When the Washington State PTA gathers for its Legislative Assembly Oct. 18-19 at the SeaTac Marriott, one of the issues it apparently will address has nothing to do with the Three R’s, but with “GR” — gun rights — as they consider a proposal to “initiate and/or support legislation or policies” regarding background checks on firearms.
Examiner learned of this issue Friday from a member of the Northwest Firearms forum, where a lively discussion is now in progress. That member is a parent of a kindergarten student. A check of the Washington PTA website revealed that the proposal was submitted Aug. 27 with the explanation that extending background checks to all gun purchases is a step that can be taken to “make our kids safer.”
While there are many issues for the PTA to deal with, the very first question on their 2013 legislative issues survey was about guns.
“The Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that extend criminal background checks to the purchase of guns from non-licensed sellers to limit the number of guns in the hands of underage and/or dangerous individuals in order to keep our children safer.”
The full proposal and supporting papers (there do not appear to be any “opposing papers”) may be found here.
According to the PTA website, “For more than 100 years, PTA has advocated for kids on the local, state and national level. Child labor laws, universal kindergarten, school breakfast and lunch programs, and universal immunization—these are all things we take for granted today but were each hard fought victories for PTA. PTA is committed to supporting legislation that protects children and ensures every child gets a great education.”
The organization was founded in 1905 and now has more than 138,000 members in more than 900 local units across the state, according to their website.
How does the Washington State PTA feel about firearms safety education being part of the public school curriculum? That might be a measure that could help prevent far more accidents than initiating or supporting gun control legislation.
There is no such question on the legislative survey.