Aurora Tragedy Shines Spotlight On Medical Schools

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156 Responses

  1. Dave B says:

    Golf Clap.

  2. Zach says:

    too soon, but not in the "I'm offended" sense. this is an excellent post, just way too soon for it to actually come across as funny or insightful.

  3. Debra says:

    This strikes me immediately as an excellent example of correlation not equaling causation.

  4. swearyanthony says:

    Brilliant, and savage. A++ And dear god the comments on this post are going to be amazing. BRB microwaving popcorn.

    (Sorry Ken, but after Screwtape and this, you're gonna have to lift your game)

  5. Wow. Can you say "post hoc, ergo propter hoc"?

    I can!

  6. Charley says:

    I can't honestly tell if this post is serious or not. However, if it is an attempt at humor or satire then it is in incredibly poor taste.

  7. Lizard says:

    If I were a drinking man, I'd take a drink for every comment made that indicates the poster has a seriously broken sarcasm detector. I daresay I'd be dead of acute alcohol poisoning within the hour. As it is, I shall, instead, consume one very high-sodium, high-calorie, pita chip per such comment. Thus, my heirs will become the subject of this blog when they file a ridiculous lawsuit blaming it for my demise due to high blood pressure and/or obesity.

  8. Lizard says:

    Wow. In the time it took me to post that, I'm up to two chips.

  9. David says:

    Well, I think the implications are obvious: we must shut down all medical schools, all across the country, immediately. Failure to act in light of this overwhelming evidence would be irresponsible and unconscionable.

  10. different Jess says:

    Let's not forget one Raymond J. Clark, III, who only murdered one person (and didn't even use a gun!), presumably because as a lowly laboratory technician at Yale School of Medicine he had gotten only a fraction of the murderous training that "physicians" receive. Then again, with so many doctors around, it does seem a bit convenient that a lab tech emerges as the fall guy.

  11. ChimpZilla says:

    Charley, look at what is already going around the web. People are already starting to try to make this a partisan issue. People are already starting to try to lay blame at someone greater than just the shooter. This post is a call to sanity, if nothing else. Something to make you sit back and realize that jumping to conclusions is pointless.

    Put another way, please fix your sarcasm detector and realize why this article exists.

  12. Mike Harris says:

    I get the point. It's even witty. And I think the parallels are well-drawn. However, just in my opinion, it's simply appallingly disrespectful to post this so soon after the incident. It shows a lack of respect or compassion for those who died and those who are still bleeding. It'd be appropriate in a few days. Just my two cents. I'm not trying to advocate censorship; I'm just expressing my own opinion about what you wrote.

  13. Zachary says:

    @Mike Harris- if this is innapropriate how much more innapropriate, then, is it for the people he's satirizing to make this into a political issue?

  14. Talisker says:

    It's no more disrespectful than any sincerely-intentioned musing of cause that conveniently fits one's pre-existing bogeymen; and there's no shortage of those out there already.

  15. Brian says:

    "just way too soon for it to actually come across as funny or insightful."

    I didn't even think he was trying to be funny. But the exaggeration seemed pretty insightful to me. The only problem is that the only people who will get it aren't the ones who are most guilty of this. So it's more of an "echo chamber" post than anything else.

  16. En Passant says:

    This just in — construction crew stumbles upon a never before seen Shakespearean folio.

    From Henry's Smarter Brother, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2:

    All: Snort my taint, your majesty!

    Cade: I thank you, good people—there shall be an individual mandate; I shall score drink aplenty, and everyone shall wear bling, that they may get it on like brothers, and pay me proper respect.

    Dick: The first thing we do, let's kill all the doctors.

    Cade: Nay, that I mean to do

  17. Peter says:

    It's some nice satire, and I agree with the sentiment.

    I have to also agree, though, that it's too soon for it to be particularly funny. It doesn't offend or come off as in bad taste, but the numbness about this whole thing hasn't really broken yet. Then again, I'm wondering if sitting on this for another day or two before posting it would have ruined the topicality.

    Regardless, very well done.

  18. @David – not enough. We need to outlaw movies. Oh, and army bases. And crowds of innocent people.

  19. I wonder if there's not something suspicious about these shadowy locations that many of these foul Medical Students end up moving on to, these "hospitals". I notice an awful lot of people who go to these places _die_. At a far higher rate I would wager, than any other type of building.

    I think we're through the looking glass here, people.

  20. mojo says:

    The Media is the mess.

    (Sorry Marshall.)

  21. Bill says:

    Well done.

  22. Nicholas Weaver says:


    Personally, I blame the manufacturers of sneakers. Why? Because its not widely reported, but the shooter was wearing shoes, and without shoes, his feet would have stuck to the theater floor…

  23. Shane says:

    Seeing all of this go down, and all I can think is … the answer to "bad" guns is more guns. I utterly respect private property and a movie theater is just that, but how can the owners of that theater sleep at night? The craziest part is that with cell phones and a lightning response from the police (1 min.) this crazed phuck was still able to down so many people. Sadly it won't won't be the aspiring doctors that are disarmed in the future, nice satire though.

  24. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Shane: There is no way someone carrying concealed could have done Jack Shit about this: Dark, loud movie, a gas grenade of some sort, and a perpetrator armed with an AR rifle, a shotgun, a .40 semi auto, wearing body armor… At best, someone who pulled out a gun to shoot back would have gotten shot for his trouble.

    OTOH, to put it in perspective, deer have probably killed far more people so far this year than shooters in movie theaters. So do your part for public safety: buy a rifle, go out there, and kill Bambi….

  25. Patrick says:

    Getting out of character:

    Shane, do you own a gun? Are you advocating concealed carry in a movie theater?

    It's dark. There are loud noises from the sound system. Some lunatic starts shooting. Ten guys jump up and also start shooting in attempt to hit the original shooter.

    Concealed carry in a movie theater is like attaching turbojets to the Hindenburg.

  26. Orville says:

    I come here for intelligent snark and satire. While this post qualifies, the wound is too raw for me to like it or think it is in good taste.

    Nevertheless, you have a first amendment right to write things I find crass and objectionable. In that light this is a perfect Popehat post.

    I will now exercise my rights and walk away from this conversation.

  27. Shane says:

    Lulz @Nicholas, Imagine in some demented video game fantasy that you are in the shooters place. You walk in toss some tear gas, start shooting. Come on now you know you have played this video game before. Now imagine that the "zombies" that you are shooting at, all of a sudden have guns and they think that your brains might be tasty if only they could slow you down. I don't care who you are, when bullets come back, even if you know that you are safe behind bullet proof vests, your level of caution jumps several notches. And this is all the time necessary to drop the body count.

  28. Tsarina, why not just ban people! cant murder people without…er…people! PLUS! (and really this is the hidden gem in all this) no more traffic jams! Imagine being able to go across town in minutes instead of hours for that latte…unless you're a person because then you'd be banned…but…er…ok…look, the theory's sound! just some issues to work out is all

  29. Graham Martin says:

    Too soon. (And this is coming from someone who thought Gilbert Gottfried's tweeted jokes re Japan's tsunami were funny.)

    Still love you guys, but a tad too soon.

  30. Geoff says:


  31. The truly remarkable thing is that there's already so much material to satirize. If you think Patrick's post is making light of the actual tragedy, pause and consider the many attention-seeking policy prescriptions written in the twelve hours' wake of these murders. That isn't taking this tragedy seriously.

  32. different Jess says:

    Of course following Cooper's 3rd and 4th rules we never touch the trigger until we're sure of what we're aiming at and what's beyond it. That would make a dark crowded room a challenging scenario. Certainly I don't feel qualified to shoot in most such situations. My first reaction to seeing a live nonfictional shooter would probably be to hit the floor. I would only draw my firearm if I judged that I could do so without endangering anyone other than the criminal. If I can give Shane a bit of credit, he's probably envisioning a situation in which say 20% of adults would be carrying. In that case, it's very likely that there is an armed citizen directly behind the criminal. I'll let that person take the shot.

    Guns are bad and scary and dangerous, certainly, but few law-abiding adults forget these facts when they begin carrying on a regular basis.

  33. Bikerdad says:

    Don't forget that paragon of modern virtue, Dr. Bashar al-Assad, who went to medical school not once, BUT TWICE!!

  34. Patrick says:

    Graham, if I'd posted a flag at half mast today, and posted this tomorrow, would that assuage you? If so, why?

    Why is it inappropriate to satirize a media-political establishment that thinks nothing of exploiting tragedy in real time, in real time?

    Are you that shallow?

  35. AlphaCentauri says:

    I hope family members are keeping off the internet and cable news shows right now. This post is not so offensive as the news commentators who are serious about their postulations. There's not much they can listen to anywhere that won't be clawing at a raw wound.

    Every time something like this happens, every Muslim in the US silently prays, "Please, don't let it be a Muslim." If Patrick's post makes people feel offended, maybe that will make them rethink the prejudices that lead to those unfounded accusations as well as those drunken Friday night attacks on members of the accused minority group.

    Doctors can deal with this kind of satire, of course. Their tolerance for black humor is very high.

  36. Nicholas Weaver says:

    (I don't know why I'm replying to Shane, but…)

    Shane: Have you ever fired a pistol? I'm thinking not, because if you did, you'd know its remarkably non-trivial to hit a chest sized target under controlled conditions at the range at 15 yards, under calm, well lit conditions.

    Now try it in the dark, in a noisy movie theater, when under fire from someone with a rifle and a shotgun, against a target wearing body armor, and where a miss will kill a bystander.

    Have you ever played paintball? I'm thinking not, because you would know that until you actually get hit, its remarkably easy (far too easy, in fact) to ignore incoming fire when you are focusing on other targets.

    So it very hard to hit, and misses do no good. So said mythical armed bystander would, if lucky, not make the problem worse…. In practice, it would probably add a couple to the injury or fatality list.

    Adam: Unfortunately true. Eg, you have the "hey, if someone had a gun" policy camp (bullshit), you have the brady camp (uhh, bullshit, these were legal guns and there was NO reason for the shooter not to be allowed them), you have the "its the tea party", the "its OWS", etc…

  37. Linus says:

    Too soon? For what? Too soon for Ken to write about how people are rushing to crazy, totally unsupportable links and correlations? Eesh.

    On a not-totally-unrelated note, boy, there sure are a lot of commenters here nowadays.

  38. ThOR says:

    Yes, appallingly disrespectful, but in a good way.

    I was laughing out loud (sorry, I’m too old to use the initialism).

    Thank you. I needed that.

  39. Laura K says:

    I'm with Patrick on the timing. Not that he needs my help in the slightest. Even though I made my first widow joke at dinner the night of my late husband's funeral. It made Steve's best friend snarf corn beef up his nose. We all felt a little better. Except for the friend's nose.

  40. Kelly says:

    I say it is perfectly timed. What is going on already in the media is a billionty times worse than this could be. Oh, haven't you heard…apparently because we have separation of church and state these things happen. *facepalm*

  41. Shane says:

    @Patrick, I used to own a shotgun, haven't gotten a concealed. I have worked as bouncer in a bar in downtown Phoenix. (Hoping that my guess is right and you understand what that means) I have had some pretty agonizing situations when it has come to crowds. From what I have seen on the news and my own experience, I can say with a high probability this: most people that are not the gunman are low running or on the ground flat. The only upright person will likely be the gunman (because he needs vantage to kill those on the ground). Those that might have had guns will be down because they don't need vantage, they will probably use cover. Those that would have had guns after a few seconds may be shooting back, but the their shots will be upward angled (reducing likelihood of friendly fire). If the gunman feels that he might be gunned down and just a guess a hit in a bullet proof vest might make one feel that way (I have been hit by a cold paintball, certainly gets one's attention), he is going to cover losing his vantage. Saving many people, because now he has to shoot through obstacles and he is blind. Mayhem yes, but I am willing to bet in the alternate universe body count would be MUCH lower.

    As to 10 people (girls can carry too :P ) jumping up to start shooting back. I find that scenario to be most unlikely. When bullets are fired your first instinct is to get down. If you have no ability to retaliate or you don't think it is a good idea then your next instinct is to get away. For those that want to retaliate then the next thing on your mind is personal safety hence cover. With that brings my argument that "good" guys shooting up and bad guy shooting down.

    Yes Patrick, I am advocating conceals in a movie theater. I believe in private property as I stated and I think it is up to the theater owner to decide, but YES resoundingly. Brief walk by the TV and the byline on Fox is will movie theaters face more government scrutiny? Just read the popehat's TSA post. Will the TSA now control access to movies? This is how all of this gets started because we as people fear guns. When I was 11ish my grandfather taught me how to shot his .22. He also taught my how to use a radial arm saw. His lesson to me was this, this a tool that is to be respected not feared. Once you fear it it will always be your master.

    kk I have ranted enough, and I stand by my thought that more guns is a solution to bad guns.

  42. Jack B. says:

    I gotta ask… why is it "too soon" for a post satirizing the Rush to Judgment?

    Are we supposed to wait until the pundits and policymakers are done with their finger pointing and blame assessment before their ridiculous fear mongering can be mocked?

    I don't get from this post that Patrick is making light of the tragedy. Not at all. He's making light of the fact that there are a large number of opportunists out there who will use this tragedy to further an agenda.

    Too soon? Nope. Right on time, IMO.

  43. bav says:

    Follow-up: The news story I linked has changed a bit from how it was when I read it a couple of hours ago, where the title in the URL was the headline of the page, with the stunning news that he was dropping out of med school being the first 2 paragraphs and the rest the standard information in news reports given to that point.

  44. egd says:

    This strikes me immediately as an excellent example of correlation not equaling causation.

    More people die under the care of physicians than any other profession.

    Check the stats people, these guys are dangerous.

  45. ZK says:

    Look, I don't think now is the time to go three rounds about guns, gun control, or how great/terrible concealed carry is, but:

    @Patrick: A firefight in a movie theater is obviously not a great thing, but these sort of "everyone jumps up and starts shooting each other" scenarios are predicted constantly in all sorts of settings, but never seem to happen, for whatever reason.

    @Nicholas Weaver: Hitting a man-sized target at 15 yards, even in low-light, sure isn't simple, but isn't exactly rocket science, either.

    Besides, I think Shane's point, articulated poorly, is that killers of this cowardly ilk don't need to be hit to stop them. They need to meet resistance. Over and over, active shooters don't fight it out with first-responders: they give up at once.

    I think the biggest counter-argument to Shane's point is simply that there aren't that many people that want to bother to carry a gun, as this sort of thing is still as rare as lightning strikes.

  46. Shane says:

    @Nicholas please don't insult me, I really don't deserve that.

    As to never having shot a pistol. I am actually quite a remarkable shot. The ending of my shooting career came early when my uncle took down a deer. It was cold and snowy and I had slogged through the under brush trying to be quiet when my uncle tracked the animal and cut it down. That was it. Seeing that innocent creature there, and then having to gut it, did me in. After that I only shot on the range a bit and in the military and at summer camp. It seems that as you get older ammunition gets more expensive so I have not practiced as much with handguns.

    And also yes to paintball. I played with my friends in the barracks in the military and also on a real honest to gawd acre of ground not this weird excuse that passes for a field now. We used to keep our paint in coolers to make sure that didn't splatter in the older guns. The field that I played on at the end of the day would get all of the people that were playing to go up against 5 FAC's. It usually didn't end well for us noobs, but it was great fun :)

    Nicholas the problem that you are facing is that YOU are no good with guns. That does not mean that everyone is that way. I am OK with you not wanting to carry, I won't even force you to :P But I draw the line in your assessment. You don't have enough information to understand the situation and your fear is showing that.

  47. Grifter says:


    To be fair, before the explosion, turbojets on the Hindenburg would look pretty badass.

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