Firing into crowds
April 16, 2012 9:40 AM Subscribe
News coverage of the Arab Spring routinely has reports (with audio-gunshots) of state actors shooting at crowds of demonstrators. Often it seems like very few people are injured/killed. Is this confirmation bias on my part, are there mass casualties, or are the folks "shooting" at the crowd (ie not at the actual people) ?
posted by k5.user to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Just thinking of crowd sizes and what not, it would seem that if you shoot at a crowd of demonstrators, especially with some type of automatic rifle, you would mow them down, mass casualties. I don't recall that actually happening.
Why ? Is the shooter not firing directly at the crowd ? Can people react/disperse/duck fast enough to avoid the shots ? Are the people not densely packed enough such that the bullets harmlessly pass through empty space ? Or are many people injured, but not killed ? (or are many people killed, and I'm just having confirmation bias in the news I read/hear? )
I recall the 50,000 rounds per casualty statistic from the Vietnam War, so I think the first guess (not shooting at the people) is a possible answer.