Name of Intervention/ Program
Reducing Gun Deaths & Injuries Using a Social Marketing Approach

Background and Situation Analysis
Gun deaths and injuries in the United States are a public health crisis, confirmed by the following facts: • 100+ Americans die every day, on average, from a gun injury. • 400+ Mass Shootings occur every year, more than 1/day on average. • 50+ School Shootings occur every year, almost 1/week on average. • Gun deaths exceed the number of car accident deaths and are at the same level as breast cancer • Gun injuries are the leading cause of death for children and teens since 2020. The most common approach to reducing these deaths and injuries is that of increased enforcement of existing laws, or proposing new laws and policies such as ones to restrict access to certain types of firearms and require universal background checks. The problem with these approaches is that elected officials are not often aligned on these strategies and, as a result, deaths and injuries have not been decreasing in the United States. In fact, they are increasing. An alternative approach, developing and implementing Social Marketing programs to influence protective behaviors, is “out there” but is not well known, used frequently, spread extensively, or implemented with impactful intervention strategies. PLEASE NOTE: ALL REFERENCES TO STATISTICS AND QUOTES ARE INCLUDED IN THIS BOOK PUBLISHED IN THE FALL OF 2023 BY ETHICS INTERNATIONAL PRESS.

Priority Audiences(s)
The priority audience for the book Reducing Gun Deaths and Injuries: A Social Marketing Approach are social marketing practitioners focused on improving public health and preventing injuries. It is also applicable to program managers working at governmental agencies engaged in public safety including those at local police departments, city governments, school districts, academic institutions, and public event facilities.

Behavioral Objectives
Based on six months of secondary and primary research, I determined that an increase in four citizen behaviors (The 4Ss) would significantly reduce gun deaths and injuries, with a few confirming, but alarming facts: • Safe Storage: 63% of gun owners have at least one gun in their home never locked up. • See Something. Say Something: For 4 out of 5 school shootings, at least one other person knew ahead of time of the person’s intent. • Suicide Intervention: More than 60% of gun deaths with intent are suicide. • Social Equity: 84% of gun homicide victims are Male. The behavior objective of this book is to inspire these priority audiences (public health and safety practitioners, and public safety program managers) to develop and implement social marketing programs to increase participation in these four protective behaviors in their communities.

Description of Strategy/Intervention
This book presents and illustrates a social marketing approach for each of the 4Ss using the following framework: • Purpose & Focus • Priority Audience • Desired Behavior • Audience Insights • Key Intervention Strategies: The 4Ps • Program Outputs & Outcomes • Applicable Behavior Change Theories

To inspire successful program development and implementation, the book presents several case examples for each of the 4Ss, with a total of 20 with successful behavior change programs in the United States. One example for each is summarized in the following section. Safe Storage: Major barriers to safe gun storage includes monetary costs and convenience of access. A variety of governmental agencies around the country distribute free gun locks at convenient locations. As stated on their website “Make Minnesota Safe & Secure”, the State of Minnesota has an ambitious goal to “get a gun lock into the hands of every Minnesota gun owner who doesn’t already have one.” A free gun lock giveaway program states that “Stopping by our booth and picking up a gun lock costs nothing. But saving even one life is priceless.” In addition to picking one up at public events, citizens can request a locking device online, or visit a variety of governmental agencies near buy to pick one up. See Something. Say Something. In 2012, following the school shooting that killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Sandy Hook Promise non-profit organization was formed and developed multiple programs to reduce school shootings. A major focus was on influencing citizens to report potential threats safely and anonymously. One of the major offerings was the free SAY SOMETHING downloadable app that provides an anonymous reporting tool 24/7, as well as information on warning signs of a potential school shooting. Suicide Intervention: As noted earlier, more than 60% of gun deaths are suicides. Youth are at significant risk for suicide with CDC reporting that nearly 20% of high school youth have considered suicide, and 10% have actually attempted it. A program developed by the Washington State Department of Health focused on influencing a friend of someone who seems unusually sad or depressed to reach out to their friend and have a conversation. The campaign was branded Start a Convo. Save a Life. and featured sharing real stories from youth who helped save the life of a friend. It was promoted on social media, as well as on printed materials in schools. Campaign pilot engagement outcomes include: • Facebook & Instagram 36,000 impressions • 2,000 clicks to the Tumblr site • 60% ad views on mobile devices and high level of tagging friends • View of video on campaign website achieved 85% completion rate Social Equity: It is reported that gangs and gang members with the highest risk for future gun violence offense are young males, Black or Hispanic, at an average age of 18. An example of a social marketing effort prioritizing this audience is the Group Violence Intervention (GVI) program that seeks to influence gang members to accept an invitation to in-person community engagements and to then receive supportive services. Face to face gatherings of select gang members typically last about an hour and include members of community groups such as law enforcement, faith-based organizations, local businesses, and social service agencies.

Evaluation Methods and Results
Safe Storage: “Make Minnesota Safe & Secure” In 2023, it was announced on their website that more than 50,000 gun locks have been given away since 2022. See Something. Say Something. The Sandy Hook Promise Foundation In 2023, 10 years after the launch, the following outcomes were reported on the Sandy Hook Promise website: • 9+ million people made the Sandy Hook Promise to protect children from gun violence • 21,000 individuals participated in the Know the Signs Program trainings • 185,000+ anonymous tips were received • 493 lives confirmed as saved • At least 15 planned school shootings prevented • 143 acts of violence with a weapon prevented Social Equity: Gun Violence Intervention In terms of outcomes: • A program in Boston achieved a 63% reduction in youth homicide victimization • In Chicago, gang factions attending these gatherings experienced a 23% reduction in overall shooting behavior, and a 32% reduction in gunshot victimization compared with similar factions. • USAID concludes that this Gun Violence Intervention program has the largest impact on crime, and violence, by far, of any intervention.

Entry Letter: D