"Four killed, 60 wounded as jubilant Iraqis fire in air "
I saw this headline - bit of a downer to survive Saddam only to die from some random round fired by an idiot:
Hatcher's Notebook (1962) by Major General Julian S. Hatcher, a U.S. Army ordnance expert. Hatcher described military tests with, among other things, a .30 caliber bullet weighing .021 pounds. Using a special rig, the testers shot the bullet straight into the air. It came down bottom (not point) first at what was later computed to be about 300 feet per second. "With the [.021 pound] bullet, this corresponds to an energy of 30 foot pounds," Hatcher wrote. "Previously, the army had decided that on the average an energy of 60 foot pounds is required to produce a disabling wound. Thus, service bullets returning from extreme heights cannot be considered lethal by this standard."
If 30 foot pounds doesn't mean much to you, the bullet made a mark about one-sixteenth of an inch deep in a soft pine board. About what you'd get giving it a good whack with a hammer.
It appears that the fatalities so commonly reported in places such as LA are from more "horizontally" fired shots, including the not so random shots.