Another example of the difference between the reality and what is perceived or portrayed by the media – while many reported that there was a significant increase in gun ownership in the recent years because of mass shootings, according to this study that may not be the case.
We conducted an in person interview with an employee at a Pennsylvania state-wide organization focused on keeping illegal firearms off the streets, primarily through organizing people to encourage policy change.
Keywords: policy, statewide, nonprofit, advocacy, community
Key points from our conversation
– The organization utilizes a variety of methods to support policy changes, including: interviews, attending senator meetings, talking with Pittsburgh city council, standing on corners asking passerbys to sign lists or petitions, coordinating volunteers and attending community meetings.
– He attends community meetings nearly every night of the week, however, he still struggles to get people to mobilize around the issue of gun control. He described a key challenge of the organization as getting continuous support from people beyond just one meeting.
– Pittsburgh is unique in that it has a lot of community groups and individuals interested in the cause, and he estimated that 70% of those supporters comes from poorest neighborhoods. However, they are not currently working together and this is the role this organization is trying to fill.
– Everything the organization does has policy change behind it, and as a byproduct they want communities to feel empowered
-The main point the organization is trying to get across is that if these issues matter to you, you can have impact through contacting your representative.
– The people currently most involved in the organization are both activists, generally community involved people, as well as some “regular joes”, some of which have turned out to be their best volunteers. A large portion of those involved are middle aged African American men and women, but they want to get more young people and students involved.
Today we finished up going through a few books of design research methods, for our research method analysis. We are looking at and analyzing the existing methods in an effort to understand what methods or combination of methods would be most useful for our project.
Therefore, we have organized the tools we found into the categories:
– emotional probes
– understanding existing ecology
– representing and analyzing data
– possible future solutions and ideas
– overarching methods
We chose these categories specific to learning about the context of gun safety. Through categorizing the methods in this way, we have begun to brainstorm scenarios for how the methods can be used.
– there are many small groups or individuals, both volunteers and employed, trying to improve gun safety in Pittsburgh; but they are decentralized and are not working together; they don’t have enough resources to do own research
– each group/individual has its own agenda, even if they’re all working on “gun safety” some are more concerned with kids, some with law, etc.
– many are reliant on data that’s far distanced from the people that are affected; they lack data focused on behavior and perception
We conducted a phone interview with an employee at a Pittsburgh foundation focusing on racial justice issue. The project she is currently working on is focused on the Child Access Protection law.
Keywords: research, narratives, child access protection law, analysis
Key points from our conversation
– finds quantitative data from external groups or universities that have the money and resources to put into these types of studies; NRA cut off a lot of research; there are not many people doing research in this area; the foundation doesn’t do it’s own research
– for narratives, she does google word searches to find stories; these are mostly about post shooting experiences
– she analyzes information herself, not a formalized process but based from the perspective of their mission to work on racial justice issues; she then looks at common factors within studies
– NRA is the only group that has guns as their top priority, for others guns is secondary to things like health, education, etc.; it’s difficult to make guns number one issue for people
– role of gender within households is a key issue
– data gaps: injury information, data focused on behavior and perception
Ideas for improvement:
– male as advocate for locking up gun safely among friends
– women have law behind them to talk to male gun owner
– if men were convinced they could still have quick access to a locked gun, they might do it