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The Survivors Of Gun Bullets

June 24, 2017

Amazing read.

When a bullet pierces flesh, it ripples through the tissue in a chaotic fury. It will inevitably shred nerves, blood vessels and muscle. It might fracture bone. Deposit in an organ. Or zip out through another body part, leaving blood to ooze from the open pit.

Sometimes, the bullet carves a fatal path: About 36,000 Americanswere killed by a firearm in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of those deaths — almost two-thirds — were the result of suicide and involved mostly men 45 and older taking their own lives. Another third of deaths were linked to homicides, while the remaining sliver involved accidental shootings.

Most often, however, the bullet fails to kill: In 2015, nearly 85,000 people who were treated in emergency rooms survived. For those gunshot victims, their wounds were likely non-life-threatening — in either the legs or arms, National Institutes of Health data show. A smaller percentage of assaults or accidental shootings involved getting struck in the head or neck, with only about one-third of those victims surviving long enough to reach a hospital.

An example from the read.

Shot by accident

Benedict Jones

The bullet entered Benedict Jones’ neck, cutting into an artery and embedding fragments of bone into his spinal cord. In 1991, Jones was 11 and invited a friend over to his Bloomington, Indiana, home while his parents were away. Jones’ father kept a collection of firearms, including a loaded .38-caliber handgun. The boys became curious. Clutching the weapon, Jones’ friend was four or five feet away when he accidentally fired point-blank at Jones’ throat. Jones became one of more than 1,000 children unintentionally injured by guns each year, according to the CDC. The shooting left him paralyzed: He has no feeling from the chest down, but retains some movement in his arms. Twenty-six years later, Jones struggles with daily spasms and endures the emotional weight of what it means to be “normal.”

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