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Does anyone here support the Hague Convention?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Cosmoline, Jun 26, 2003.

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  1. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Specificially, its prohibition against the use of "dum dum" or SP bullets in warfare. The US never ratified it, but the doctrine has long since become accepted International Common Law. NATO certainly follows it, along with most other industrialized nations.

    Esp. given that many of the enemies our troops face WANT to die and EXPECT to die, any notion of "shooting to wound" is even more bogus than it used to be.

    So does anyone actually think we should retain the policy, and if so, why?
     
  2. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Maybe we should smear the bullet of our cartridges with pig fat instead?:D
     
  3. cookhj

    cookhj Member

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    el tejon, i told a few of my buddies before they went to iraq and afghanistan to take a tub of lard with them to dip their bullets in.....they just kinda looked at me like i had lost my mind.
     
  4. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Too late for me, cook.:D
     
  5. Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Sylvilagus Aquaticus Member

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    I'm not so keen on the Hague Convention, but I've been told I had fun at Shriner's conventions.

    I think the Russians had a pretty good idea in place when they were involved in the Great Unpleasantness in Afghanistan with the development of the 5.45x39 high-upset round. Seems the little internal airspace cavity lent itself to tumbling rather violently when it encountered tissue. Looks like a FMJ and is, for all intents and purposes. The innards slide forward and make it inherently unstable so it will yaw on impact, creating a larger than expected permanant wound cavity.

    Of course, dipping the rounds in pig fat can be the psychological equivalent of poisoned bullets in some cultures, but I'm just being 'culturally insensitive' now.

    With the skinnies taking multiple hits with .223 and still having the will to resist maybe we should have Birdman Weapons Systems submit a bid.

    Regards,
    Rabbit.
     
  6. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Can you point me to a source for that information on the 5.45x39 mm wound ballistics? I want to read more about that.
     
  7. Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Sylvilagus Aquaticus Member

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    Mark, if you'll be kind enough to PM me I'll send you the reference. Sorry for the delay in responding.

    Regards,
    Rabbit.
     
  8. Tommy Gunn

    Tommy Gunn Member

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    What is "international law" but a violation of national soveriegnty?

    Why should we give foriegn powers the right to make laws over our land?

    Maybe we should have another war for Independance.
     
  9. WR Olsen

    WR Olsen Member

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    Strange as it may seem, but the Inernational Rules of Land Warfare (what you call the Hague Convention) is designed to bring civility to war. If it were not for the Conventions any belligerent could do anything they wanted, such as freely hanging prisoners, or forcing them to slave labor. The use of poison gas is also prohibited. As well as many other actions that we as a free country find objectionable.

    So over all I would say that the conventions are something good and they should be perserved and perhaps even expanded.
     
  10. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    For international law to be binding on the US, a treaty must be signed by a duly authorized representative of the US government. It must then be ratified by the Senate. It can later by rejected by the US government. In what way does this process violate national sovereignty? The process is laid out in the Constitution. How can the Constitution violate our national sovereignty?

    We have never done so. There is a distinct difference in negotiating a treaty with a foreign power, signing that treaty, and having the Senate ratify the treaty; and having a foreign power make a law over our land.

    OK, from whom?
     
  11. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Sylvilagus Aquaticus,

    Perhaps if we were still using our own "high-upset" rounds, rather than the newer stuff designed to shoot through BMP side armour, we wouldn't have had this problem? (55gr 5.56 did everything 5.45 did, in spades...)
     
  12. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    YOu don't need these archaic conventions to maintain civility in warfare. For one thing, the conventions do nothing to prevent the sort of yahoo dictators we go up against these days from killing prisoners. It sounds brutal, but the way you keep your enemy from killing prisoners is killing his people. That's the basis of international law in a nutshell. Do ut des, the Romans called it.

    Sure, some would complain if we switched to proper SP ammo. THe Germans, certainly. But these are the same Germans who complained when we used shotguns during WWI. We wisely ignored them. The "civilized" nations of Europe are rarely worth listening to.
     
  13. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Cosmoline,

    Have you ever read "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu? If not, I recommend it. It will tell you why not.

    There are benefits both tactical and strategic to avoiding extremes.

    Wounding folks takes up more of the enemies' resources than killing them.

    Even when it's a brutal dictator's soldiers, they are human beings. The brutal dictator will be forced to provide some level of medical care for his wounded. If he does not, it will destroy the morale of his troops. In either scenario, we benefit more from wounding than from simply killing.


    There's an advantage to leaving your opponent a way out of the trap...or at least what appears to be a way out. You really don't want to face a trapped opponent with no hope of escape or surrender. Ever faced a cornered rat.

    I've been beatened badly four times in my lifetime. Twice I was in a fight and forgot to check my six. Once I was assaulted with no warning from behind. The other time, I made the mistake of forcing a fight for the one time of my life. I chased him for about six blocks. He tried to cut through a fenced tennis court. I cut him off before he could reach the exit and hemmed him in a corner. After running for six blocks, this terrified pipsqueak turned around and tore me a new one. I'll not make that mistake again. Hell, I won't force a fight again.

    Many, if not most, of the provisions of the International Law of Ground Warfare are to our benefit.

    Oh, yeah...archaic? The conventions are not that old. You might want to check out the practices employed before then.

    Romans? If a city did not surrender before the first battering ram touched the wall...the citizens of that city had no rights. It was open to sack: the men killed or sold into slavery. The women and girls raped and sold into slavery. The children sold into slavery if old enough...if a child was too young for an economical price he or she was killed on the spot.

    Is that an improvement? Oh, and that was pretty much the way it went in Europe, except for the slavery during a sack of a city up until about 1700 or so. Instead of selling the survivors into slavery, they were usually just killed.
     
  14. Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Sylvilagus Aquaticus Member

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    Right, Tamara...
    Trouble is, many years ago somebody thought it was a better idea to 'improve accuracy' in our GI 5.56 weapon by increasing the rate of twist to 1 in 9 (or 1 in 7) from the old standard of 1 in 12 which does tend to tighten the grouping a little as well as lengthen the effective range, but it negates the inherent upset of an otherwise spectacular dynamic wound channel at that rate of twist.

    In my interpretation they wanted a 30-06 in a .223 package.

    I agree that they've modified the cartrige enough for a ground war against opponents with body armor, but that threat is not what we face these days. Maybe we should revisit the idea of slowing the spin and stopping the foe.

    Regards,
    Rabbit.
     
  15. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I have heard over and over again that the FMJ limitation was placed on bullets so that they would wound rather than kill. Not only is this notion undercut by the actions of all the great powers in adopting high-velocity spitzers, but I know of no support for it in the record. I strongly suspect it is after-the-fact rationalization.

    The drafters of the Hague Convention appeared to be upset by the nastiness of the wounds inflicted by early dum-dum bullets. It tore the bejesus out of the bodies. No open casket funerals. Very uncivilized and dirty. From a modern perspective, such thinking is pretty bizarre considering the way everything else in warfare tears the bejesus out of soldiers. Of course, the Hague Convention pre-dates even WWI. The drafters were thinking in Napoleonic terms, with set-piece battles fought more like ornate games of chess than what we would consider war.

    When you are actually in combat, you want to KILL your foe. A wounded enemy can still blow your face through the back of your head, esp. if he's cranked up on whatever weed or pill the locals like to use to get cranked up.
     
  16. Orthonym

    Orthonym Member

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    Everybody cheats.

    Read "Goodbye to All That", the autobiography of Robert Graves. Somewhere in there he discusses atrocity complaints re his service in the Royal Welch Fusiliers (excellent Sousa march of that title, too:cool: ) in WWI. I believe he wrote that the Germans complained about the .303 MkVII cartridge because it "tended to turn on striking." We have a "MkVII" for a member here who knows all about it.:D On the .223: The story I read said that the original bullet was just barely stable in air, but after going through about 6"-10" of one's soft pink body would start tumbling. I'm SO glad I'm skinny! I think the faster twist was brought in to stabilize a heavy tracer bullet. I'd appreciate anyone with solid information speaking up on this subject.

    Edit: changed "was" to "said" after the word "read" in the sentence beginning "On the .223:..."
     
  17. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    Does it matter if you're shot with a soft point or blown to pieces with artillery? War is about winning - nothing else. The "wounding is better than killing" mentality is a relic of industrial era warfare. Most of our enemies these days are guerillas and sub-national actors who have little medical infrastructure and less concern for any human life, including their own.
     
  18. themic

    themic Member

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    remember by not using hollow points you theoretically streamline medical services and surgeries. just like in self defense the purpose is to stop not to kill, the purpose of war is to reach your objective and not to wipe out the population or even the other military necessarily.

    if someone is going to live with a bullet wound, but needs surgery, it's a hell of a lot easier to pick out one bullet than to find all 23 shards of copper jacket from a +p corbon. it's a bit more humane.

    not saying i necessarily agree, but i think this point is important.

    personally, i'm ok with ball only on rifle ammo, but would probably prefer JHP on handguns.
     
  19. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    Cosmoline,

    I beleive the restriction was to reduce the grievous wounds suffered by the people that were not killed. The purpose was not to wound rather than kill, but to make the wounds on the people who were not killed less serious. Little holes are easier to fix than big holes. An FMJ will kill just as dead, just as fast as anything else if the person is centerpunched.

    However, a FMJ wound that doesn't hit anything important will probably heal up fine. The torn, shredded wound from an expanding bullet is more likely to get infected, and cause a long, lingering painful death. Why would we want to inflict that on someone that is out of the fight? Especially with our "wars" lasting only a few weeks.

    I don't have a problem with the Hague Convention. The point of war is much different than the goal of self defense.
     
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I just don't buy it. First the FMJ defenders claim that the point is to deliberately wound, thus taking up valuable time. Then they switch around and say it's to make it EASIER to heal the wound. If you don't want to kill them, don't shoot them or bomb them. If you shoot them, I'm assuming you need to kill them or be killed. Otherwise our guys should be using less-than-lethal ammo to deal with the threat.

    I think my point is extremely topical, BTW. Look at all the suicidal yahoos coming out of the woodwork to attack our troops. Shooting to wound is hardly a viable policy in such cases. You want to tear the SOB apart, and the way you do that is with proper SP ammo, hopefully from something with more punch than a .223.
     
  21. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    I agree with Cosmoline, especially as he points out we are dealing with suicidal Jihad warriors.
     
  22. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    Nope.

    Plenty of cases of well-documented, unproductive thoracic cavity FMJ hits since the 5.56 switch Tam noted.

    You guys are underestimating Cosmoline a little here...he has a pretty good handle on the situation.

    Has he read The Art of War? I'm betting he read it by age 12...
     
  23. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Open casket funeral?

    Cosmoline, at the time the Hague Conventions were formalized...you'd count yourself lucky to know where a particular soldier was buried in a mass grave more often than not.

    Even if the soldier was killed a hundred miles away and died from a fall of a broken neck...by the time the body was shipped home...there would definitely not be a open casket funeral.

    Think about it: Battle death occurs. How long before the dead are picked up? In horse drawn wagons. A day, 2 days, more? What's the condition of that body if it's above fifty degrees? OK, we've made pickup. How long till embalming? Is embalming even available? OK, say that embalming is available within 2 more days...say three days from death. Ever seen a three day old corpse that has not been embalmed...in warm weather?

    You're not going to have the possibility of having open casket funerals...no matter what they were shot with under those conditions.
     
  24. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    "Open casket" is just a figure of speech. The point is they did not like the mangling effect. I don't think they cared too much whether the soldiers died, but they certainly wanted them to look nice and orderly.

    But I will admit that I can't really get into the minds of the drafters. I do know that they lived in an utterly different universe, safe in a Victorian Europe that had no clue what horror was coming its way. Interestingly, though, the British troops who first used "dum dum" bullets were facing a threat from Indian natives not all that unlike the threat our troops face today. There's an interesting article discussing the development here:

    http://www.african-hunter.com/303_british.htm

    We need to take some advice from those front-line British soldiers who exposed the lead core on their .303's, and we need to give the austere European diplomats the old drop kick. If you're in the middle of it, who are you going to trust? Some suited Frenchman or a soldier who's seen it all?
     
  25. hops

    hops Member

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    Yes, with regard to regular uniformed members of the recognized armed forces.
    No, with regard to irregulars, like Hamas and other combatants of that ilk.
     
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