cite a Gallup poll that found the percentage of respondents who want the nation's laws or policies on guns to be more strict has risen from 25 percent in 2012 to 38 percent in 2016.

The researchers conclude: "It is neither possible nor necessary to precisely identify the impact of GVPGs in these changes, but we assert it is reasonable to assume that they play an important role."

The paper, "Addressing the Wicked Problem of American Gun Violence: Consumer Interest Groups as Macro-social Marketers," was published in the Journal of Macromarketing.

Explore further: Shootings kill or injure at least 19 US children each day

More information: Journal of Macromarketing, … 177/0276146717715744

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5 / 5 (4) Jul 17, 2017
Right to bear arms? Not in the wild west. One of the regular jobs of the Erp brothers in Tombstone was to police the no-guns-in-town laws, cowboys WERE NOT allowed to carry their side arms into the streets, all the cowboy movies got this wrong. Most cowboys were Mexican emigrants, freed and not so freed slaves and adolescent boys, not big strong hardy men.

In the first decades of the USA (after the independence war) there was conflict between the north and south over standing armies and militias. The North, especially Hamilton and to a lesser degree Washington, wanted a standing army but the South preferred militias made up of armed citizens. To appease the south an amendment to the constitution preserved their right to have a militia made up of armed citizens, the second amendment, which no longer applied after a national standing army was established and state backed militias ceased.

But then came the NRA who rewrote history ~ You can buy facts & judgements in the USA.
1 / 5 (3) Jul 17, 2017
I am 70 years old. I had a home invasion and one of the guys had a claw hammer up his sleeve. There were at least two of them but I had a large rottweiler and a lab with me. That is the only reason they backed off when I caught them in my rec room. Where were you people at when I needed help? Perhaps you were at some convention trying to take away my right to defend myself. The police did not get there for 15 minutes after I dialed 911, I sure could have used your help!

The NRA in case your not aware is made up of citizens. My dad was a member as were both my neighbors. These people want you to believe the NRA is just big businesses trying to get their way, when in fact they are farmers , hunters and plenty of other law abiding citizens.
Da Schneib
Jul 17, 2017
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