Secular Woman Interviews Atheist Survivor of Aurora Tragedy

One of the survivors of the Aurora shootings was Carli Richardspictures of her wounds (warning: graphic) made the rounds in the days following the tragedy. Unlike some of the other first-hand accounts of survival, Carli’s may be unique because she’s an atheist (who has a Scarlet A tattoo near her left shoulder).

She offers her own account of what happened here and granted an interview to Secular Woman:

I almost gave thought to praying in the ambulance that night, because that was when the real seriousness of the situation hit me — however, the medical staff whose care I was placed under took such good care of me. I was under the care of such competent, caring beings, that there was no need to do such a thing. I remember being in so much pain and shock that I was delirious, but at some point I was thanking them profusely. It wasn’t a higher power that got me out of my seat — it was the smell of the tear gas that landed at my feet. It was my boyfriend, Chris, who got me to the police officer who flagged down an ambulance for me. And it was the amazing medical staff who took care of me to ensure that I left the hospital in the best possible condition. I don’t want to put down the power of positivity, and that’s what I feel prayer is — positive vibes being sent your way- but I do like to give credit where it is due, and express my extreme gratitude towards all of these people, and also to my parents for bringing me up “right”.

If you’d like to help Carli cover her medical bills, you can donate here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Thorny264

    I hate to bring up another albeit minor issue in light of this tradegy but medical bills? I mean do they seriously still make you pay if a madman with a gun shoots you?

  • http://canadianheathen.wordpress.com/ The Yazata

    I read her account on a blog, the URL of which is lost to me.  She got quite a bit of hate aimed at her for a) stating angels had nothing to do with rescuing her and b) stating that her own survival instinct saved her ass.  Because false modesty and attributing anything unknown to god is the norm, apparently.  It actually pissed me off to see the reaction she got for failing to use the ‘praise jebus, he saved me’ script.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775209902 Stephanie Thayer

    First off, I’m so glad that Carli’s alive to tell her story. People often assume that atheist easily buckle when faced with such an extreme situation, but this woman shows that instead we look to our fellow humans for help. We give credit to medical staff and police officers when it’s due, rather than thanking “god” and ignoring the ones that risked their lives saving us. I wish her a speedy and fast recovery and I appreciate the courage that it took to come forward with her story.

  • http://canadianheathen.wordpress.com/ The Yazata

     And in Alaska you used to have to pay to get the police a rape kit if you were raped.  Seriously messed up.  No one should have to figure ‘might get shot or raped by a pyscho’ into their monthly budget.

  • Xfileluv

     That is very disheartening.

  • Polishedrock

    Where is the NRA when you need them?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Yes!

  • A Reader

    <3s to Carli and the other victims. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you heal well & quickly!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    They’re a business, not a charity. If shootings and killings were extremely rare, they might make exceptions. But they’re not, so just like any other service, you’ve got to pay. They do what they need to help you and bill you later. In general, anyways, people will value their life over money, so that’s not really a problem, but even with insurance, it’s hella expensive.

  • http://godless.biz Andrew Skegg

    Wait – the victims of a shooting have medical bills?  WTF? In most western countries medical care of this nature is provided free of charge.  Get with the program, USA.

  • http://godless.biz Andrew Skegg

    “… you’ve got to pay.”

    No, someone has to pay.  I do no think it is fair that the victims of crime not only contend with recovery from their injuries but are also penalised financially for having the misfortune of being shot.  Here in Australia, and many other parts of the world, medical care is provided at no direct charge to the victim.  We all contribute to the public health care system via taxes because we know at some stage we shall require their services.  This does not prevent one from obtaining private health insurance should you wish to choose another service.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I’m surprised about the medical bills. I thought different non-profits and the theatre itself were offering to pay the bills for the Aurora victoms? (The theatre mainly because they’re afraid of lawsuits)

  • machintelligence

    Actually, most of the hospitals have indicated that they will not bill the victims, although they expect the insurance companies to pay. 
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0725/Hospital-bills-forgiven-for-Colorado-shooting-victims 

  • Constitutionalist

    What a surprise. The hipster that uses Instigram’s shitty filters is an atheist.

  • machintelligence

    She was also very lucky to have fled when she did, as the shooter was only using a shotgun loaded with birdshot. Once he switched to the rifle and pistol, the serious injuries and deaths started. As I recall, she also faulted the other theater patrons  for hiding on the floor, which was somewhat unfair. When lead is in the air, “hit the dirt” is usually good advice. Others trying to escape later were shot with the rifle.

  • Miss_Beara

    It is sad, isn’t it? In this country we get the very real possibility of bankruptcy when faced with a medical crisis. 

  • Wild Rumpus

    … and so the bigotry and intolerance goes on and on and on and on and…

  • Wild Rumpus

    They’re too busy trying to make sure that evryone in every movie theatre everywhere is armed to the teeth.

  • http://canadianheathen.wordpress.com/ The Yazata

     I don’t disagree with you.  Maybe her statement immediately after being shot was a little unfair.  Poorly worded.  And yes, there was some victim blaming in there.  Worthy of shit like this?:

     ‘Saved by natural selection?Please bitch, a child died and that’s all your skanky ass can say? I hope he finishes the job.’  and ‘Seriously -you are a horrible fucking person. HOW DARE YOU…’No so much.  Incidently, I found the link to that blog.  http://sinisterdreams.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/carli-and-chriss-story-continued/comment-page-2/#comments

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    And you will never know who is armed. I could stand right next to you and you would have no clue I was armed.

    Atheist do carry and some atheist are even members of the NRA. I used to be one myself.

  • Parth

    Kinda going off-topic, but so she wants the death penalty for the guy…I don’t know how I feel about it.  I mean, I can’t blame her for being extremely pissed off at the guy, but I’ve always disliked the death penalty. Let’s face it, it’s not going to deter anyone from going on a mass killing spree and in reality its only ‘useful’ purpose is to feed a feeling of personal vendetta.

  • Keulan

    It’s always nice to see someone give credit to the people who actually helped her out, the doctors and other medical professionals, instead of giving credit to imaginary deities. Her story and her interview were great to read.

    However, I can’t support the death penalty, no matter how horrible the shooter’s actions were. It just doesn’t seem right to me.

  • Patterrssonn

    Unfortunately a lot of the victims will require months if not years of therapy of one kind or another, long after the donations are dried up, hospital ills or no.

  • Kim

    This woman was shot, she was brave enough to share her story and photos of her wounds online, and all some people can do is judge her. Sad.

    (I’m a tattooed woman too… remind me never to get shot!)

  • Kodie

    I’ve always thought that living it out in jail is the worse punishment. If I were judging people with revenge, it would be life in jail every time. From what I am to understand, life in jail is less expensive for the taxpayer and not an effective deterrent, but to be totally emotional about it (in general), I think living in prison is worse than getting to be ended.

  • Kodie

     “and the death penalty is not an effective deterrent”

  • Lagerbaer

    All this drama about who pays the bills and will the donations be enough or not could easily be avoided if there was universal health cares.

    And I have the additional feeling that if insurance companies had to pay for the victims, there would suddenly emerge  a strong lobby for stricter gun control…

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Lol, it’s true. Unless you have medical insurance (most people don’t), you just have to hope nothing bad happens to you. 

  • Dolo724

    Unfortunately neither will be an effective deterrent, nor are they in this case effective punishments. As the killer likely will be on some form of medication for the remainder of his natural life, he’ll so be in no state to recognize his crimes for what they are.

  • Ralph

    If some one had been openly armed, which is a normal right in almost all of Colorado, except for high crime areas like Aurora, the killer would be dead, and we’d save millions on a trial. Instead, we have a media circus. And don’t start with the guns bit. McVeigh killed 168 people with a truck bomb, but he was executed for killing 6 Federal agents. The regular people don’t count. And we didn’t ban fertilizer or trucks.

  • Ralph

    I don’t leave the house with out some kind of weapon. My government certainly can’t protect me, and doesn’t even try. They do security theater, like the TSA, and pick up the pieces. Depend on yourself, because there are no fairy tale deities to protect you.

  • Kodie

    I was not speaking in particular to this killer. In general, what is the outcome desired?

    -The most “punishment”? Many people think death is the more severe punishment but I do not. 

    -Deterrent? If the death penalty has not been demonstrated to be a stronger deterrent than life in prison (meaning the same or hypothetically weaker), how does society decide?

    -Cheaper. It is less expensive to keep a prisoner for life than to execute them.

    However people think of it, I think they either believe he’s going to hell or just exterminating someone like a bug is better for the rest of us. I don’t like distractions like the overloaded prisons, chances for parole someday, the so-called “luxuries”, and fear of escape, aka “as long as that guy lives, the rest of us aren’t safe”. Some people need to be in jail, probably not for severe crimes, I don’t believe anyone would be happy if they couldn’t go anywhere, and that’s why they are inside a max security with bars and electrified wire and unclimbable walls and guards in towers with sniper rifles and wear orange jumpsuits.

    Jail would have to be super-comfy (and while it might have some humane amenities, because we’re not monsters, I don’t believe it is now) for me to think it’s better for the prisoner than the sweet release of death. Bottom line (vengeance), I think a life-long lack of freedom to come and go is worse than dying. And that’s a generalization not specific to this crime or its perpetrator. I think preference for the death penalty comes from religious beliefs or a certain value for life itself rather than quality of life that some criminals are so vile they rate execution, while I feel on a visceral level that that’s the more merciful choice – obviously why so many criminals are on suicide watch and actually attempt to kill themselves anyway. I do think it’s weird for the prison to forcibly keep someone alive if they’re going to kill them later because it has to go by the book. A police officer will shoot to kill during a crime or on a chase if need be, for their own and the public’s safety. I’m not a police officer, so whatever I think about them, the public image is one of trying to spare the perpetrator if at all possible. Put them on suicide watch in prison, put the case to trial, and then sentence them to the death penalty. ????

    Proper procedure and due process being what it is, and not circumvented by the accused, but it seems to me many of them would rather be dead than caught and imprisoned for life, or so many wouldn’t commit suicide before they get arrested in the first place.

  • Miss_Beara

    It is a sad state of affairs when you have to rely on donations to pay medical bills. Even with insurance it is ridiculously expensive. I have insurance and I am still afraid I am going to get sick or get into an accident. :(

  • Isilzha

     What is wrong with you?

  • Isilzha

     And if you had been in that theater you’d have been able to kill the guy, right?  Do you not realize that reality isn’t like the movies and the bad guys don’t all just miraculously have bad aim.  What would likely have happened is that you would have been shot and killed the moment you stood still long enough to take aim OR, even more likely, YOU would have murdered an innocent or two in the process.

  • Isilzha

    I don’t think anyone has a right to be too harsh with her.  It’s very likely that her victim blaming is a psychological protective mechanism to help with survivor’s guilt.  It seems very common for people to wonder why they were able to survive and not others. 

  • Isilzha

    Sorry, I flagged you before realizing you were quoting comments from another blog.

  • Ralph

    If you look at US statistics, criminals are killed by civilians at three times the rate of LEOs.  And you only show you ignorance by stating to “stand and shoot”. You’ve never fired a weapon in your life, or served in the military.  I have, so try another lame argument.

    And atheists post with protection because we get threatened quite a bit. It’s called self-defense, something Brits and other subjects aka slaves to the government, can’t do.

  • Isilzha

    Fine, I shouldn’t have said, “stand and shoot”.  However, you still have to take time to find a position to fire your weapon.  People are going to be running around and in the case of the theater shooting, it was dark too.  For you to think that having a bunch more folks with guns in the theater would have made this situation not so tragic is just laughable.  No, more innocents would have died and we’d all be discussing about the appropriate charges to bring on people like you. 

    Seriously, people can’t even drive cars without being idiots and you want an armed society??

  • Juju

    I was going to ask the same thing… I knew that the health care situation in the US isn’t too good… but that is aweful!

  • http://canadianheathen.wordpress.com/ The Yazata

     Honest mistake.  Thanks for the heads up.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, who listens

    honey, you’re just now realizing that america is a barbarous place? we like to kill people over here, with lots of things that aren’t guns, too.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Yeah, really. And then you actually go to use your insurance, and come find, “We don’t cover that.” -_-;

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Yes, you have to pay for everything. A little different, but a few years ago, my wife was prescribed medication that nearly killed her. She was taken to the hospital, and she was billed $1200 for an AMBULANCE RIDE. She rode 15 miles in an ambulance, and they charged her $1200. Needless to say, we couldn’t pay it. We are now going through a bankruptcy because they wanted to collect the now-$1600 bill in full through the courts, which we can’t do. It sucks.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Go back to Madagascar.

  • Stev84

    Only in America will you see calls for donations for medical bills. It’s absurd

  • Stev84

    Coming from the very same people who think their god saved some people and let others die

  • Stev84

    Plenty of people in the military can barely hit a stationary target when standing perfectly still and on command. Most people (training or not) won’t hit someone in a dark theater, filling with tear gas, under stress, while they’re shot at. At least not without hitting any number of bystanders too.

  • Tainda

    You’re so right.  Their argument of “It’s for my protection” always makes me laugh.  If you’re in your home and an intruder comes in, unless you have that gun loaded and right beside you (which you shouldn’t) you have no chance of shooting an intruder while you find your gun, find the key to the ammo box and load it… blah blah.

    If you’re in a public place, especially a dark one like a theater, when those bullets start flying you are going to be so disoriented and scared you won’t know which way is up.

  • Nena

    *hipster who uses…

    Not only a jerk, but a jerk with bad grammar. 

  • Onamission5

    Even if all patrons had been armed, the chance of them hitting the shooter in a dark, crowded theater filled with smoke rather than other patrons is slim. Friendly fire is a real thing, which occurs in broad daylight, by well trained soldiers, because of the panic of battle. You would seriously advise more shootings to solve the problem, rather than less?

    And yes, before you ask, I come from a family military background, and learned to shoot at an early age, from NRA parents. As if that’s the only thing which wouldn’t invalidate my argument. 

  • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

    Many churches are opposed to single-payer healthcare, and I think it’s partly because they like that people become dependent on charity after a medical crisis.  Allowing our unjust healthcare system to persist gives churches the opportunity to swoop in and be heroes.

  • digitalatheist

    never mind that if other people have guns there will most likely be panic fire all over the place. CS gas makes it really hard to see and concentrate on anything but breathing, the place is dark, and people are running all over the place… should I also mention over-penetration of rounds hitting someone behind the target, or that the shooter may be wearing body armor, or that unlike movies and TV, a person doesn’t always fall dead from one bullet wound?

    I can certainly hope that society doesn’t go the NRA route of everyone just carrying around a weapon and whipping it out as they choose.

  • Katharine Klevinskas

     Unless you can afford to pay for medical insurance (most people don’t)

  • Vend Tana

     Aaron, most Americans DO have health insurance. Google “percent of Americans without health insurance” and you will find out that:

    49.9 million — The number of uninsured Americans in 2010. That’s 16.3% of the total population.

    To stay on topic though, I hope some of the victims’ medical bills are “forgiven” by the health care providers.

    And kudos to Carli Richards for thanking the right people and leaving an imaginary God out of it!

  • LE REDDIT

    LE UPBOAT IF YOUR AN ATHEIST !!!! XDDDDDD

  • Vend Tana

     One thing everyone who can afford it should do, if they don’t have insurance: Get private major medical coverage. It’s usually not super-expensive – cost of your internet or cell phone bill per month – and it will keep you out of bankruptcy in the event of a medical emergency.

    That said, we should have a public healthcare option for people who can not afford private insurance or who do not get it through their employer. I don’t understand why so many people are against that in this country.

  • katansi

    Well, our prison system is considered cruel and unusual punishment by a lot of other western countries because of barbaric conditions and lots of rape, drugs, and mental/physical abuse by guards and other inmates. Colorado prisons are known particularly for their use of solitary confinement which makes people tend to go (more in this case) psychotic and become suicidally depressed within a few days. Our prisons put them there for weeks at a time. Considering all that, death, even by firing squad, would be letting the guy off pretty easy. Life time of torture in the American prison system or death?

  • katansi

    And most Americans that experience catastrophic illness or injury will still end up bankrupt despite having insurance because we have caps and a whole load of other garbage. Medical debt is still the single biggest reason stated for bankruptcy. We also pay more out of pocket average for our medical care, this includes the premiums, than other countries’ citizens do in taxes for their care. It is just stupid that we don’t have this. Everyone gets sick, everyone dies, most people have kids, it’s obviously a public problem not an individual one.

  • katansi

    Man that angel garbage really gets to me. So was there a guardian angel on Holmes shoulder making sure he didn’t get taken down before killing a ton of people?

  • katansi

    I would also like to point out that not only do you have to pay but if you CAN’T pay for any further treatment that is not immediately life-saving, no one HAS to treat you. Which means all the people who need physical therapy now, or long term care in the case of at least one woman, are screwed. They have to either get on SSDI and hope it covers the bills or pay out of pocket. A lot of Americans think that if they go to the doctor or hospital for non-emergent care that they have to treat you but nope! They can wait until it gets to the point of death and then they’re legally obligated to jump in. So this actually includes crap like cancer. Because if it is not immediately life-threatening and you can’t pay the bill for treatment, well, you get to wait until it is and you’re guaranteed to die.

  • http://twitter.com/sangichan Maddie

    Welcome to America, where the victims of random crimes have to pay for their own medical care.

  • Dan

    Why not?

  • Randomemail

    stay posi. lose the fake glasses though. and you’re cute, bro

  • Keiichi81

    She also got a lot of hate for attributing her survival to her amazing smarts and instincts and not at all to the fact that she was fortunate to be sitting in an isle seat next to an exit on the opposite side of the theater from the gunman (and still managed to get shot), and then BLAMES the people who didn’t make it out as fast as she did by accusing them of being lazy, stupid and just “laying down and kissing their asses goodbye”. To say she was self-important and insensitive would be an understatement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I’ve never understood this argument that if more people are armed, horrible gun violence would be averted. If we lived in a society where most people were armed, yes, there may have been someone in that theatre in Aurora that may have taken down the killer (which wouldn’t have been an easy feat), but overall we’d have more gun violence. More people going about their daily lives with loaded  guns means more people getting shot with the bullets from those guns. Most of them probably won’t be criminals. And even if they were, a criminal shot dead can’t defend themselves in court. Who shot first? Who did what to who? With one side dead, you’ll mostly get just one side of the story.

  • Dan

    The cruel and unusual punishment is not the fault of the prison, the system, or the government. The drugs, violence, and rape is the fault of the prisoners, not the government.

  • Fakeemail

    Imaginary? If you don’t believe, fine. But don’t rub it in to other people if God is imaginary or not, you dumbass.

  • pabo

    in america we fight over free healthcare.  go us….

  • haroem

    Caps no longer exist under the affordable healthcare act.  They no longer exist due to federal regulation.

    So there’s one down, about 500 to go.

  • katansi

    You have got to be kidding me… So the systemic racism, for-profit prison system and corruption like buying judges, rape and abuse by GUARDS AND OFFICIALS is all just the prisoners’ faults? So it’s a prisoner’s fault if a guard rapes them? Because that happens too which I guess you are unaware of or choosing to ignore. It’s a prisoner’s fault if a guard beats them? Because beating rehabilitates? It’s the prisoner’s fault we choose solitary confinement which has been proven over and over to be mentally damaging making someone worse than when they went in? We AREN’T functioning in a racist system? Refusal of guards to protect prisoners from known rapists in the system? That’s also the prisoner’s fault. Or how about ridiculous sentences for non-violent drug crimes (like possession of weed) is also the prisoners’ faults.

    I’ve run out of sarcasm for the moment but really dude, read up. It is the fault of the prison system and the government. Same way when cops shoot 40 bullets at someone who’s unarmed, that’s a result of shitty training and a bad system. Or the fact that 40% of prisoners are black despite being about 12% of the population, that’s the system. I’m not even going to reply after this one because I’m sure if you do reply it’s going to be full of more ignorance that I do not have the ability to combat because at that point it’s a choice to not know any better or do any research on your part. 

  • Vend Tana

     Excuse me? What the F website are you reading, moron?

    Friendly ATHEIST.

    I don’t even know what “rub it in to other people” means. Do you mean I’m not allowed to state that God is imaginary? WRONG.

    GOD IS IMAGINARY. Yes, I’m yelling it at you. I’m not rubbing it. I’m STABBING it into you.

    I’m not a dumbass. I’m an atheist. Now go away, I hate you.

    p.s. God is still imaginary. Rub that wherever you want, sweetheart.

  • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

     Er, no. Drugs getting in is just as much the guards fault as prisoners getting out would be.

  • William Hall

    Damn straight!

  • Kodie

    I’m not in the NRA and I’ve never owned a gun, but to the best of my understanding, the idea of it is that if more people had guns, gun-shooting (and many other) criminals would be deterred by the knowledge they could be shot at. Shooting at unarmed people is “safe” for the criminal in this way. Attempting to shoot at armed people, or threatening to harm them, like in an assault or a mugging, would be deadly and so, theoretically, commit fewer crimes. Violently insane people with an aptitude for patience and planning would still be armored and armed with an unusual amount of weapons, but theoretically an armed society would have fewer crimes committed and little to no actual defense by a weapon because people theoretically behave better and think through the consequences of their actions to assess whether it’s worth it.

    I think this is how it operates in the South with “gun culture,” an armed society is a polite society, if you know everyone is carrying, you’re not much going to risk so much as call someone an asshole for cutting you off in traffic, and maybe the guy doesn’t even cut you off because he assumes you’re armed and might be sensitive also. I’ve always lived in the north, and people are rude because nobody’s going to shoot them probably, but a criminal with a weapon would have a higher likelihood of escaping unharmed with his objection met if he targets an unarmed population. Everything changes after the police get there. Last year, an older guy I knew of (we crossed paths at the gas station sometimes) was murdered in his apartment after allegedly parking in someone else’s spot at his apartment complex, and the shooter barricaded himself inside for a couple hours before the police got him to come out. Obviously, sometimes the police have to shoot the perpetrator and sometimes the perp shoots himself because it’s the only way out.

    I’m not sure any of this applies to Holmes. Just based on what I heard, he had some fixation on the Batman movie series, he planned and bided his time until its premier, and stocked up on weapons and armor to a point where he wouldn’t be worried about if someone in the theater had a pistol. And yeah, in this situation, the police apprehended him alive. I agree with you that, whenever possible, criminals should have their day in court. I don’t like the idea of a vigilante society where ordinary citizens with guns get to make those calls, where so often people just talking or posting can’t be relied on to have the overall best judgment. Would someone be able to shoot someone they thought was putting on a pre-show gimmick as part of the premier? This just makes me think if there is in the future someone walking in the door late, he might get shot. No, I’m sorry for the 12 who died and the 58 injured, and the traumatized, but this type of situation happens rarely, that it’s not worth a vigilante society where someone pulls the trigger too early just because they thought they were saving the day. I’m not accusing all gun owners of this mentality, just that arming everyone will necessarily include people with this mentality. I don’t trust every joe blow with a gun any more than James Holmes, since it crosses over with other topics and people are capable of having such shitty hateful attitudes. Who knows why anyone would pull a gun out or what they personally are threatened by.

    To contrast 12 murder victims here, firearm homicides account for about 65-70% of all murders. I can’t find the page on CDC where I recently read this. Over 11,000 homicides were committed by firearm in the US in, I think, 2008 or 2009. This kind of massacre is rare and dying from it is rare. I realize another massacre of this style has been recently committed in the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and has gotten much less air time but that doesn’t mean these things are happening every week or two around the US. They are stunning because they almost never happen. Another reason I don’t think it’s necessary to carry guns. To save 10 people out of 12? To accidentally fire on innocent fleeing bystanders? The murderer is caught alive and 12 people died. That’s 12 more than should have died, but it’s a very small number to statistically reason gun-carrying would have prevented it or reduced the deaths by taking out the gunman, not when it almost never happens but people will be hasty about who is a threat and who is just coming back from the bathroom.

  • ieatpartisans

     The shooter is both mentally ill and would likely be attacked by other inmates- a look at Colorado’s prison system shows that both of these categories of prisoners are usually put in Ad-Seg. Ad-Seg is 23 hours a day of solitary confinement and 1 hour a day to shower/exercise, also alone in a confined space.

    Think about what that means- the shooter will likely spend THE REST OF HIS LIFE in solitary confinement with a life sentence. That is, without a doubt, a punishment worse than death.

  • ieatpartisans

     See my reply to Parth. In the Colorado prison system, he would almost certainly never be let out of Ad-Seg, which is essentially solitary confinement. A lifetime of solitary confinement is about the worst punishment I can possibly imagine. If suffering is the goal, life without parole would be the better option by far.

  • Hvr

    So, he should be send to prison where all of us, including his victims, can pay for his upkeep through taxes. It’s true that a death penalty trial probably won’t be any cheaper but that’s also a problem with the judicial system. There is no doubt that this man is guilty, why should his ultimate punishment take years and probably millions of society’s dollars to reach? He will never contribute to society, never make any amends and every possible enjoyed moment of his life is an insult to the victims.

  • The_real_truth

    Well, we ARE a majority rabidly christian nation, after all. Fuck the sick, the poor, the downtrodden.

  • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

    There’s not supposed to be any doubt that a convicted felon is guilty.  Too bad the system just isn’t good enough.  Read up on the Innocence Project just to get an idea how often we put non-guilty people on death row.

  • matt

    Well it has saved me before.  And without any harm to me or the intruder; all it took was to point it.  And I guess i did yell a bit too..

    I don’t know of anyone who keeps a gun for protection that keeps it in a place where you’d need to find it, find ammo, and then load it. 

    Fortunately, i can keep a gun next to my bed loaded and out of sight and it will never get up on it’s own and hurt anyone.  (I live by myself btw)

    As for the theater scenario, I don’t know if it would’ve helped or not, but I think it’s a stretch for anyone to say it would’ve done more harm than good.

  • Winto_bungle

    Typical of the self-proclaimed “best country in the world” isn’t it?

    You would think a country that has gun ownership written into the constitution would not have a health system built on making money and profit. Sick.

  • profitoverhealth

     This is not true. About 60% of bankruptcies in the US are caused by medical bills, and 78% of those are people who had insurance.

  • matt

     After an awakening encounter a few years back, I’m in the same boat.

  • Winto_bungle

    Well said, this stood out to me too when I read it.

    Kudos for not giving god credit, and appreciating your army training, but to attack the dead was downright sick.

    She should be ashamed.

  • matt

    Your suggesting that hypothetically if   everyone in the theater would’ve been armed that more people would’ve been killed?

  • Winto_bungle

    Except she knew exactly why she survived – she had army training and recognised tear gas, was physically fit enough to run away quickly due to her years in the army and the luck to be in the seats they were in.

    She recognised all of that and yet still called those who did not escape “lazy”.

    She knew exactly why she escaped and others didnt yet still attacked the dead who didnt have her advantage in a sickening and pathetic way.

    She came off really badly in some of those passages and she should be ashamed of some of what she said.

  • matt

     In that particular scenario (dark theater, tear gas, shooter had body armor) yeah it probably wouldn’t have mattered much. 

  • Trollo Trollsson

    yeah, at least on internet atheism could thrive, but in society it’s totaly the oposite. To bad that the atheist comunity couldn’t be allowed to say what it thinks is right, yes thinks not beleives.

  • walt

    Amazing how ignorant people are.. and how they think mandating everyone to have insurance means NO bills after an expensive emergency. Guess what middle and higher quality health care doubled in cost.. the only option that stayed the same is the lowest crappiest one. Which covers an extremely limited amount of services and you are likely to end up with a bill just as burdensome. Shocking how people will blindly follow arrogance and lies without any evidence.. yet tell people they are crazy for trying to show them evidence to the contrary. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone sometimes

  • walt

    it’s not FREE healthcare. We are fighting over making people PAY for healthcare and fining those who can’t afford it or make enough to not need it. EVERYONE would be all for FREE healthcare. For example.. when you get dental insurance.. the lowest plan covers silver caps.. if you are into silver teeth.. cool.. otherwise you are still going to pay 500- 700 dollars for a white one because the white ones aren’t covered. In other words you are only covered for what they say you are covered for. If you want white ones to be covered you need to pay more for a better plan. Guess what, better plans are more expensive. HEALTH CARE WORKS THE SAME WAY. Nobody is getting anything for free

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=634901234 Jason Bowen

    Weve been bankrupt ever since we started running illegal wars…and going into debt to fund them.  Has nothing to due with healthcare.

  • Juan Quiceno

    Shouldn’t the theater have some sort of insurance for this shit? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=634901234 Jason Bowen

    Your opinion is duly noted.  Your effort to yell at a fellow American and state that you “hate her/him” is also duly noted. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=634901234 Jason Bowen

    I dont quite understand you. I am a Christian, and my church..and countless others give a large portion of their tithes and offerings to missions which help the poor, sick and downtrodden.   Maybe its the NON Christians that need to help the poor, sick and downtrodden a little more?  Just an observation.

  • walt

    Showing the atheist’s true colors: Hate filled obsession with something they believe isn’t true.
     
    If christians hated atheists as much as you hate them.. you’d b extinct. But you have more faith than I do. I mean, it takes way more faith to believe every single religion,since the beginning of time,is completely wrong without ever having truly researched 90% of them and only judging them on the actions of a few of the loudest most hypocritical ones.
     
    They call it god, or brahman and you call it quantum mechanics or string theory. You are all describing the same things.. you are only arguing about misinterpretations that some dumb asses have made over time. So filling yourself with hate about the small minority of religious that act with hate is not only self defeating, it’s ignorant, narrow minded, naive at best and completely blind arrogance. You are no different than them as you have clearly shows here. Good thing they won’t judge all atheists by your comments here like you would do to them, you dolt

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=634901234 Jason Bowen

    Only she knows what she said and thought during this event. We have no idea other than her word.  Lets be clear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=634901234 Jason Bowen

    Um..it is because Jesus commanded us to help… Want to make up some more strange assumptions?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=634901234 Jason Bowen

    We also like to kill innocent civilians in other countries …whats new.

  • Whitman

    You SURE DO like to YELL AT PEOPLE on the Internet, tough guy.

  • ^^^WaltWhitman?

    I have never been more alarmed by Walt Whitman 

  • Psychadelicmonk

    Settle down. I’m sure religious organizations do plenty to help the disenfranchised. But so do athiests, like Bill Gates who has done more than any other human to eliminate deadly and debilitating tropical diseases from regions of the world he has no reason to ever visit. What does the Catholic church do for the poor far from the Vatican City? Ask them for money, that’s what. 

  • Rev Doofus

     Go cook some more meth, Walt. Then  go buy some gold ones.

  • http://twitter.com/BeamishKinowerk Beamish Kinowerks

    I’m so glad that I’m emigrating soon. The NRA and other terrorist groups can have this shithole if they want it.

  • Psychadelicmonk

     and you have 7 % of our population. we could probably do it if we only had to insure manhattan and its metro area, which would be the same size population

  • Whittney Kinnamon

    This large? 

  • James

    Nothing she said had anything to do with her surviving. 

  • Whittney Kinnamon

    Pie chart

  • Brocksfox

    I actually laughed at this.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GQTJVRBZGJBLKIJDYYTVPMUGBU crzymx

    “EVERYONE” would be for free healthcare? You don’t know any Republicans…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BUSYAWMRBZOVHLEA566TYPDBKM D

     >in america we fight over free healthcare

    And still seem to lose by getting a Corporate friendly version.

  • http://godless.biz Andrew Skegg

    Your scenario fails once you realise we also only have the population of Manhattan and its metro area to actually pay for the insurance.  As the population increases, so do the medical needs *and* the tax base.

  • http://godless.biz Andrew Skegg

    If christians hated atheists as much as you hate them.. you’d b extinct.

    You tried that during the inquisition. Strangely, some people are born with the ability to recognise fantasies, so disbelief in the Christian mythology continues.

  • http://godless.biz Andrew Skegg

    The largest charities in the world are secular.

    I’m sorry, what were you saying?

  • Lola

    That’s what makes it corporate-friendly; the fact that it’s not free. It’s just another example of how extreme American capitalism is. Now they can order us to purchase products and services.

  • digitalatheist

    don’t feel bad, not only was my dad a soldier in WW2, I did my own Army thing… along with various other family members… and yeah.. panic fire happens quite often… and friendly fire is an all to often occurance. As I also mentioned above, there are other factors such as over penetration of rounds, body armor, no certain one shot stop hits…. I woulda hit the floor and tried to crawl under the seats and hope like hell I wasn’t noticed… then maybe get a shot off if possible (not likely). As is, from some reports there was a Navy vet killed because he tried to stop the shooter.

  • Themiketips

    so brave

  • Offersdump

    Go to hell stupid slut.

  • GeorgeBlackburn

    Except medical insurance plans are now mandated to cover such emergencies and additional rehabilitation, with ACA.  I guess you just prefer insurance companies that can drop you the minute you get sick or delay treatment until you just die.  I mean seriously, why are you arguing for the rights of insurance companies?  Have you even read the ACA?  Apparently not, otherwise you would know that insurance companies are now mandated to cover these types of emergencies and they are mandated to keep you covered even if you had a pre-existing condition (that they likely just made up).  

  • GeorgeBlackburn

    Common decency?  Empathy?  Humanity?

    Or…are you looking for a fiscal reason?  How about it is objectively cheaper to provide universal coverage for preventative and emergency care than to treat chronic diseases or to manage the administrative costs of hunting down the money for emergency care. 

    Single payer makes sense morally and fiscally, unless you’re a money sucking insurance company or bill collector …. then, not so much.

  • Tbjackson34

    Unlike the health care debate going on between these fine folks here<– sarcasm.. I wanna commend Carli on her strength and courage! As a Christian, obviously my beliefs arent the same, but the appreciation for the emergency and medical professionals is really what the topic is here. This moving article about the survivor of such a horrific tragedy amd you morons talk about healthcare.. Get well Carli!!

  • Parth

     Well, I do have to wonder, what’s the point of punishment?

    Don’t get me wrong, he did a terrible thing. Not arguing that. Also not arguing that there should be consequences.

    But why do the consequences have to be a severe and terrible punishment? I wasn’t previously arguing that life sentence would be much worse punishment (though some people were), but rather simply that the death penalty serves no useful purpose except to make people have a feeling of ‘that guy deserves it’.

    I’ve noticed that in this country, we do focus a lot on punishment and much less on rehabilitation. Can this person be rehabilitated? I don’t know. I don’t know all the facts but there is a possibility that he had some serious mental issues that could be fixed (once again, I have no evidence for this, just throwing out a possible scenario).

    Also, was it all of his fault? I heard some stories about his university counselor reporting him, but no one followed up because he already left. Not pointing fingers at anyone, but just giving an example of how this maybe might’ve been prevented. Also, what was his childhood like? His parents? Did he go through some incredibly traumatic experience that left him emotionless and revengeful for example?

    Getting answers to these kind of questions will, in my opinion, do far more good than sentencing this man to death.

    I bring this up because this somewhat reminded me of Sam Harris’ book ‘Free Will’. He made an interesting argument as to why none of us truly have any free will. And it just made me think that punishing people like that isn’t not going to change them and it just doesn’t do any good.

    Finally, I only asked about the point of punishment, because I wonder (and I might be completely wrong): does the cultural notion of severely punishing people have some basis in religions? As atheists, rationalists, humanists, I think we should ask ourselves whether there are better ways to serve humanity/society than by finding the worst punishment possible.

    I can’t say  for sure if he’ll never contribute to society or make any amends. He might be able to. Though if we let him languish at death row, he might not. What’s really an insult to his victims is us never asking ‘how to fix the system?’ or at the very least ‘does the system needs fixing’. Hearing some people (not on this blog though, just in general) say ‘shit like this will always happen, can’t do much about it except fry the guy’ sounds like the worst insult to his victims

  • Parth

    Agreed, I think it shows just how obsessed we are to make sure punishment is dealt, even to the wrong person…as long as someone got punished

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775209902 Stephanie Thayer

     She told us what she was thinking and how she responded,
     “I almost gave thought to praying in the ambulance that night, because
    that was when the real seriousness of the situation hit me — however,
    the medical staff whose care I was placed under took such good care of
    me. I was under the care of such competent, caring beings, that there
    was no need to do such a thing. I remember being in so much pain and
    shock that I was delirious, but at some point I was thanking them
    profusely. It wasn’t a higher power that got me out of my seat — it was
    the smell of the tear gas that landed at my feet. It was my boyfriend,
    Chris, who got me to the police officer who flagged down an ambulance
    for me. And it was the amazing medical staff who took care of me to
    ensure that I left the hospital in the best possible condition. I don’t
    want to put down the power of positivity, and that’s what I feel prayer
    is — positive vibes being sent your way- but I do like to give credit
    where it is due, and express my extreme gratitude towards all of these
    people, and also to my parents for bringing me up “right”.”

  • Vend Tana

    Not quite sure where you’re going with all your notes. Here’s the thing: He called me a dumbass for supporting a woman who thanked the appropriate personnel and her evolved survival instinct for helping her live through an attack on her life.

    Why do I get called a dumbass for that? Because I’m an atheist. So at the risk of sounding like a first grader, “he started it”.

    I have also just been called a dolt by someone else, because I dared to talk back to the guy who called me a dumbass.

    I am not hate-filled and I’m not obsessed with religion or my lack of religion. I am however, allowed to defend myself against an unprovoked attack. Which is what walt and fakeemail just did to me.

    Here’s another thing, unlike some religious people who claim to love everyone, I am not a hypocrite. I don’t love everyone. I do hate some people. Now, technically I don’t hate walt or fakeemail – I don’t even know them. But I’m pretty sure I don’t like them either.

    Duly noted?


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