One guy had a traumatic experience, said magical words that have been hammered into him his entire life, and extrapolated that to believe they applied to every similar situation. Nothing more, nothing less. He was defending his irrational but well-intentioned beliefs, not implying that anyone who's ever died is a terrible person.
Rick Reilly is a talentless scumbag, professionally and personally.
By the way, funny thing about his "there were witnesses" line about Columbine: That never happened. The girl who was asked if she believed in God wasn't shot.