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New Year's Eve Gun Shooting

  1. Jan 1, 2010 #1
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2010 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Say what you like about God - at least he has a fun sense of humor.
     
  4. Jan 1, 2010 #3

    DaveC426913

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    Oh man. So do you.
     
  5. Jan 1, 2010 #4
    This is always grim news, and it happens every year. I am so very sorry for the family who grieves for this child.
     
  6. Jan 1, 2010 #5

    Evo

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    Absolute idiocy, you don't fire weapons for fun in populated areas. I hope they find the person that was shooting.
     
  7. Jan 1, 2010 #6
    I thought God would be blamed for this :)
     
  8. Jan 1, 2010 #7

    Moonbear

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    You don't fire a weapon ANYWHERE when you don't know where you're aiming the bullet.
     
  9. Jan 1, 2010 #8

    f95toli

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    Is that really possible? Sounds a bit like dropping pennies from Empire State Building...
    What is the terminal velocity of a bullet?
     
  10. Jan 1, 2010 #9

    Astronuc

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    Debris came down from the ceiling, but I would expect that the bullets were fired in the direction of the church, and not necessarily coming down, although perhaps it's possible. Terminal velocity depends on drag, but perhaps it's 200 mph or more - depending on original angle.
     
  11. Jan 1, 2010 #10
    Terminal velocity is depending mostly on two things. 1. The density of the thing that is falling. 2. The shape of the thing that is falling. Bullets are very dense (usually lead), and they have a shape to allow relatively low friction. The terminal velocity of a bullet could be 300 or 400 feet per second. This could be about 300 miles per hour.

    And yes, that is a deadly force.
     
  12. Jan 1, 2010 #11

    f95toli

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    Seems you are right. A quick google search came up with a few relevant hits (including an old thread on this forum).
    Apparantly there are also other confirmed cases where a falling bullet has killed someone.
     
  13. Jan 1, 2010 #12

    cristo

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    so here's another stereotype that's really true! :biggrin:
     
  14. Jan 1, 2010 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    That's why well-informed idiots only fire shotguns into the air. Shotgun pellets coming down pose no danger, which is why [in part] they are used to hunt birds; not to mention that a bird is pretty tough to hit with a bullet. :biggrin:
     
  15. Jan 1, 2010 #14

    Moonbear

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    :rofl:

    As for the rest of the story, I think the only thing forum guidelines will allow me to say regarding what I'm thinking is that it's a rather cruel irony.
     
  16. Jan 1, 2010 #15
    But to break through a roof and a skull it has to have some mass. The story doesn't say the bullet came straight down from the sky, it could have been fired directly at the church, since the roof is slanted and could have ricocheted downward.
     
  17. Jan 1, 2010 #16
    We're talking about a a small child's soft skull, and he didn't die instantly. The accounts I heard made it sound like they were sure it was a falling bullet and wasn't coming from any discernible direction.

    I suppose I should have guessed that the physics would be questioned. *sigh*
     
  18. Jan 1, 2010 #17

    diazona

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  19. Jan 1, 2010 #18

    Moonbear

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    It wouldn't have to penetrate the skull to be lethal. Just fracturing the skull in the right place will do it, and as kote points out, that's not so hard when it's only a 4-year-old. Just the debris falling from a ceiling could cause a lethal injury hitting a 4-year-old in the head (or even an adult, depending on the size of the debris and height of the ceiling and where it hits).
     
  20. Jan 2, 2010 #19
    It sadly shows that we need to do more than exercise gun rights, we need to prevent gun wrongs.

    Brad, a young boy I knew, had a brother who got a .22 for Christmas many years ago. He pointed it at Brad and playfully pulled the trigger. The bullet pierced Brad's heart.

    Apparently the gun dealer wanted to do a favor to the father by loading the gun with bullets as a "surprise." Brad's family did not pursue him legally.

    Brad's brother must be permanently scarred.
     
  21. Jan 2, 2010 #20
    How can a confirmed case supersede a controlled experiment? If they test it and it proves to be a myth, then there's something fishy about the "confirmed cases". That's taking anecdotal evidence and eyewitness testimony over a scientific experiment. If you disregard the scientific experiment, you're saying there's something flawed with the experiment. And why would you say there's something flawed with the experiment before you say there's something flawed with the "confirmed cases"?
     
  22. Jan 2, 2010 #21

    DaveC426913

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    Mythbusters' inability to create the exact circumstances of a known event does not falsify the known event. No experiment can "prove" it did not happen.

    And, while I love the show, I am leery of concurring that they can be called "scientific experiments". Certainly, I won't be questioning too many police reports based on a Mythbuster's ep.
     
  23. Jan 2, 2010 #22
    What was flawed about their experiment?

    And it's a "known event" how? How do we KNOW?
    No experiment can "prove" I didn't just get visited by a dragon.
    Their experiments are based more on science than police reports, which are based on a number of different things, including eyewitness testimony.
     
  24. Jan 2, 2010 #23

    DaveC426913

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    I didn't say anything was flawed about it. But no experiment can factor in every variable. The precise angle, the precise impact point, the exact thickness and bone-density of that victim's skull, the exact cause of death (how do you prove a crash-terst dummy did NOT die of ruptured blood vessel). The variables are endless. Their experiment would have to test every conceivable variable and show that all of them failed.

    Again, all their experimenting cannot falsify an event. The best they can do is call it implausible.
     
  25. Jan 2, 2010 #24

    Evo

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    How do you disprove the occurence of freak accident happening?

    In the case of the OP? You doubt it happened?
     
  26. Jan 2, 2010 #25

    mgb_phys

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    They assumed a literal terminal velocity, ie a round fired vertically upward that reached a maximum height (zero veolcity) and came straight down.
    Imagine you fired a round at 45deg it would have a much higher velocity when it hit the unfortunate target.
     
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