The “Sitting Ducks” Argument

This finally got me today, after years of listening to the “wrong place, wrong time” argument. A certain presidential candidate, who I won’t name (but I bet you can guess who), said recently that a gun-free zone is like setting up bait for “sickos”. This irritates me to no end. There is data to prove that shooters don’t often choose their massacre sites because they are known gun-free zones, but because they have a relationship to the place or area.

Wrong place, wrong time, sitting ducks, bait…Give me a break. Students, especially in an elementary school, are not in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just like employees in San Bernardino, movie-goers in Aurora and Lafayette, I know I don’t need to list any more examples for you. They were exactly where they were supposed to be at that time. In school, on time for class, at work, enjoying a movie with friends. This does not make them sitting ducks, this makes them normal, well-socialized, responsible Americans. The victims of the many shootings we see, and many we don’t ever hear about, are exactly where they need to be when they die.

I say that this doesn’t make them sitting ducks because in a country like America, there should be no expectation that a gunman will barge into a school or lecture hall, movie theater, or place of business. Unless you’re a cop, a soldier, or own a shooting range, the expectation of gunfire in your daily life should be slim to none. This doesn’t make them sitting ducks because before Newtown, the worry of your first grader leaving for school and not returning because they were mowed down by an AR-15 was non-existent — and it shouldn’t have to be.

If I sat down in the middle of a battle field, then yes, call me a sitting duck, tell me I’m in the wrong place. If I rob a bank, threaten a police officer, or barge into someone’s home uninvited and possibly armed, yup, that likely puts me in a position of great harm at the end of a firearm. Not going to school. Not going to work. Not going to the mall. Not going to the movies. Not going to a block party. Not going to a school basketball game. And certainly not walking down the street, going to the grocery store, or meeting with my Congressperson. It’s disgusting and heinously disrespectful that people, politicians, call victims of gun violence bait or sitting ducks, as if they knowingly put themselves in the line of fire.

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