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Automatic Paint-Balling

Reader comment on item: Lessons of the War in Gaza
in response to reader comment: I support this... well, not.

Submitted by Jon Paul Henry (Canada), Aug 31, 2014 at 16:42

I don't think making it automatic (which is a bit of a misnomer; what it really is, is not subject to immediate control) removes the moral objection, which is that just because your enemies are randomly causing civilian deaths, that does not absolve you of wrong if you seek to mirror their behaviour. It's still wrong to target civilians. Making it not subject to immediate control simply pushes the responsiblity for the act back one step, that is, to the people who switched it on, knowing that it would have the effect of hitting innocent civilians. That seems to me a perfect example of becoming the very thing you are fighting against: terrorism, whose whole rationale consists of the random murder of (mostly) uninvolved civilians. So no, I don't think this is a morally defensible idea.

The back-tracking suggested by a previous commentator, if it can technically be done, suggests that one might modify an automatic fireback system to explode a paint warhead about 20 meters in the air above the Hamas launch site, colouring everyone in the area with, let's say, green paint for one week, yellow paint for another, and so on, like the dye packs designed to colour bank robbers. I'm not sure this would serve any particular political purpose, but it might, in the long term, make things difficult for the rocket launchers on the ground in Gaza, with lots of people walking around with multi-coloured splotches on their hands and arms. The more colour, the more different colours, the closer you were to ground zero, thus, the more likely it is you are part of a rocket launching crew.

I know, I know, this sounds crazy. But I believe it is morally defensible where the proposal to actually randomly blow up civilians is clearly not.

Submitting....

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