This one’s been rusting in our queue since September, but the link is still good, and the poor guy is still dead. When we say “almost anything can kill a human being, and the only thing that keeps us alive is good fortune and the common decency of 99.repeating9% of humanity” we do indeed mean it.
This young fellow died instantly seconds after some kind of “pilot error” with his favorite plaything, a radio-controlled helicopter. NBC News:
A 19-year-old man playing with a remote control helicopter in Brooklyn, N.Y., lost control of it, sliced off the top of his own head and died Thursday afternoon, law enforcement officials said.
The helicopter enthusiast, identified by officials as Roman Pirozek Jr., and his father were in Calvert Vaux Park at Shore Parkway and Bay 44th Street in Gravesend.
Pirozek also sheared off part of his shoulder, officials said.
Traumatic amputations are survivable, given prompt treatment and evacuation, but not cranial ones.
There’s something particularly sad about his mishap occurring in front of his father, who apparently shared his hobby.
Many people fear guns because they can take human life if misused (and sometimes, in the case of lawful homicides, even if used properly). But almost anything can take a human life. As we type these words, the temperature outside is 18ºF, headed for 12ºF, with winds of 17 knots gusting to 25 (that’s about 20-30 mph). An hour’s exposure to that weather will kill an unprepared, unprotected human being, and there are people out there driving in day clothes and street shoes, without anyone knowing when they will be back, and without any emergency stuff in their car, and only a vague idea of what their gas gage reads. A breakdown, or fuel exhaustion, late at night on a rural road has every potential to kill you dead as a gun, and it’s far more probable an occurrence (although a death from exposure or hypothermia is not as bad as it sounds… once you get past the shivers and your core temp starts really dropping you just fall asleep, never to wake).
Here is a thought about guns. About 3.5 million guns are manufactured every year, and about 10 billion rounds of fixed small arms ammunition. The anti-gunners say 30,000 “gun deaths” occur annually (a figure they get to by lumping murders, justifiable homicides by police, ditto by citizens, and suicides — which alone are two thirds of “gun deaths” — into a single number). So less than 1% of one year’s production of guns is used in a “gun death”, and about 3 ten-thousandths of a percent of one year’s civilian ammo production is used in a “gun death.” Change the denominator to homicides, and even using CDC’s padded number, the percentages drop to 0.31% and a vanishingly small 0.00011% — eleven hundred-thousandths of a percent. We’ll elaborate on this in a post in the days ahead.
But we suspect the number’s pretty close to the number of radio controlled aircraft involved in a fatal accident. RTZ, as the numerate kids say.