Category Archives: stakeholders

This category tags the interviews the students conducted

Interview with Statewide Nonprofit Advocacy Organization


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.

Interview with Coordinator of Community Org

Keywords: reduce crime, service pool, dispute resolution, behavior change

– interviewee works with mostly black males (20-30s) in homicides
– many gang affiliations

How do you target your audience?
– people well-known to law enforcement
offenders known by community members as trouble makers

Other key points:
– dispute resolution is approachable and solvable
– many problems related to guns start with broken family
– other people have to take the role of family such as community organizations, churches, service pool staff members, etc.
– gangsters don’t have family to teach them values and principles.
– many young black males who fall into these issues act irrationally with a gun and only realize that it was a “dumb mistake” after the fact
– along with connecting offenders to service pools for mentorship, jobs, drug treatment, and GED, the org is trying to pair the efforts with education of values
– short term solutions are leading the offenders to a job. Long term solutions need to be paired with education
– it’s hard for programs to take place of family and family values
– mental health issues are a big problem; there are not enough resources and manpower behind the support offenders need
– revenge is a common reason for gun incidents

Interview with Pro-Gun and Pro-Regulation Community Member

1. Pro-Gun And Pro-Regulation

2. Family, Safety, Culture,

3. Guns are part of his culture + generational heritage. Safety matters, and has been taught and passed down to him. He doesn’t have a gun for safety (if he did he’d use a bat or mace), he has a gun as a family tradition and for hunting. Middle School Gun Training was normal for everyone in the town he grew up in. He knows it’s unrealistic to use guns to fight the government, but other gun owners believe they can if need be. We should be as strict with guns as we are with drinking and driving.

4. Interesting facts.
Guy at gun club once said: “I will guarantee you if obama gets reelected, there is going to be a civil war in this country.”

Interview- Allegheny County Child Death Review Team Member

Interview with a member of the Allegheny County Child Death Review Team

Allegheny, Prevention, Protection, Review

The Child Death Review Team reviews the death of every resident of Allegheny County from the ages of 0-21. This team is made of a diverse group of people, including medical examiners and law enforcement members. They look over medical examiner and police reports as well as the background, childhood, and family dynamics of the victims. All of this information is uploaded to a national database with the purpose of revealing possible preventative and protective measures.

Most firearm deaths in Allegheny are the result of homicides and accidents (as opposed to suicides). It is a difficult issue to address because the intention of this review team is to protect, not to infringe on the rights of any community members. The team is also not allowed to have any follow-back with the families, and must rely on family support programs and information from other sources, such as police and medical practitioners.

As a result of this work, it seems that more consistent policies could make a difference in increasing safe gun storage (i.e. same policies for storing a gun for police officers as military personnel). New programs that focus on showing the aftermath of gun violence to young adults seem to be working. It would also be valuable to focus on childhood experiences as an indicator of later experiences with gun violence.

Interview with Community Foundation


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