Dumb and Dumber

There are times when I start to feel optimistic about the future of the human race. I start to think that we will be wise and knowledgeable enough to solve all of our problems and expand out into the furthest reaches of the universe. Then, I read a story like this from Fox News.

A South Carolina man died Wednesday morning after police say he asked one of his friends to fire a gun into a bulletproof vest he was wearing, Fox Carolina reported.

The bullet reportedly missed the Kevlar vest and hit Blake Wardell, 26, in the chest. Friends performed CPR, but Wardell bled to death in the garage, the report said. The death was classified a homicide. The bulletproof vest was about 10 years old and the weapon was called a small-caliber gun, The State reported.

Taylor Ann Kelly, 18, was reportedly charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting and can face five years in prison.

“It wasn’t a fight. They were actually going to take a shot at the vest,” Don McCown, the Anderson County deputy coroner, told the paper. “They were going to shoot the victim with the vest on. And he was shot in the chest, just above the vest.”

Deputies said in the arrest warrant they believe that the victim asked Kelly to shoot him.

If I happened to be in possession of a Kevlar vest and I wanted to test it, I would hope that I might be to figure out a safer means of testing it, maybe by putting on a dummy I don’t know much about bulletproof vests, but a quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that they are not necessarily completely bullet proof against all calibers and at any range. It is actually possible to be harmed by gunfire even while wearing a vest if the bullet is massive enough, at close enough range, or has a large enough velocity. And there is always the possibility that the bullet will hit an unprotected part of the body, as happened in this unfortunate case.

I would also hope that if someone ever told me to shoot him to test a bullet proof vest, I would have enough sense to just say no. I don’t think that Miss Kelly deserves to go to prison, since she evidently had no intention of murdering Mr. Wardell, but this incident does show lack of judgement on her part. Perhaps probation will be sufficient.

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