I don’t spend a lot of time with the local PTA. While I still have one kid in grade school and another now in college, I never really could sit through one of the boring PTA meetings. I respect parents who want to make the school better and I’m willing to help where I can, but my ADHD rear can’t sit through endless Karens talking about how important it is to understand car pickup etiquette.
However, it seems that another group of folks are more than happy to step in.
I recently received an invitation from my local public school district to attend a “safety forum.” It wasn’t going to cover the variety of health-and-safety issues relevant to kids today—opioid abuse, underage drinking, reckless driving, online bullying, physical violence and sexual assault or harassment. Instead, the entire safety forum would focus on one issue: guns.
Speakers were to include a representative from the national PTA, the district’s superintendent, a school-safety officer, a mental-health specialist, the city’s police chief and an “early childhood advocate” and Be SMART program representative who would speak about gun safety and storage.
To most parents in my neighborhood, this forum looked pretty innocuous—just another routine school event that few would attend. But I knew it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill meeting. This promised to be pure political advocacy meant to push the anti-firearms narrative and scare parents about those in the community who own and store guns in their homes.
I knew this because I was well aware that the friendly sounding Be SMART organization was an appendage of Moms Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety—the two leading radical anti-gun advocacy groups in the United States, all funded by former New York Mayor, failed presidential candidate and hater of individuals’ choice to consume sugar or salt, Michael Bloomberg.
See, Be SMART doesn’t present itself as anything but an arm of Moms Demand Action and Everytown, but is instead the shield these groups use to pretend they’re actually about gun safety.
SMART is an acronym that pushes their ideas, though.
Secure all guns in your home or car.
Model responsible behavior around guns.
Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in homes.
Recognize the role of guns in suicides.
Tell your peers to be SMART.
The first two are pretty unobjectionable. The third, however, is where they start to lose me and by the fourth, they’re letting their anti-gun bias shine through plain as day.
Yet PTA groups all over the nation are buying into this nonsense, as if Be SMART were really just some unbiased safety group.
Look, I get that the PTA isn’t going to turn to the NRA for gun safety. Sure, the NRA has been preaching safety for years and advocates securing weapons as well, but the NRA is tainted as far as many people are concerned. Some honestly believe the NRA would advocate sending Junior to school with a rocket launcher in his backpack, after all.
They don’t, of course, but some people don’t care about facts.
Yet Be SMART really is just as biased as the NRA is, just on the other side of the coin. Worse than that, though, is the fact that they don’t actually understand firearms and gun owners well enough to actually understand how guns are used. Further, they forget to mention at any point teaching your kids not to go through other people’s things, much less teaches them what to do if they come across a gun “in the wild,” so to speak.
In the original piece, posted at America’s First Freedom, the author asks why couldn’t the police have given these tips. She never received an answer, but it’s an excellent question. Law enforcement is much more neutral on something like this. Their advice would include securing your firearms, of course, and even modeling good behavior with guns, but they’d also likely tell you to teach your kids not to handle a firearm they find and to notify an adult.
Maybe it’s me, but that’s so much more productive than bugging their friends’ parents about whether they have guns or not.
Of course, Be SMART isn’t really about safety. It’s just the thing these groups can point to when they’re called out for their pretending to give a damn about gun safety. What it really is, besides a shield, is a way to start pushing the anti-gun narrative to younger people and terrified parents.