Paradox of the Day

Tam asks a really perplexing question:

The Department of Fish & Game won’t let you shoot Bambi with full metal jacketed 7.62x51mm M80 ball because it would be inhumane.

The Hague Accords won’t let you use .308 Winchester 150gr. Ballistic Silvertips on enemy personnel because it would be inhumane.


Good question.

5 thoughts on “Paradox of the Day”

  1. It’s actually not a paradox, and not even a good question when you realize the ruleset in each case, and the timeframe in which the rules were made.

    Hunters are morally (and maybe legally, your location may vary) obligated to track and “finish off” wounded game. They (hunters) (almost always, except in the cases of really sick individuals who themselves should be hunted down and exterminated) shoot to kill.

    Military personnel do not, or rather are not really supposed to, track down and execute already wounded enemy. Also a lot of times they use “suppressive fire” which isn’t really directed specifically at single person, meaning that the shooter might not even KNOW they hit someone.

    This means that a deer with an expanding hollowpoint in it’s gut has minutes to hours to live, assuming a moral hunter.

    It means that a wounded Iraqi Insurgent will probably be in a trauma unit in the same time frame getting the worlds best medical care.

    Now, back when the rules were written for using fmj in war “expanding hollowpoints” weren’t as common, didn’t expand as uniformly and didn’t stay together as well–meaning that someone shot with them had lots of tiny little bits of metal floating around their insides, and likely wouldn’t have access to good radiological equipment (x-rays). So they’d have spent *HOURS* in surgery (NOT modern surgery either), and spent the rest of their life with little bits of metal in their bodies causing pain and discomfort.

    We (well, I) might not mind this in the case of the Taliban, but when facing draftees across 400 yards of trench for 3 or 4 years, this was considered inhumane.

    Also that provision was meant to outlaw crap like glass projectiles and such.

    And finally, part of the consideration of the Laws Of War was to get as many of the soldiers home in as few pieces as possible–meaning that while they couldn’t exactly outlaw war, the were trying to make sure that as many soldiers as possible survived and survived in such a way as to be productive workers afterwards.

    So it’s not really a paradox, it’s just different rules with different expectations written at different times.

  2. SomeoneOutThere,

    All good points, if somewhat tangential to the thought that was in my head when I posted that. :)

  3. They swab the arms of death penalty recipients with alcohol before they inject them with poison to kill them. I guess it falls into someone humane understanding.

  4. Dannytheman, actually read that this was done in the event of an 11th hour pardon. The Condemned is not officially dead until they are pronounced dead, and should be treated with all the rights and privileges there-of.

    On a lesser scale we’re required to do the same thing with our lab animals. Just because an animal is in a terminal study and will be dead in x hours does not mean you are allowed to treat them differently than an animal that is non-terminal, or will be dead in x+y hours.

    Same can be said for livestock. Until they are dead they deserve our respect and fair treatment.

  5. I was going to write an in-depth response, but the Wiki entry for Expanding Bullet explains better than I ever could.

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