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revolutionarily
08-03-2003, 02:30 PM
How long does someone live after shooting themselves in the temple with say, a .45acp? Have the police or military ever done any tests on it? What happens to the brain and body when that happens?

Quartz
08-03-2003, 03:32 PM
A bit of a morbid subject, don't you think? If your brains are plattered all over the wall, does it really matter?

That said, an ex solder (latterly a master armourer) told me the story of a patrol in Northern Ireland. The Lt got shot in the head but because the bullet was now spinning in 3D, not 2D, after going through the helmet, the bullet hit the head at an angle, penetrated the guy's skin, and went around the guy's head between the skin and the bone and out roughly the other side.

revolutionarily
08-03-2003, 03:49 PM
Someone I know died this way, and I'm just curious how their last moments may have been.

billy
08-03-2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by revolutionarily
Someone I know died this way, and I'm just curious how their last moments may have been.

IANAD but I think it safe to assume the last thing your friend heard or felt was a click, with no pain or fear after that.

Quartz
08-03-2003, 04:26 PM
A bit of a morbid subject, don't you think? If your brains are plattered all over the wall, does it really matter?

That said, an ex solder (latterly a master armourer) told me the story of a patrol in Northern Ireland. The Lt got shot in the head but because the bullet was now spinning in 3D, not 2D, after going through the helmet, the bullet hit the head at an angle, penetrated the guy's skin, and went around the guy's head between the skin and the bone and out roughly the other side.

Tranquilis
08-03-2003, 04:45 PM
Not all temple wounds are fatal, but those that are not so are vanishingly rare.

Assume, unless specifically told otherwise, that the lights went out immediately.

patchbunny
08-03-2003, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by revolutionarily
How long does someone live after shooting themselves in the temple with say, a .45acp? Have the police or military ever done any tests on it? What happens to the brain and body when that happens?

Depends upon the cartridge, depends upon the path the bullet takes.

A bullet that generates a decent-sized temporary cavity will shove the brain against the confines of the skull, intensifying the damage done. Skull fragments can become secondary missiles, increasing the damage to the brain. Small caliber rounds, such as the .22 LR, can enter the skull, strike the far wall, and ricochet within the cranial cavity.

No one that I'm aware of has done specific investiogations like you ask, but I have seen articles regarding the physical activity of people after fatal gunshot injuries. Don't rememebr the exact specifics, but Dr. Vincent DiMiao, a medical examiner, mentions one instance in a book he wrote where a burgular was shot in the chest with a 12 ga firing birdshot at close range. The heart was turned into hambuger, but the guy turned and ran for over 60 feet before collapsing.

I think that maybe you're refering to suicide-type incidents, where the gun is placed against the temple? I believe there are cases where people have tried to kill themselves in this manner, but only suceeded in blinding themselves because the round traversed the eye sockets instead of the brain.

After Kurt Cobain ate a shotgun years ago, there were some copycat suicides. One failed attempt I saw on TV involved some guy who stuck the shotgun under his chin, but his head was so tilted back he suceeded in blowing off the front of his lower jaw, upper jaw, and nose. and the front of his face. (Plastic surgery does a lot, but there only so much you can fix. Yuck.)

--Patch

Gyrate
08-03-2003, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by revolutionarily
Someone I know died this way, and I'm just curious how their last moments may have been. As long as we're only talking about a friend and not some hypothetical future occurrence.

Mind you, if you use an British Army rifle and are stationed at Deepcut (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2565925.stm), you can apparently live long enough to shoot yourself in the head twice. :rolleyes:

Scruloose
08-03-2003, 06:34 PM
A friend and a shipmate of mine did this very thing about 10 years ago - shot himself in the temple with a .45 acp. I was unlucky enough to see the aftermath. Since you asked, I'll offer up this: basically everything in his head exploded in a mess and most of it ended up on the floor and wall. I'd wager he didn't feel a thing. He probably died only hearing a loud noise - if that.

Blalron
08-03-2003, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by jr8
As long as we're only talking about a friend and not some hypothetical future occurrence.

Mind you, if you use an British Army rifle and are stationed at Deepcut (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2565925.stm), you can apparently live long enough to shoot yourself in the head twice. :rolleyes:

It is possible to shoot oneself in the head more than once, the finger could pull the trigger again as a reflex.

Sattua
08-03-2003, 09:12 PM
Something that I've observed when reading brain damage case studies (this from an undergraduate degree heavy on neuroscience, psych, and linguistics... but still only an undergrad degree) is that people who have brain damage seem to always be incapable of understanding that they have it. That is, they might know something is wrong, but because the part of the brain that controls it is gone, the ability to realize what it is... is gone also. From that, it seems likely that one wouldn't register anything after the instant of impact.

Qadgop the Mercotan
08-03-2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by Sattua
Something that I've observed when reading brain damage case studies (this from an undergraduate degree heavy on neuroscience, psych, and linguistics... but still only an undergrad degree) is that people who have brain damage seem to always be incapable of understanding that they have it. That is, they might know something is wrong, but because the part of the brain that controls it is gone, the ability to realize what it is... is gone also. From that, it seems likely that one wouldn't register anything after the instant of impact.
It depends on which part of the brain is damaged. Many brain damage sufferers are fully aware that they have brain damage.

As for the OP, the best answer is "it depends", as has already been illustrated by a myriad of other posters.

QtM, MD

Sam Stone
08-03-2003, 09:49 PM
My wife works in a Psych ward in a hospital, working with patients who are sometimes suicidal, and over the years has had several incidents of patients who shot themselves in the head and lived. Usually, they wind up disfiguring and lobotomizing themselves. The sad part is often after the damage they no longer have the desire to die, but are keenly aware of what they have lost. Sometimes they're somewhat normal but fly into violent rages, sometimes they're very disabled. They get to live with that for the rest of their lives.

Ellis Dee
08-04-2003, 02:19 AM
Gun to the temple is not a viable (irony intentional) method of suicide. I would say do as much research as possible. You may very well find that if you have a reliable and accessible exit plan, your desire to leave diminishes.

Side note: In general, guns are not a particularly good option, as evidenced by the replies in this thread. In fact, "good" options are surprisingly difficult to come by. All methods have a potential for failure, and living with the consequences of those failures can make even a terrible life seem like a walk in the park.

Since you seem relatively new, I'd respectfully suggest that there may be more appropriate forums for such discussions. I know of one in particular, but due to recent events (unrelated to SDMB) I won't discuss it here.

pool
08-04-2003, 06:26 AM
I read a case once of a farmer who shot himself in the head with a shotgun and lived, anyway he obviously did not plan on thi so he only had one shell in the shotgun, apparently he crawled back to his house and reloaded the shotgun and killed himself with one nore shot. I know this sounds like a bullshit story but I think it was true because it also provided a picture of the deceased but who knows.
I also read once about an incident in vietnam in which a piece of flying shrapnel decapitated a soldier who was about to hand the guy next to him a map. After the guy was decapitated allegedly the body still standing pulled the map out of it's pocket and held it out to the guy next to him before the body collapsed. I read that off a news website I might still be able to find a link.

smiling bandit
08-04-2003, 09:01 AM
After the guy was decapitated allegedly the body still standing pulled the map out of it's pocket and held it out to the guy next to him before the body collapsed.

Assuming it was true, I would guess it was more likely that the hand was tight around the map and the arm muscles spasmed or the force of the shrapnel knocked the arm up.

Crafter_Man
08-04-2003, 01:43 PM
Morbid, I agree.

Jeff Cooper tells the (true) story of finding his neighbor after he shot himself with a rifle. The guy had apparently removed the bullet from the cartridge before loading it into the rifle. (The cartridge still contained primer and powder.) He stuck the barrel in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The rapidly expanding gas exiting the muzzle split his head in two “perfectly formed” half-spheres. Lovely. :rolleyes: