“The PTA, a nonpartisan, largely nonpolitical child advocacy association with a diverse constituency, does not usually wade into debates over divisive political issues outside of education policy,” according to huffingtonpost.com. Except when they do. “With a strong Southern drawl, [National Parent Teacher Association president Betsy Landers] tells nearly 300 PTA leaders from around the country about three school safety policies they will ask their representatives in Congress to support on Capitol Hill the following day: a ban on assault weapons, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and comprehensive gun-purchase background checks.” You want to talk about a turncoat . . .
Not only is Ms. Landers a Republican from Arkansas but she’s also one of those “my family has always had guns” gun grabbers. To wit:
I grew up around guns and am comfortable with having a shotgun or a .22 in the house for hunting purposes. It’s that connection piece, followed by the education piece, that makes a good advocate . . .
Part of Landers’ effectiveness is understanding how to craft a message about guns that doesn’t alienate people in gun states. For instance, she carefully avoids the term “gun control.”
“It’s not a message about gun control,” Landers said. “It’s about protecting our children. In working with the administration, the message is about gun safety and violence prevention, with the violence prevention being, for me, the part we need to concentrate on. It’s about educating families and communities about how can we prevent a tragedy like Newtown from happening in our schools.”
I wonder how “education” would have saved the children, educators and administrators from Adam Lanza’s murderous spree. It’s a question PTA members might have asked since 1999, when the org first decided that gun control should be on their agenda.
Of course, political fixers like Landers—who trained under Bill Clinton (so to speak)—know how to manipulate the levers of power both inside and outside their cabal. They know that appealing to rational thought can’t hold a candle to emotional overload. They’re never afraid to turn out the lights of reason and fire-up that candle.
“Did [the Sandy Hook spree killing] strengthen my resolve? The resolve’s always been there, but it crystalized it even more,” Landers said. “I’ve watched those parents go through those things. Nobody should have to kiss their child goodbye and send them off to school never to see them again. And if banning assault weapons, making sure that everybody who buys a gun has a background check, if banning all those will keep even one child safe, then it’s worth doing all we can do to make sure that happens. And that’s not saying that my brother can’t go duck hunting next fall. Entirely different.”
Right, ’cause the Second Amendment is about duck hunting. Just ask PTA members in, say, Texas.
The majority of the HuffPo piece consists of a Q & A “edited and condensed for clarity,” from which the sound bites were drawn (also edited for “clarity” no doubt). In that bit, Landers does a Biden-esque job of conflating hunting, gun confiscation and tragedy. She even admits that she doesn’t like to discuss the subject rationally. Can you say FUD?
I try not to get into arguments over things like that. Everybody has closely held views, and people say, “Don’t take my guns.” As an advocate, my intent is not to take your guns. My intent is to protect children. No child in this country should have to go through what happened at Sandy Hook.