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Suicide with a .38

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Russ, Jan 21, 2004.

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  1. Russ

    Russ Member

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    I have an accaintance who had a family member try to end her life with a .38 revolver. She is still seriously messed up, in the hospital. However, she failed in her her ultimate goal. Makes you think about priorities.

    The bullet didn't lodge in her skull but fell out on the operatiing room table. She hit herself on the right side and likely will be paralyzed somewhat on her left side. Seems to me life is hard enough as it is.

    My question is this, does a .38 not have enough Uumph to kill oneself with? I have heard about them bouncing off of car windows when LEO's used them in certain cases. Perhaps it was the trajectory. I'm guessing she really didn't take the time to do it right, whatever that means. I remember a couple of years back when a teacher in FLA got shot with a .32 and was gone before he hit the floor. All I know is that I wouldn't want to get hit with a .22.

    My prayers are with her and her family. What a terrrible thing for all involved.
     
  2. fatboyclone

    fatboyclone Member

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    sorry to hear that, I'll keep her in my prayers
     
  3. Ukraine Train

    Ukraine Train Member

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    Sorry to hear this.

    It was probably a poorly placed shot.
     
  4. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    Very tragic. I, too, will keep her in my prayers.

    To answer your other question, it all depends on a lot of factors.

    All of the following, along with everything else I am leaving out, could determine if a shot with a .38 or a .22 is lethal or not.

    Shot placement
    Shot angle
    Shot distance
    Relative speeds of target and firearm
    powder charge
    powder age
    moisture in the powder
    powder settled or not in the casing
    temperature of the casing and the powder
    length of barrel
    weight of projectile
    projectile profile
    health of victim
    density of victim's bones

    and the list could go on almost forever.

    In short, there is no definite answer.

    With all the factors pointing the right way, one could easily kill oneself with a single shot from a BB gun.

    On the other hand, one could also easily miss an attempted suicide with a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with slugs and only horribly maim and cripple oneself.

    hillbilly
     
  5. Swamprabbit

    Swamprabbit Member

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    Very sorry to hear about this. To answer your question, a long time friend of mine took his own life with a .38 about 8-9 years ago. Tragically, yes- it can be done.
     
  6. SMLE

    SMLE Member

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    It all has to do with just where the bullet goes. A .22 CB short against the back of the skull into the medulla will kill you dead as a wedge. A .45 ACP, 230grn Hydra-Shok that misses anything important won't. Recently, an Albuquerque Cop was shot in the head with her own gun, with just the .45 round mentioned above. She lived, and after a good stay in the hospital, walked out under her own power and spoke at a press conferance. There are legions of documented cases of people having some amazing things rammed through their heads and surviving. I'm sure that any trauma room or EMS folks here can tell you some real horror stories of failed suicide attempts.
     
  7. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Like the other's, I'm sorry to learn of this horriffic event.
    Recently I witnessed a 15 year old w/f being rushed by
    ambulance to my local hospitals ER with a self-inflicted
    .38 caliber handgun shot that entered her head, just
    above the right ear. She was quickly pronounced DOA,
    by the ER physician.

    In investigating the matter, a local sheriff's deputy told
    me that her reason behind this terrible act, was because
    she was grounded by her parent's for driving her big
    brothers car. What a senseless act! I can't speculate
    whether or not drugs were involved?

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2004
  8. Marko Kloos

    Marko Kloos Moderator Emeritus

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    The teacher was Barry Grunow, the shooter was Nathaniel Brazill, and the gun was a .25ACP. Grunow was dead on the spot.

    Any bullet can kill you, if it intersects something vital.
     
  9. larry_minn

    larry_minn Member

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    Even a shotgun will not be 100% fatal in Suicide. IMO a gun is poor choice if you really want a permenent solution to temp problem.
     
  10. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    There are so many things that can play into this... Two stories, both second hand but from very credible sources, show this difference.

    Several years back, a sherrifs department was responding to a situation where a guy had snapped and was threatening his wife with an SKS. She finally got away and notified police. She told them he was armed with the SKS. The finally moved in. The eventually knew he was in a bedroom closet. One officer shot around the corner hitting the guy right in the head with a 9mm FMJ bullet. Not sure of the gun, but it was a duty weapon. Probably Glock, Sig or S&W. It literally bounced off his head leaving very little blood visible. Knocked him completely out but not killing him.

    Another story is a friend of the family decided to take his own life after surmounting family problems. He evidently did his research. He laid all the insurance papers, merriage license etc out on the bed and shot himself with a little 22 pistol. Back of the head off to the right towards the ear. No exit wound but he was very dead when they found him...

    So... if you had to do it, would you rather use a 22 or a 9mm? Personally, I think a 12 gauge is the only way to go. ;)
     
  11. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    There have been people who have survived penetrating hits to the head with rifle bullets, with only moderate to no real impairment.

    Others have survived arrows, nails, iron bars, etc., with the same story.

    The human creature can be very tough to kill.
     
  12. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Sorry to hear the bad news.

    I for one would never ever attempt suicide. There is nothing in this life that would be so bad as to take my own life for it.
     
  13. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    I'm with Lennyjoe, with the exception of certain very fatal illnesses when all medical hope is lost. I think there can be, in some rare cases, a sane time to "check out" (end stage AIDS or something at that level of nasty).

    Even then, care should be taken with regards the feelings of family/friends. At a minimum, they should know afterwards that this wasn't about any "failures" on their part, rather an informed medical decision.

    Those sorts of suicides are quite rare. Most are "momentary stupidity", drugs/alky or depression, and leave everyone they know simply flattened.
     
  14. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    Reminds me of that guy from back in the 1800's that survived having a tamping rod blown though his head when the dynamite he was using said rod on went off. and a model of who's (or maybe even the real then, but then the bones would have started to heal) skull is now in display (WITH a section of the same diameter rod through the various "holes") in some well known museum here in the US.

    seem to remember that it entered through like the right cheek, passed behind his right eye, through portions of his frontal lobe and exited top left, and i THINK went clear through (as in the whole length of the rod went through his head adn out the other side).

    this man went on (after recovery) to at least for a time make money on a public speaking tour, b/c "his survival was a miricle". walking, talking etc etc, no problem. though many who knew him before and after said that the injury had changed him considerably (made meaner i think, which would i beleive be consistent with frontal lobe damage)
     
  15. Phil Ca

    Phil Ca Member

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    Sorry to hear about your aquaintence. She must have really felt desperate to attempt somthing like that.

    A good many years ago a doctor was attending a medical convention in SF. He went to the Tenderloin area downtown in the evening and someone tried to rob him. He was shot 5 times in the head with a .25 ACP pistol. The doctor walked into an ER complaining of a "terrible" head ache. The doctors on call discovered thet all 5 bullets were just inside his scalp, a couple of them having moved around between the skull and his scalp.

    On the other hand a friend in the PD where I was a reserve on the SF Peninsula committed suicide over the breakup of his family. He drove to GG park to a soccor field and shot himself once with his duty revolver.
     
  16. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    Hesitation marks made by suicide attempts with a handgun are much more affecting than hesitation marks left by knife or hammer or other tools. Just before the trigger broke... she changed her mind.
     
  17. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Member

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    Very, very sad. I hope sincerely she gets the help she needs....

    Cops see lots of successful and "failed" gun shot suicide attempts. That's why cops "swallow their gun." You won't slip or flinch and graze your skull, if it's in your mouth when you pull the trigger.

    Terrible subject.

    An Ensign at SEAL Team 2 killed himself in his BOQ room in the late 70s with a .22 pistol. It was evident from the crime scene photos that he had changed his mind after shooting himself. Blood all over his room and bathroom, towels and pillows used to stanch the flow. It took quite a while to die, from the evidence, and it was not fun for him.

    God Bless you Ensign P____y, wherever you are.
     
  18. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "There is nothing in this life that would be so bad as to take my own life for it."

    Never say never. You don't know what life has in store for you.
     
  19. Russ

    Russ Member

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    Thanks all. I think George probably hit it. She probably didn't really mean to do it at the last second. She's responding with hand signals now but unable to speak. I too hope she comes out of it physically and mentally. The physical part is only half the battle at this point.

    When I heard about her doing this, my problems seemed pretty insignificant.
     
  20. Tactical

    Tactical Member

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    What a terrible story. I would have to say it is worst to be cripple from a failed suicide than life before.

    A guy around here killed himself a few years ago in an apartment my cousin owned. He swallowed the end of his 30-06 hunting rifle and pulled the trigger. Highly successful. There was nothing left to his head but a jaw bone. Every inch of the bedroom had some kind of blood or brain matter. :barf:
     
  21. Jeff OTMG

    Jeff OTMG Member

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    Sorry to hear about it, a survivor of an attempted suicide by firearm is unusual. She was almost a stat that the antis would try to use against us. glad she was not successful.

    My father was the director of safety and security for a local public hosptal. I woman came in with facial trauma. She had attempted suicide with a .32 revovler, but she was at too steep an angle when she was aiming for her forehead. The shot was angled up and skidded off the front of the skull. Her forehead and eyes were badly bruised, she came in the day after seeking medical help. It hurt so much that she didn't want to try it again.
     
  22. WT

    WT Member

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    What? No free choice advocates? Can't a woman do what she wants with her own body?
     
  23. Ryder

    Ryder Member

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    Sure. Depends on shot placement. Most effective on soft tissue. I knew a guy with a 38 caliber scar over a rib bone. He suffered no serious injury. If that had been a half inch lower he'd probably have died.

    It takes thousands of psi to penetrate a skull.
     
  24. Carbonator

    Carbonator Member

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    That's rough.

    I heard of a lady who used a shotgun but didn't aim well and took out the side of her head. Now she's very much deformed and is paralyzed on one side. Can't imagine how hard she has it now. Maybe for some of us our basic survival instincts kick in at the last second. Sorry to hear about the girl.
     
  25. PX15

    PX15 Member

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    Suicide

    My Aunt committed suicide in 1977 with a Charter Arms Undercover, 38 cal. She fired one shot to the right side of her head and almost blew the top off. It was loaded with SJHP's I had given her. I spoke to the funeral director, and he said short of a 12ga shotgun wound My Aunt's was the most destructive he'd ever seen. I don't think any sane person committs suicide. A permanent solution to a temporary problem.
     
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