Russian Pilots Battle Shoot-First Law

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You can bet Russian airline pilots are extra careful with their transponder settings these days after the government passed a law allowing hijacked aircraft to be shot down in the name of security. Perhaps putting the law in context with Russian military action exhibited in recent bouts with terrorists, pilots have written President Vladimir Putin asking that the law be reconsidered. According to The Jurist, a publication of the University of Pittsburgh's law school, the pilots believe they'd be under quite enough stress from the hijacking without having to worry about the good guys coming after them, too. "The pilots fear such a policy will reduce flight safety as pilots' 'physiological and emotional state' would be drastically impaired," the Jurist writes. Apparently Germany had a similar law on the books until recently when its Constitutional Court ruled that such provisions "infringed on the right to life and human dignity," not to mention what it might do to ticket sales once potential passengers found out.