Sometimes, authority figures simply don't have any respect for people carrying out empirical research. Like that 16-year-old Florida girl who got expelled from school for making a balloon full of hydrogen go boom, or the Los Angeles teacher who was suspended for letting a kid design a project that used electricity to propel a tiny projectile. Or poor Adam Hirtle, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who "told investigators he shot himself in the foot Wednesday night because he wanted to know what it felt like." With attitudes like that, it's a wonder we ever made to the moon. Come to think of it, we overlooked a few Nazis' war criming to do that job.


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We're informed that Mr. Hirtle was arrested on suspicion of "prohibited use of weapons, reckless endangerment and child abuse in the shooting," which suggests there might have been a young person nearby who was probably able to learn something from the experiment. Like details of the human circulatory system. And ballistics (including, possibly, ricochets). And how long it takes for Emergency Medical Services to arrive.

The Denver Post reports that officers were initially dispatched to St. Francis Hospital when hospital workers reported an "accidental gun discharge." Once they arrived, however, Hirtle set them straight: nothing accidental about it, he knew exactly what he was doing.

Hirtle told an officer he shot himself in his garage.

"Hirtle stated he took his boot off and shot it, then placed his boot back on his foot and then intentionally shot himself in the foot," police say. "He did not sustain life-threatening injury nor was anybody else injured."

You have to wonder what the purpose of shooting the empty boot first was. Possibly a perceived sanitary measure, to prevent material from the boot being driven into the wound, assuming Hirtle was able to match the entry point exactly? A commenter on the article speculated:

Perhaps the boot was his control group. Either that or he was testing his hypothesis that he would feel physical pain when he shot his boot. Either way, I anxiously await his published results.

Since the injury was non-fatal, Mr. Hirtle has missed out on a chance for a Darwin Award. For his sake, and the unidentified child's -- whatever its relationship with Hirtle -- we're hoping Mr. Hirtle has no plans for testing the Afterlife Hypothesis. And no, we won't be surprised if, given the fact that Colorado Springs is Ground Zero for Evangelical Derp, we eventually learn that Hirtle was testing out some Bible verse he figured would make him impervious to pain.

[Denver Post]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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