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Piper Edwards

The Events that Shape a Generation

in Gun Control/Political Issues by

Undeniably, aspects of life evolve with each generation that, in turn, forces our government to change as it adapts to the changing world. However, this change in the government typically takes time, as the affected generation must grow up and finish their educational career before they begin reshaping government policies. The Greatest Generation grew up during the Great Depression, Baby Boomers with the Vietnam War, Gen X with the removal of the Berlin Wall, and Millennials with 9/11.  The typical period of waiting for the government to adapt is not satisfying to today’s American teenagers—the generation of mass shootings. The future of our country is being killed in movie theaters, concerts, and classrooms; they are no longer waiting for these tragedies to fade away. They demand “Gun Reform,” but that, depending on your perspective, can vary drastically in meaning.

The most prominent demands include the raising of the age at which you can buy a rifle to at least 21, the addition of a waiting period, universal background checks, and closing of all gun show, hereditary, and boyfriend loopholes. These might appear extreme at first glance, but the generation(s) with the power to change the laws are unable to fully understand and process why they are demands. As a child born in December of 2001, I cannot possibly fathom what it was like to live during the Great Depression, to hear the news of JFK’s assassination, or to hear the news of 9/11. An adult, similarly, can not imagine growing up in a seemingly endless pattern of mass shootings. Until the current representatives have been traumatized by having active shooter drills in the middle of class, the current representatives do not have the right—nor experience— to claim these solutions unreasonable. Moreover, the Constitutional interpretation that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” means that any person can buy a weapon specifically designed to kill as many people as quickly possible at a gun show without even showing an ID is both than outdated and dangerous. Implementing a waiting period would decrease murders and suicides, as it forces a person to contemplate their decision, often preventing dangerous and rash decisions. Universal background checks will promote a safer society, keeping weapons away from convicted criminals and people with a history of mental illnesses. Lastly, raising the age from 18 prevents children from endangering themselves or the people around them. Personally, I believe the legal age to purchase a gun should be 25—when scientists say the brain is fully matured.

With generational changes, the government should strive to change at the pace of an evolving world. In some ways it’s been able to evolve successfully; however, the Second Amendment remains a very controversial topic, where the government has failed to implement the adaptations its citizens demand. Despite the founding fathers’ envisioning the Constitution as a document that would adapt with the country (Thomas Jefferson hoped it would be rewritten with every generation), the US finds itself hesitant and resistant to desperately needed gun reform that will save lives.

Graphic Design by Jackson Edwards

Waging a War on Gender Pay Inequality

in Gender Issues/Political Issues by

Despite countless studies proving that gender inequality exists in the workplace (both in terms of salary and treatment), seven out of ten people still believe that men and women are paid equally. Due to the widespread denial of the mere existence of the wage gap, the efforts to find solutions are far less concentrated than they should be. Frankly, gender inequality is an outdated term for male dominance, and the wage gap is used as a pawn in maintaining the existing power hierarchy.

The Second World War marked the first awareness of the wage gap. While in desperation for workers, women were forced to contribute to the war effort in various ways, leaving their children or families. Because most women had not previously worked outside of their houses, workplace inequality was a largely unnoticed phenomenon.  However, once the men left to fight and women began filling their roles, they were, on average, paid fifty percent of male wages, sometimes less but rarely more. In the seventy-nine years from the discovery of the wage gap until today, the gap has closed by only around 30%, placing it roughly around 80¢ per dollar.

Yale University recently hosted a study that provides substantial evidence proving the extent of the wage gap. To see sexism in STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) jobs, they used two completely identical resumes with only one expensive difference, one had the name John and the other with Jennifer.

The faculties of both genders were biased in favor of the male; furthermore, they were more willing to mentor, employ, and offer more money to John. Disregarding the fact that both people had the exact same qualifications and experience, Jennifer was perceived by professors and employers as substantially less competent. On average, women earn 75.7% of a man’s salary in the STEM field. Not only does gender inequality exist pecuniarily, but it also impacts the manner in which women are treated by their bosses in the workplace, which in hindsight significantly hinders their careers.

According to research from the World Economic Forum, if change continues at the same slow pace as it has done for the past fifty years, it will take a staggering 168 years—or until 2185 —for women to finally reach pay parity.  Financial equality would help more than half of working women and their families out of poverty in addition to adding approximately four hundred eighty-two billion dollars to the economy. With data supporting the economic benefits of equal pay and the potentially drastic change quality of life for so many families, the hesitance to pay men and women the same amount for the same job is beyond perplexing. Even if the wage gap somehow disappears  in 168 years, there are not any indications as to whether the gap will stay gone or what impact it will have on the younger generations. Ultimately, the wage gap is a solvable problem that, if solved, will have nothing but a positive impact on America’s economy and society.

 

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/dont-believe-in-wage-gap

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/american-women-in-world-war-ii.

http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2017/

https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/pay-equity-discrimination/

http://gender.stanford.edu/news/2014/why-does-john-get-stem-job-rather-jennifer

 

Podcast with Congressional Candidate James Cargas

in Podcasts/Science & Technology by

Podcast with Piper Edwards and James Cargas

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