William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Thursday, 23, July, 2009

How Not To Get Killed

Filed under: Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 16:01

So, Dr. G has a book out–How Not To Die.  This strikes me as futile.  We all will die.  I just want to do it all at once.  Not too soon, please, but I’m happy to skip advanced dementia or ALS or all that rot.  I’d like to be shot be a jealous husband when I’m ninety.

Be that as it may, I think about self-defense and survival a lot. There are some common themes to why people become my patients. Drugs, alcohol and stupidity are big themes. I work hard to avoid them, because I hope I can learn from another’s misfortune. I’ve found some resources so that you can, too. Some commenters have mentioned that I “have a lot of fear”. I don’t feel that I feel an excessive amount of fear, I try to rationally perceive risk and act accordingly. The world is not necessarily a benign place. Leopards, for example, are beautiful, but I’m not about to snuggle them.

Firstly, there are the Rate Your Risk quizzes. As with any Internet quiz, they are simplistic, but they are a place to start. They cover your chances of getting killed, robbed, or having your house broken into, considering. And they give you information on how to modify that risk.  It is something to consider.

There is a series of posts by Matthew, entitled Dark Arts for Good Guys on his Straight Forward In A Crooked World Blog.   Matthew’s advice makes very good sense when trouble comes looking for you. Tam mentioned Matthew, and I’m thankful. While I’m on the subject, looking at Gavin De Becker’s The Gift of Fear is also a good idea.

Bad things do exist, and rational people minimize their contact with bad things. I don’t practice my highland fling in the middle of I-90. I don’t learn to juggle and start with running chainsaws. But I don’t cower in my home, either.

Finally Tamara K from her Porch surveys the situation and she has a nice little essay that sums it up well. Don Gwinn agrees with her.
Key graf:

So, there you go: Stay away from people who habitually break laws. Stay away from places where people who are breaking laws tend to congregate. If you want to move on to being an advanced practitioner, we can start talking about alertness color codes and training and carry permits and such, but the above steps should have you well down the road to a safer life

I do have some concerns. There are people who are in prison and my testimony was part of why they are there. They are not overwhelming. Most people get more annoyed with the prosecutors or the detectives than they do with the coroners. But it is increased from baseline.


  1. got to ask – “where do you practise your highland fling?” and is there a youtube vid available?

    I’ve read “The Gift of Fear” and Tam’s post and guess i would sum up my opinions as:
    – don’t go looking for trouble
    – keep eyes open
    – assess risk, act accordingly
    – don’t assume the worst but be prepared for it

    Comment by julie — Thursday, 23, July, 2009 @ 23:34 | Reply

  2. I suppose your line of work will up your risks from baseline.

    Around here, people generally die of stupid, though this excepts the farmers who often die of work-related injuries.

    Also, around here it is a well known fact that if you leave the house wearing no underpants, your chance of dying (in a car accident, or something) is dramatically increased. If you are wearing someone else’s underpants, in this area, your chances of dying before you get home are astronomical.

    Yes, it’s a little odd here.

    Comment by red rabbit — Friday, 24, July, 2009 @ 11:25 | Reply

    • And the chances of dying if you’re an MP who is in a rubber bag with a budgerigar is 100%.

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Friday, 24, July, 2009 @ 11:29

  3. Ahhh, the Rate Your Risk quiz is the one I mentioned where the criminal is in danger — from ME.

    Your total is -16.

    (Negative score) A minus score indicates that the criminal would be in danger FROM YOU. The greater the negative score…the greater the danger.

    It’s a bit disturbing to think that I’m in that category. I look like a bookish soccer mom.

    Comment by Heather — Sunday, 2, August, 2009 @ 18:53 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: