Clearing the Air (MH17 Shootdown)

Generally speaking, firearms come with either iron sights (plain, unmagnified sighting systems), red dot sights (unmagnified electronic systems using an illuminated aiming point inside the body of an optical aiming device), OR some kind of magnified optics like a riflescope. These sighting systems all have one thing in common: they help the user to be sure of his/her target, and to be aware of what is in its vicinity or behind (or beneath) it. Being sure of your target means several things, but the MOST important is identification—being sure that bear you’re aiming at isn’t just another hunter in some bushes. Once you fire the shot (or the rocket), you can't recall it. It is on its way to whatever destination you pointed it at, whether or not you intended that target's destruction.

In the case of antiaircraft batteries, it means making sure that the aircraft you intend to shoot down is an enemy military aircraft, and not a civilian airliner full of innocent passengers from a third-party non-combatant nation…….particularly not one full of people bound on a humanitarian mission to rid subsaharan Africa of AIDS. That’s not just a simple “DOH!” You shoot down such a plane, and it makes you a karmic ass-wipe. If you supplied the shooter with the system, without supplying him with the means and training to differentiate, then you are no better a person than the shooter. That’s not guilt by association, it is guilt by implication. You aided and abetted a crime against humanity, and you are also engaging in karmic asswipery.

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