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SOUTH HAVEN AAUW
Just as those women in 1947 found ways to espouse the mission first articulated in 1881, we in 2017 continue in that tradition.
South Haven AAUW’s Position on Gun Violence
A flu epidemic brings public service radio and TV spots urging flu shots, and frequent hand-washing. Our society recognizes and responds to a public health issue. Cigarettes have long been prohibited for sale to minors, and after decades of fighting the powerful tobacco industry, warning signs appeared on packs of cigarettes, advertising of tobacco products were removed from the public sphere, and diners no longer had to be subjected to the smoke swirling in restaurants and bars. Our society recognized the problems of addiction to tobacco, and the dangers of second-hand smoke. It responded to a public health issue. The sale of alcohol is prohibited to minors. Driving while under the influence is punishable by law. Alcoholism, once viewed derisively as a behavioral failing, is now recognized as a disease and a public health issue.
Death and injury by gun violence is rampant in our country. Gun violence has become a national health crisis. Yet each time some crazed, angry, or desperate person unloads villainy into a public place – a school, a theater, a church, a meeting, a marathon – our lawmakers and other officials offer their prayers for the victims, condemnations of the perpetrators, and do nothing. Thus far they have refused to recognize the epidemic of American gun violence as a health issue despite the fact that the majority of Americans already do so.
The problem of gun violence is not a political issue. It is a social pathology. It is an impediment to life. Americans take pride in thinking of our country as the greatest on earth. Yet, we are alone among developed nations to suffer such an epidemic. We are alone in allowing guns to be unfettered among our population. We are alone in suffering the slaughter of children in our schools without doing anything to prevent such loss. We are alone in allowing the public to easily obtain firearms including automatic weapons. Can our children no longer rely upon adults to protect them? Can our children no longer rely upon adults as models of reason and righteous action?
The American Association of University Women recognizes gun violence as a public health crisis. AAUW values the lives of our children and teachers and works to encourage education and health as the greatest gifts one generation can bestow upon the next. We urge you to demand action from your public officials at the local, state, and national levels. We urge you to demand that they recognize this public health crisis by actively supporting sensible gun safety legislation. It is too late for the too many who have died needlessly. It is not too late for the children who go off to school today.
President, SH AAUW
States Notch Multiple Equal Pay Victories in 2017 Voters are fed up with the persistent gender pay gap, and many state legislators are listening. In 2015 and 2016 dozens of legislatures proposed and enacted bills and laws addressing pay inequality. In 2017 a whopping 42 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., offered legislative solutions to the gender pay gap. While not all of these bills passed, this growing activity shows that red, blue, and purple states realize that the pay gap is real and that something needs to be done about it.