I studied this subject and spoke about it with some people close to me. I reflected in thought to write about it here.
I was one year old when Karl Wallenda plunged to his death on March 22, 1978, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
His attempt: Cross a tight wire between the tallest hotel buildings on the island at 120 feet, 10 floor stories high; with absolutely no protection underneath.
Wallenda had successfully done this many times in the past, and at 73 years old he was confident that he could do it once more, just one more time.
At first glance, to most (me included) his stunts would seem completely insane. But for those who are in the line of duty, they are just merely doing their job. He indeed died in the line of duty, no doubt. People like him live to perform, and amaze. They get satisfaction out of entertaining thousands of people. It is never safe.
You can not lay blame on the performer alone, the people who enjoy watching stunts like this are to blame just as well. They are the encouragers of such acts. People pay enormous amounts of money to see shows like this. To him, though, he was doing his job, for the purpose it was intended to. To amaze people, he laid his life on the line.
Other people put their life on the line in their line of duty, for other purposes. Firefighters, policemen, pilots, paramedics, nurses, politicians (many politicians have been shot), security guards, in-store loss prevention detectives put their life on the line if they recover a piece of merchandise from an armed shoplifter, etc.
Are they insane? Well, not really, despite of the fact that they all know the risks in their professions. How likely is a policeman to die in the line of duty? Very likely. It happens in the United States almost everyday.
Are they brave? Certainly.