The recent experience of gun violence prevention advocates with building an active, engaged grassroots holds important lessons for the future of gun violence prevention. However, formal research methods are rarely used to examine the role of grassroots advocacy efforts within public health. In order to assess the state of the grassroots gun violence prevention movement, learn from their experiences, and understand the challenges they face, the author conducted qualitative, semi-structured interviews with eighteen leaders in the gun violence prevention community. The author then assessed the findings from the analysis of interview data within a social health movement framework, and developed recommendations for addressing the identified challenges. Results from this study provide insight into the state of U.S. grassroots gun violence prevention efforts prior to 2001. Grassroots advocacy efforts represent an important, influential component of injury prevention and public health. Understanding the perspective of the grassroots, their contribution to the field, and the challenges to such efforts is critical to ensuring a connection among the research, practice, policy and education efforts aimed at reducing injuries and violence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health