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Hypothetical: in combat, you're being shot at by a 10 year old...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by amadeus, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    When shooting the adults aim for the torso or head. When shooting at the kids, aim for their arms.
     
  2. Atticus

    Atticus Deity Retired Moderator

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    Well, I'm gonna be the killjoy who tells that great deal of wars have child soldiers, especially in Africa. Sometimes they are captured from their parents, forced to kill each others to make them soldiers etc. I've read that some of them learn killing and torturing as a ways to please their "stepfathers" just like ordinary kids would do with good grades or such.

    And well, more western wars weren't that much better, they had kids under 18 fighting, and when you think about it for a while, 20-somethings are kids too.

    War sucks.
     
  3. amadeus

    amadeus Bring back the Civ2 theme!

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    Realistically, you wouldn't have these options in combat. Your reaction time would slow greatly and you'd be far more likely to be killed.
     
  4. bathsheba666

    bathsheba666 Fast 'n Bulbous

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    While 'children' implies innocence, 'machine guns' does not.
     
  5. Tani Coyote

    Tani Coyote Praise Huehuecoyotl

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    It's a morally horrid incident I'd probably never forgive myself for.

    But I'd do it. Kill or be killed. That's war. War takes a piece of you the moment you kill any human being, child or not.
     
  6. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Training and ethos says shoot and be damned. At the end of the day, it's a horrible thing to have to live with, but it's even worse to live with a fallen comrade because of your inaction. Parachute units have always had this ethos that protecting our own comes above all else - often above good sense - which was something of a strength when the British Army was tested in this situation in Sierra Leone; the Royal Irish had lost a patrol into enemy captivity because they had been unwilling to kill child soldiers, but the paratroopers and SAS that rescued them had no such qualms.

    If they're at machine-gun range, it's 'aim for the flash' or at best 'aim for the shadowy thing' whatever size they are. Moral considerations about dismembering someone in a country where that means a slow death by starvation aside, you can't guarantee that someone hit in the arm is disabled and that's why military shooting has always been to aim to 'incapacitate' (meaning: kill) every target.
     
  7. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

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    I am going to shoot them, then probably have nightmares about it off and on for the rest of my life.
     
  8. NickyJ

    NickyJ Retired Narrator

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    Yes. Pull out my M249, and do what has to be done. If they're going to be shooting at me, they're going to be shooting at other people, so I might as well do the next person a favor.
     
  9. Colonel

    Colonel Sandbox

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    Its terrible but they lost their status as "non-combatant" the second they started shooting. If I am close enough I would try to aim to not kill if I have the option and it adds no further risk to myself or others.
     
  10. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    "State parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities". -UN

    If they're in uniform then they are soldiers. If they're not in uniforms then they are technically "unlawful combatants". Either way, the state and its leadership is to blame, and you're just there to clean up the mess. So obviously you shoot, unless you want to lose, or hope you get taken prisoner or something.

    I think a slightly deeper question is if you were a sniper in that situation, would you shoot to kill, or wound?
     
  11. onedreamer

    onedreamer Dragon

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    Don't present this as an absolute truth, it's only a military mantra.
    Your comrade would be killed by someone else, the kids would be killed by yourself.


    I suspect too many people here play war games and think it is reality. After you kill two kids, what do you win? And what do you loose if you don't?
     
  12. amadeus

    amadeus Bring back the Civ2 theme!

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    Your life.
     
  13. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    I suspect that you've never served your country's armed forces.

    What do you lose by killing a combatant who was armed and threatening you with lethal force? Forgiveness? From whom? Not even the UN would say that kid was right, especially if the UN sanctioned the operation that you were participating in.
     
  14. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    If they're shooting at people, they're brainwashed little...'squirts', and I'd be angry and insulted enough to shoot back.
     
  15. NickyJ

    NickyJ Retired Narrator

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    Change my original post. I'd haul out my railgun.
     
  16. Shadylookin

    Shadylookin master debater

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    I would. If the other side is using child soldiers there's little hope of that society to offer him a good life anyway.

    I'm guessing if she's shooting at you the odds of a hookup later have approached 0 and as such there's no reason to not shoot back
     
  17. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Justice guaranteed

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    I'd give an emotional speech, make them realise the futility of war, try to appeal to their humanity and get them to lay down their arms.

    ...

    Yes, I'll probably shoot them.
     
  18. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

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    If they have guns, and aren't on my side, I'm shooting them.
     
  19. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Yeah, but if you had wanted the OP and answers to be realistic, you wouldn't have proposed a closed off and leading hypothetical. :p
     
  20. Mathalamus

    Mathalamus Emperor of Mathalia

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    i would only disable the kid, not kill him. a short to the arm, a shot barely above his head, etc will woudn or scare the crap out of him.
     

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