The long-awaited funding comes after a twenty four-year drought on federally funded research into the causes of firearm injury and prevention methods.
PROVIDENCE, RI, September 29, 2020 – The Centers for Disease Control has ended a twenty-four-year drought on federally funded research into firearm injury prevention due largely to AFFIRM’s advocacy efforts. Dr. Megan Ranney, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Brown University and Chief Research Officer of AFFIRM, will lead the three-year, $1.9 million project titled “Reframing Firearm Injury Prevention Through Bystander Interventions for Youth Shooting Sports Participants.” This study will evaluate the Reframe’s effectiveness in changing firearm injury prevention norms, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors among a sample of youth in fifty 4-H Shooting Sports Club communities.
Christopher Barsotti, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Chief Executive Officer of AFFIRM, said the following regarding the historic funding: “4-H is among the largest and most important youth development organizations in our society, with nearly 500,000 shooting sports participants each year. As a 4-H rifle instructor myself, I am intimately aware of the organization’s sustained, positive impact on its members, their families, and our communities. Our collaboration creates an unprecedented opportunity to unify the expertise in medicine, public health, youth development, and firearm training to demonstrate how positive behaviors will increase firearm safety and decrease firearm risk for all of us.”
This project, one of the larger awards from the CDC, validates, and advances AFFIRM’s Reframe program. Reframe creates opportunities and provides an infrastructure for community members, key stakeholders, and community leaders to share knowledge and experiences, engage research, and develop community-driven, culturally
responsive, firearm injury prevention strategies. This approach recognizes that firearm injury in the United States is not monolithic; firearm injury rates vary widely by state and community – as does the character of firearm misuse that leads to injury. AFFIRM’s Reframe program disseminates evidence-based scientific research to strengthen and guide community-based efforts in preventing firearm-related injuries and death in their unique community.
“It is long overdue for us to approach firearm injury in the same way we approach every other public health problem. This funding, and this research project, will allow us to do so,” said Dr. Ranney. This grant will dramatically expand AFFIRM’s reach by allowing Reframe’s delivery through 4-H Shooting Sports Clubs nationwide. It will also allow us to evaluate, for the first time, the influence of the Reframe on youth and families’ ability to identify and intervene to reduce firearm injury risk. It demonstrates the power of community engagement in firearm injury prevention – and the promise of AFFIRM’s public health approach.