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Q: middle east conflicts ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: middle east conflicts
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: zoltan-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 29 Apr 2002 20:52 PDT
Expires: 29 May 2002 20:52 PDT
Question ID: 6638
number and extent of injuries from weapons fired in air during
demonstrations in middle east

Request for Question Clarification by penguin-ga on 30 Apr 2002 19:35 PDT
Hi Zoltan!
I would like to be sure that I understand your question completely.
Are you looking for the number and extent of injuries from weapons
fired into the air from demonstrators in the middle east since
September 11th?
Thank you in advance for the clarification,

Clarification of Question by zoltan-ga on 01 May 2002 06:37 PDT
In newsclips of funeral and other demonstrations thousands of rounds
are seen fired from
assault rifles more or less straight up... these bullets return to
earth at, minimum, terminal velocity.
Surely, people are being injured...not a serious issue in the larger
context of these conflicts.

I believe that during the PLO withdrawal from Beruit demonstrators
were asked to refrain
from firing in the air to minimize injuries.

A hard number or a beginning date is not important....should have
phrased the question better....this
question is my first and was intended to test the system.
Subject: Re: middle east conflicts
Answered By: drdavid-ga on 01 May 2002 13:10 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Unfortunately, I haven't really been able to find the statistics
you're looking for. It's a little tricky to search for information
about injuries from bullets fired into the air. Almost all of the
search terms you can think of using have enough unrelated meanings
that it's hard to focus in on relevant information! With a little
perseverance, I finally found a useful trick: look for the cluster of
words "fired straight up" plus "injuries."

I was able to confirm that people are often injured and killed by
bullets returning to earth from being fired straight up. Obviously,
the problem becomes much more serious in crowds. You can find both
forensic references (how to identify such injuries) and physics
explanation. For example, Dr. Karl S. Kruszelnicki discusses the issue
on his website at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

He calculates that a bullet fired at a muzzle velocity of about 3000
kph will return to earth at a terminal velocity of 330-770 kph, more
than sufficient to penetrate a skull, even if it is a lot slower than
the speed of a bullet fired straight at a person. (You only need about
220 kph to penetrate.) He further reports that "most people who have
been hit by bullets falling out of the sky get hit on their upper
back, the top of their head, or their shoulders." Injuries have
occurred from falling bullets all over the world. Karl reports that
"in Kuwait after the end of the Gulf War, the Kuwaitis celebrated by
firing weapons into the air -- and 20 Kuwaitis died from falling
bullets. In Los Angeles, between the years 1985 - 1992, doctors at the
King/Drew Medical Center treated some 118 people for random
falling-bullet injuries. 38 of them died. Practically all of the
injuries were due to happy holiday weekend revelers."

Also see a similar discussion at the other ABC by Todd Campbell of

However, your real question about statistics for demonstrations in the
Middle East does not seem to yield to any search that I've tried,
either on the web in general or on news archive sites. It's easy
enough to find individual reports of injuries in a particular
demonstration, but if anyone has collected statistics for any regions
or time periods, I haven't been able to find them. The Middle East
does not yet have the same mania for the gathering of statistics that,
say, U.S. public health officials have.

I hope that this information at least partly satisfies your curiosity.
zoltan-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Research was well done and the answer met my criteria.

There are no comments at this time.

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