This grant aimed at better understanding how to develop effective visual messaging on safe firearm storage for service members. Working in collaboration with IPSOS, the GVRC recruited over 700 firearm owning service members and randomized them to view 1 of 12 different visual messages. The messages shared the same image and base text, but varied on the reported profession of the messenger (security forces, combat controller, primary care physician), the inclusion of additional text validating the perspective of firearm owners, and the inclusion of additional text validating the drive for home protection. The researchers then assessed which messages produced the greatest amount of change in willingness to utilize specific safe firearm storage practices. The primary results are currently under review at a top tier peer reviewed journal and align with prior GVRC research demonstrating the law enforcement (e.g. security forces) represents a particularly persuasive voice on this issue whereas medical professionals are viewed as less credible.
Military Suicide Research Consortium
Principal Investigator (PI):
Michael Anestis, PhD