The vintage Hawker Hunter fighter jet that crashed on to a busy roadway during an air show in Shoreham, Sussex, England, last weekend had also performed at recent air shows in Ireland — at Shannon, Bray and Foynes — which were attended by up to 150,000 people. It might just as easily have crashed at one of these shows causing many deaths, including that of children.
These air shows are designed to have spectacular near misses, and, internationally, all too frequently lead to spectacular tragedies. They are usually advertised as family outings suitable for children. Commentators have understandably used the phrase that “our thoughts and prayers must be with the families and casualties”. Our thoughts should also be directed at the many victims of fighter aircraft and drones that occur daily in the Middle East, and on whether all such air shows involving military aircraft should be prohibited in the interest of public safety.
Knowing the dangers involved, it is irresponsible for parents to bring children to such air shows, and it is also inappropriate that families should be “enjoying” the spectacle of stunts by aircraft designed and actually used to kill so many people, the majority of whom in recent wars have been civilians.
Our thoughts must be with the families and casualties of the thousands of innocent civilians killed by military aircraft in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Gaza and Syria.
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