After school shooting in Arkansas, National PTA calls for more gun control, remained silent on child suicides


The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

PINE BLUFF, AR- Is anyone seriously surprised by this? On Monday, a 15-year-old boy shot and seriously injured a fellow student at Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

The suspect has been detained in a juvenile detention facility, authorities said.

The incident of course provoked the usual gaggle of clueless people clamoring for “more gun control!”


According to Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant, the shooting occurred in a hallway at the school as students were changing classes in the city, located about 40 miles southeast of Little Rock, the state’s capital, NBC4 in New York said.

Immediately after the shooting, the school went in lockdown. The youth who committed the shooting ran from the scene, however, was tracked down a short time later in a nearby neighborhood by a police tracking dog.

The injured student, a 15-year-old boy was transported by medical helicopter to a Little Rock hospital and was listed in “very serious condition,” Sergeant said.

The boy’s name was withheld.

Arkansas schools, which were closed at the end of last year due to COVID-19 reopened in August, leading the way among states which lifted no-school orders unlike other states such as California, Illinois and others which still are keeping schools closed.

One might expect that incidents such as this might be on the rise, since children, left isolated at home and unable to go to school, play sports, or interact with their friends.

A recent article published by The Doctors, a syndicated television program publicized the alarming rate of teen suicides.  

 According to a CDC survey, it found that 76 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 are struggling with either mental health issues or substance abuse.

During 2020, 1 in 4 young adults contemplated suicide. Finally, in some areas of the country suicide rates increased by 67 percent in children between the ages of 12 and 17 during that same period.

Depression among teens, along with irresponsible gun owners is a recipe for disaster. Of course, instead of pushing to get kids back into school and live the lives of normal children, the National PTA is jumping on the anti-gun bandwagon.

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In response to the Arkansas shooting, the National PTA issued the following press release:

“National PTA and all PTA members nationwide are saddened to hear of the shooting that occurred today at Watson Chapel Junior High. As schools across the country are beginning to reopen for in-person instruction, parents should not have to fear for the safety of their children due to senseless gun violence. The safety and health of all students, educators, and staff must be the utmost priority.

“Combating gun violence remains a top priority of PTA, and we call on Congress and the Administration to immediately address the many factors that contribute to the rampant gun violence in our country. We cannot wait any longer.

“Policies and legislation must:

  • Fund research on the causes and effects of gun violence on youth and communities, as well as evidence-based strategies to reduce gun violence.
  • Establish education programs to teach students, parents and community members about gun safety and violence prevention.
  • Require a waiting period and a comprehensive background check for all individuals prior to purchasing a firearm.
  • Restrict internet gun sales, including kits that can be used to make and modify guns.
  • Ban access to military-style semi-automatic assault weapons.

“Limiting access to firearms and assault weapons and strengthening background checks can and will save lives. Common-sense legislation must be enacted today to help prevent future tragedies from occurring…”

Blah, blah, blah. It’s almost as if the PTA got their talking points from Moms Demand Action, Everytown USA or…HR-127, the legislation introduced by Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D), which much of the above parrots nearly verbatim.

Is the PTA serious about educating “students, parents and community members about gun safety,” they might start with the “dreaded” National Rifle Association through their “Eddie Eagle GunSafe®” program.

That program is, according to its website, “a gun accident prevention program that seeks to help parents, law enforcement, community groups and educators navigate a topic paramount to our children’s safety. Eddie and his Wing Team are on a mission to help you teach Pre-K through 4th graders what to do if they ever come across a gun.”

Sounds like a great program. How about it, PTA, are you serious about a gun safety program? Contact the NRA.

 Much of the rest of the PTA’s demands have little, or anything to do with the incident that happened in Pine Bluff.

No information was released by police as to the type of weapon used, but it likely was not a “military-style semi-automatic assault weapon.” Nor was it likely a gun purchased over the internet by the student, nor did it include modifications made utilizing a “kit” for that purpose.

We’re also pretty sure that the teen didn’t purchase the gun at a gun shop, which means a waiting period or background check wouldn’t have made a difference in this case.

In other words, the PTA’s press release is all about hyperbole and has zero to do with the Arkansas shooting.

They basically repeated Democrat talking points in taking advantage and trying to make political hay out of a clearly tragic incident. None of the suggestions made by the PTA in their “demand” letter would have made a difference.

The questions that need to be asked is how the 15-year-old gained access to a firearm. It’s pretty clear that a number of already existing laws would have been broken in this case; the laws proposed by the PTA would have made ZERO difference.

Perhaps the National PTA could take a stand on teachers refusing to return to the classroom, continuing to leave our kids in isolation as we lose a complete generation of children to the pettiness and greediness of the teachers’ unions.

You can pretty much guarantee one thing. There will be more children who die in 2021 from suicide than from school shootings. That is a stone-cold lock. And THAT is something the PTA should worry about. In other words, stay in your lane.

Leave the gun stuff to the professionals.

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