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Mata
So, a mildly autistic, obsessive guy kills a woman who probably hardly knew him and a complete stranger, then spends a while making a video rant, queuing in the post office, then goes off to kill another thirty people. He appears to be reasonably well-read, although very lonely and this has turned his mind towards a destructive view of life.

I remember the something that was said on the day of the shootings: an American academic was on the BBC to give an American-perspective view of the event, and the first thing he said was 'there's no point talking about the right to bare arms - that will never be questioned as a result of this event'.

In the newspaper today, Camille Paglia was quoted as saying that she believed that part of the cause of the shootings was the bland culture of average middle-America campuses. She thinks that the empowerment of women, in the lack of definition for masculinity was a key factor in driving Cho over the edge.

Another view was that it happened because he wasn't white: his behaviour was out of the average, but he wasn't a white American so it was tolerated because to highlight it might seem racist.

Cho, to me, seems to represent everything that can go wrong in western culture. The commodification of identity, the glorification of destruction and rebellion without reason, the romanticisation of violence, the sexual pressures on youth (and the resulting disappointment when life isn't like that), the lack of cultural understanding, and the willingness of the media to be manipulated. Maybe the American chap on the BBC was right: the least question that should be asked about the killing of 32 people and the subsequent suicide is about gun control.

To me, this wasn't your average shooting. The awareness of the cultural impact and the complicated documentation of the man's life (he was 23) make it something different than the previous 18 shootings in the last decade.

What are your thoughts on this event? Why did he do it? What pressure do you think tipped him over the edge?
LoLo
From all the articles that I've read, and watching part of the video tape this guy made of himself, I think there was no real motivation other than one screwed up individual. This guy thought that the people at his school were doing him wrong by being wealthy and having nice things. He said that their BMW cars and gold necklaces weren't enough for their hedonistic lives, that they still wanted more. I think because of this he thought that the shootings would open up people's eyes about all the students their living the life of luxury and that maybe the poor would rise up and follow in his footsteps. He compared himself to the people he called martyrs that did the Columbine shootings, and even compared himself to Christ as a martyr.

I don't know that he actually picked anyone in particular to kill, everyone seemed to piss him off. Some people speculate that it was a girl he liked in the dorm that he killed, but the two verifiable girls that he liked and apparently annoyed are both still alive. My personal feeling behind it is that he had been planning this for awhile, because he was wearing multiple outfits in the video tape, and the two people he killed in the dorm were practice to see if he really could work up the balls to do it. No one has put that swing on it though, like I said, it's just my personal feeling.

I find this a bit more disconcerting than high school shootings (not to say that high school shootings aren't horrible, they are) because college/university is for the most part a place where you go if you want to get an education. High school shootings seem to be done by students who don't want to be in school and feel that people tease them and wrong them in some way. People still get teased I'm sure in college/university, but there are so many different groups of people and no real "popular" crowd, that there is a place for everyone. To think that someone as old as this guy was felt like he didn't belong, was teased, and so on seems a bit odd.

This all could be an issue of gun control, but people here seem to really like their guns, so call me pessimistic, but I really don't see anything being done to change gun laws happening. I personally don't like guns and will never own one myself, but I doubt I'll see anything in my lifetime to make it so most people can't have them.

I think this guy may have inspired some more people to do something to those they consider rich and this makes me nervous. In my own area last week someone threatened to shoot up the area and said they had explosives to "put a reign of terror worse than that of what was seen at Virginia Tech." He turned himself in the next day and said that he was high on meth and didn't think anyone would take him seriously. All the schools and the local shopping mall were closed down and swarming with police the day that he threatened it. I just hope stuff like that doesn't happen at other places even more now.
Izzy
I dunno really, but there certainly have been an increase of false bomb threats following the event. But it was weird, because my school, and a few other Central Florida schools got bomb threats a few days before the jerk decided to off as many people as he could.
Mata
The media definitely seem to be keeping their head low. On one hand there's the awareness that he very deliberately did this for the attention the media would give him, and on the other hand it's a really good story. As much as he was messed up, there are other messed up people out there, and I can't see that they would have been discouraged by the attention he has been given.
Witless
Why did he do it? hum.. not sure.. I have been buried in psycology brain development books lately (a follow on from researching about artificial intelligence). To be honest I am more suprised that any ever turns out functional considering how delicately balanced the mind is.

It's a bit like how doctors describe birth. "It's a suprise things ever go correctly!" Nature seems to have been good at designing brains resistant to being psycologically impaired. But that's all anyone is really. Resistant. People aren't immune to having their minds develop in a particularly damaging way and some people are particularly vunerable to that.

I can't really say I know why it would happen with him. As I said, I am suprised people generally ever develop normally. But society seems to function so evidently we're pretty well constructed most of the time. I just feel a little more alarmed at the ease with which he could get weapons and act out what seemed to make sense to him. I am more worried at the ease he could obtain fire arms than the fact that he had developed such severe psycological problems he was unable to over come.

I think the media's reasoning for showing what they showed was far from noble. But nontheless, I think the good of showing it out weighed the damage it did. It may encourage people similar to this guy to do something similar or worse. But I think it opened up a lot more eyes and awareness. In this instance I'd say knowledge is better than ignorance.
LoLo
QUOTE (Izzy @ Apr 23 2007, 05:25 AM) *
I dunno really, but there certainly have been an increase of false bomb threats following the event. But it was weird, because my school, and a few other Central Florida schools got bomb threats a few days before the jerk decided to off as many people as he could.



You would be amazed at the number of bomb threats that most schools get. I think when I was in high school our school got at least 3 a day. Most of the time they just assess how serious they actually think it is and usually they determine it's just a prank, hope they are right, and keep everyone in class.
MistressAlti
Frighteningly, Cho was very sensitive and perceptive person. If you read some of the stuff he wrote about why he did it, he often cites the attitude of his fellow classmates: how cruel, spoiled, and immature these supposed "adults" are. I could not help but feel a short pang of commonality when he talked about the 18-22 year olds that run around squandering their parents' money on things they don't need and partying their days and nights away instead of using their time at university to expand and educate their minds:

"You had everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn’t enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn’t enough. Your trust fund wasn’t enough. All your debaucheries weren’t enough."

I've seen a lot of that myself in my collegiate experience. I'm in the business division of my uni and nowhere is it more prevalent than there. The students there, by and large, have a sense of entitlement that drives me absolutely bonkers. I understand how lonely Cho could have felt in that environment: the "entitled" are largely racist, stuck-up, and cruel to those outside of themselves. Think of it as the "popular" kids back in high school, only instead of "coolness" being the dividing factor, it's socioeconomic status. It's awful.

Obviously none of this is reasonable justification for mass murder, and I'm definitely not suggesting that it is. But the collegiate culture does a LOT to push people with sociopathic tendencies over the edge, and has driven a lot of good, stable people into counseling for things like anger, anxiety and depression. Any campus counseling service will tell you those things are on the rise.

On a bad taste humor note, Cho obviously didn't think his attack through: he did his shooting rampage in the engineering building at VTech. My personal experience tells me that he's not going to find nearly as many Mercedes-driving trust fund babies in the engineering department as he would in most of the other departments on his campus...
I_am_the_best
Does anyone feel sorry for him? I feel very sorry for him. I think he was just incredibly unhappy, suicidal, psychotic... and wanted to go out with a bang, literally. Perhaps he felt he wanted to prove to other people how wrong they are, and what they've done to him. Just to pay them back for all the trouble they've caused him and teach them a well deserved lesson. I wish someone had really gotten to know him properly. He's fascinating. He certainly achieved his goals too. I'm sure he is an idol to several people out there, he's made a large impact on everyone, and shocked them.

He probably would have done it even if the gun laws had been tighter. I don't think there's such thing as a right to carry arms. No one has the right to kill people. If you want protection, and not to shoot people, then why not get something which looks incredibly like a gun, but, shockingly enough, isn't.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
I dunno really, but there certainly have been an increase of false bomb threats following the event. But it was weird, because my school, and a few other Central Florida schools got bomb threats a few days before the jerk decided to off as many people as he could.


There were several bomb threats called into the school earlier in the year. They couldn't prove he did it, but they found a bomb threat similar to the others written down in his dorm room.

I just think it's really a shame he didn't get help. It's horrific and it both fascinates me and makes me want to cry - which means I read articles about it until I am about to cry. It bugs me that he was able to get firearms so easily and it also bugs me that there were warning signs earlier but nothing was done. Well, things were done... probably as much as they could do... they recommended him to counseling and he wouldn't go, etc. It's just frustrating that he fits the profile of a school shooter too well. But I don't think it's fair to say it could've been prevented. It leaves me at a loss for words.

What bugs me the most is people pointing out that "how come deaths in Iraq and such don't get this much coverage" and there are several reasons for that, and it IS a valid argument and it is a good point, but I think saying that as your first reaction to it (which I have seen on less worthy messageboards and such) is just insensitive. At least acknowledge how awful it was before bringing a point like that up.
Witless
QUOTE (I_am_the_best @ Apr 23 2007, 09:44 PM) *
Does anyone feel sorry for him? I feel very sorry for him. I think he was just incredibly unhappy, suicidal, psychotic... and wanted to go out with a bang, literally.


Aye, I do. Can't say I have ever felt as bad as him, but I can certainly identify with quietly resenting things, and I find the idea of that feeling being amplified many many times pretty terrifying to be honest. I'd hate to be stripped of my ability to cheer myself up fairly quickly. I'd hate to be stripped of my ability to put things in perspective. Without those I could imagine how fast crappy times would just make me spiral down into dark thoughts I can occasionally have.

Hmm.. to bring up the introvert, extrovert subject again. I feel a lot of introverts, (and extroverts when they're in a particularly introverted mood) sometimes feel secretly mentally superior to extroverts. Not nessecarily in intelligence, but in their perceptions and opinions on the world.

This guy is introversion at it's worst. So isolated from everything that he's lost perspective on things. All that time alone in his head, building up fantasically complicated scenarios out of things occuring in his life. Way back in another post, I said introversion and extroversion is a scale. Too much either way can be damaging, most people live either side of the middle of that scale. Introversion without a healthy dose of human to human interaction leads to people who can be deep, but somewhat self absorbed, and unable to see other people's point of view.

I am fairly sure his actions made perfect sense to him to be honest, and within his world he fabricated for himself he was 'teaching' people somethings about himself and the world (and I guess in a round-about way i suppose he succeeded, but we did not nessecarily learn what he was teaching). Yes I feel sorry for him that he could not sort out his life and get on top of things in his own head. I feel sorry that people died as a result too. But still I have this feeling that realistically it was an impossible thing to prevent. Of all the people world it is an unimaginable thing to ever be able to prevent every single person in the world from having damaging problems. Especially among quieter people that keep to themselves and eternally claim to be 'ok' and 'fine' when they're not.

I remember the week I had had when I made the introverty ranty post, I remember it being a week full of particularly intolerent folk. I can imagine if I was a less psycologically stable person (I am stable damn it!) I could have reacted in a more violent way than to just write a post with one too many exclaimation marks in it. I suppose all people can really do to minimise the number of fringe violent folk is just generally to be tolerent to each other.. ew.. that sounded sappy to say. But sappy or not tis the truth.

Spread the love!
pgrmdave
What scares me about it is that I don't think that he was just introverted, or shy, or unhappy, or depressed - I think he was a psychopath or a sociopath. This was not a normal person who snapped, or was pushed over the edge, he had no conscience and no ability to empathize with others. He had been institutionalized before, and was considered a danger to himself and others at the time. His writings have been described as extremely violent, and yet his teachers were powerless to get him any help, because the state requires an immediate threat to others or oneself before being able to intervene. While I realize that violent writings do not necessarily lead to violent writer, I do think that it is a red flag that should have raised alarms, and they should have been able to have him evaluated.

At the very least, someone who's been deemed a danger to themselves or others for psychological reasons shouldn't be legally allowed to purchase guns.
Daria
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Apr 24 2007, 01:02 AM) *
What bugs me the most is people pointing out that "how come deaths in Iraq and such don't get this much coverage" and there are several reasons for that, and it IS a valid argument and it is a good point, but I think saying that as your first reaction to it (which I have seen on less worthy messageboards and such) is just insensitive. At least acknowledge how awful it was before bringing a point like that up.

Wytu and I were discussing this the other day, after listening to Thou Shalt Always Kill by Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip. It is a dancey beat to which Dan Le Sac talks over the top with a load of comandments, one of them being "Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-english speaking countries as to those that occur in english speaking countries.".

If the shooting happened in any country, other than America, would it have got the same media attention? We were considering the implications of something like that happening at the uni he goes to and how it would make us feel. I know that I would be pretty traumatised by something of this nature, on this scale, happening somewhere close to me, let alone somewhere that I go to. I openly admit that I would feel more traumatised about a shooting happening in my university than an ongoing war in Iraq. The thing is, though- I feel more traumatised about sitting in our room in the evening and hearing a gunshot-like bang then a scream*, than the shooting at Virginia University.
It is really true that people are going to be more affected by something happening close to home, than happening elsewhere- BUT it doesn't mean that the things elsewhere are of less importance. I guess those who point out the difference between the media coverage of the death in Virginia and the death in Iraq are just finding the two incidences just as distant as one another. They aren't directly involved or affected by either- or perhaps they are more linked with the war- and so they view that one getting more attention than the other when the other is so clearly more of a tradgedy due to the number of lives lost is just unfair.

I wouldn't agree with you that it is "just insensitive", as how are they supposed to be "sensitive" to an issue that doesn't concern them? What would be worse is when people try and link themselves with an issue that really, they have nothing to do with, and receive attention from it. (Not saying that anyone whose first reaction was "Gosh, how awful!" is attention seeking.)

Perhaps they had thought long and hard about it, but were then just pissed off by all the newspapers and tv and internet news coverage being about it.


*It happened last week.
LoLo
Possibly the deaths in Iraq don't get as much media coverage because it's a war that's happening over there and deaths happen in war so people are more willing to accept the fact that lots of people are getting killed. The deaths at Virginia Tech were random and I think that's what scares most people and makes for a good news story. If they did news coverage every time someone was killed in Iraq then people would just get bored and even more desensitized to it than they already are.

That was a little side note, basically I just wanted to put on here that the news is now reporting that there is no link to the shooter and all the people he shot. This of course makes the shooting even more random and I'm betting is going to leave people more baffled about it. So I pose this question...is a shooting more acceptable in our minds if there is a link between the killer and the people they're killing like say specific people teasing someone, or a person upset at an ex lover or what they see as a potential lover that feels shunned by them?
Daria
In my opinion- yes.

If there is a reason for killing someone, no matter how fickle it may be, then it makes more "sense" for it to have happened than if it was just a malicious act on someone they didn't know.
Mata
Just to throw an extra piece of info into this mess, I read in one newspaper that Cho shouldn't legally have been able to buy guns. They didn't state on what terms this was, or whether there would be any prosecution resulting from this offence.
sirdudly
QUOTE (Mata @ Apr 25 2007, 09:05 AM) *
Just to throw an extra piece of info into this mess, I read in one newspaper that Cho shouldn't legally have been able to buy guns. They didn't state on what terms this was, or whether there would be any prosecution resulting from this offence.

He was admitted into a mental health institution not under his own will. The law says you can't give guns to those people.
Then again, the Columbine Kids broke at least dozen gun laws before they even fired a single shot.
Pikasyuu
no, i can't honestly say i feel sorry for him.

yes, everyone has resented people who have more than them. yes, it's painstakingly easy to be sick and disgusted when your own peers do nothing but drink, party, and receive constant attention and gifts from their parents - i think that even the people who partake in that lifestyle experience jealousy and bitterness over the people that are even better than THEM. envy is a chain. it's an easy opportunity. there will always, always be someone who has more than you that doesn't use their extra leg up in a way that you think would be more beneficial to them or society. nearly everyone is picked on at some point in their lives and yes, some worse than others. does that excuse mass murdering a bunch of people who were just starting out on their lives, as shallow and fickle as they may be? of course not. what Cho did was selfish, sick, cruel, misguided, and yes, stupid. the people he killed weren't even the sort of people he hated so much, at that.

it may have taken a while to plan, but it was poorly planned. he was a sociopath or a psychopath that wanted to be immortalized on televisions and in newspapers; he was a copycat, he was unoriginal, and sadly, his dellusional behavior cost a lot of people their lives and several families quite a few tears. i can't find it in myself to feel any sympathy towards him whatsoever when there are many, many others who have had tortured, sad lives and have come out of it stronger and full of resolve to change the world in ways that .. well. don't involve a bunch of dead kids. do i feel sorry for psychopaths in general, as opposed to picked on, jealous teens? that's harder to answer considering how broad it is.

the media also dropped the ball, again. witless does have a point that knowledge is better than ignorance, however, consider the huge media scandals in America: Janet Jackson's breast slips during the superbowl and we were hearing about that and the media fallout (lawuits, lawsuits, and more lawsuits plus firings!) for about six or seven months after it happens. you drop the f bomb or the s bomb on the radio or public television? more firings, more lawsuits. however, it seems to be perfectly alright to play a killer's manifesto during the dinner hour on every major network station, because that wouldn't traumatize your 'just so happen to be watching' kids half as much as a slipping breast or a curse.

that seems like..upside down world to me. i can't understand the media's standards, especially when it's put in those terms.
Izzy
Nope, don't feel sorry for him. His roomates and other people even said they tried to have decent copnversations with him and that'd he'd only give on word answers.

Sorry if that's been said already. I'm not aloud online at home anymore, and there's only limited time on school computers.. So I can't read through most things anymore..
LoLo
QUOTE (syuu @ Apr 29 2007, 10:17 PM) *
no, i can't honestly say i feel sorry for him.

yes, everyone has resented people who have more than them. yes, it's painstakingly easy to be sick and disgusted when your own peers do nothing but drink, party, and receive constant attention and gifts from their parents - i think that even the people who partake in that lifestyle experience jealousy and bitterness over the people that are even better than THEM. envy is a chain. it's an easy opportunity. there will always, always be someone who has more than you that doesn't use their extra leg up in a way that you think would be more beneficial to them or society. nearly everyone is picked on at some point in their lives and yes, some worse than others. does that excuse mass murdering a bunch of people who were just starting out on their lives, as shallow and fickle as they may be? of course not. what Cho did was selfish, sick, cruel, misguided, and yes, stupid. the people he killed weren't even the sort of people he hated so much, at that.

it may have taken a while to plan, but it was poorly planned. he was a sociopath or a psychopath that wanted to be immortalized on televisions and in newspapers; he was a copycat, he was unoriginal, and sadly, his dellusional behavior cost a lot of people their lives and several families quite a few tears. i can't find it in myself to feel any sympathy towards him whatsoever when there are many, many others who have had tortured, sad lives and have come out of it stronger and full of resolve to change the world in ways that .. well. don't involve a bunch of dead kids. do i feel sorry for psychopaths in general, as opposed to picked on, jealous teens? that's harder to answer considering how broad it is.

the media also dropped the ball, again. witless does have a point that knowledge is better than ignorance, however, consider the huge media scandals in America: Janet Jackson's breast slips during the superbowl and we were hearing about that and the media fallout (lawuits, lawsuits, and more lawsuits plus firings!) for about six or seven months after it happens. you drop the f bomb or the s bomb on the radio or public television? more firings, more lawsuits. however, it seems to be perfectly alright to play a killer's manifesto during the dinner hour on every major network station, because that wouldn't traumatize your 'just so happen to be watching' kids half as much as a slipping breast or a curse.

that seems like..upside down world to me. i can't understand the media's standards, especially when it's put in those terms.


I just want to give an amen to this. I've been trying to wrap my thoughts around how to say pretty much the same thing, but alas I'm just scatter brained. I don't think you could have put it any better or more eloquently syuu and I totally agree.
ravein
QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Apr 24 2007, 11:10 AM) *
What scares me about it is that I don't think that he was just introverted, or shy, or unhappy, or depressed - I think he was a psychopath or a sociopath. This was not a normal person who snapped, or was pushed over the edge, he had no conscience and no ability to empathize with others. He had been institutionalized before, and was considered a danger to himself and others at the time. His writings have been described as extremely violent, and yet his teachers were powerless to get him any help, because the state requires an immediate threat to others or oneself before being able to intervene. While I realize that violent writings do not necessarily lead to violent writer, I do think that it is a red flag that should have raised alarms, and they should have been able to have him evaluated.

At the very least, someone who's been deemed a danger to themselves or others for psychological reasons shouldn't be legally allowed to purchase guns.



I think dave is right on with this. This was played very heavily in the press here due to our proximity to the school and one of my close friends lost a friend in the shootings as well. The sad part is there were warning signs. One professor was so disturbed by his behavior/writings in her class she actually threatened to resign if Cho was not removed from her class. His roommates were disturbed by his behavior and were afraid he was suicidal. The federal gun laws would have prevented Cho from buying a hand gun, however the State law was written in such a way that the fact that Cho was treated as a outpatient at a mental institution was never reported. It feels like there was a series of "almosts". He almost got the psychiatric treatment he needed. He was almost removed from campus. He was almost prevented from buying a gun... Everyone here is trying to find someone to blame, someone to make sense of this. When in the end you have one very dangerous person without the ability to empathize who eventually would have killed no matter if it was a gun or a hammer.
Mata
You may be right that he would have killed someone, no matter the tools at hand, but it's a lot harder to go on a killing spree with a hammer than with a gun, and a gun doesn't have any use other than shooting things. Sorry... I didn't want to drag this into gun law, and I think you're right, it's just I've heard the hammer/gun equivalent used before as a defence of gun ownership (not that this is what I believe you were doing) and I thought I'd get that off my chest!
LoLo
QUOTE (Mata @ Apr 30 2007, 04:22 PM) *
You may be right that he would have killed someone, no matter the tools at hand, but it's a lot harder to go on a killing spree with a hammer than with a gun, and a gun doesn't have any use other than shooting things. Sorry... I didn't want to drag this into gun law, and I think you're right, it's just I've heard the hammer/gun equivalent used before as a defence of gun ownership (not that this is what I believe you were doing) and I thought I'd get that off my chest!


And now I have the Beatles song "Maxwell's silver hammer" going through my head.

/spam
ravein
QUOTE (Mata @ Apr 30 2007, 07:22 PM) *
You may be right that he would have killed someone, no matter the tools at hand, but it's a lot harder to go on a killing spree with a hammer than with a gun, and a gun doesn't have any use other than shooting things. Sorry... I didn't want to drag this into gun law, and I think you're right, it's just I've heard the hammer/gun equivalent used before as a defense of gun ownership (not that this is what I believe you were doing) and I thought I'd get that off my chest!

I am right with you... the chances of killing 32 people with a hammer are slim unless you are a ninja, have mystical powers or 32 hammers, really good aim and a hell of a throwing arm. I think if you are going to have guns we should ban ammo... or at least make them really freaking hard to reload.

I am a realist... I know that guns will never be harshly regulated in America, and I know they will never be banned. But I am not sure that guns are not the ultimate problem. (This is all horribly simplified with the hope of sparking more conversation) The gun is an instrument of death but how do you stop the operator before they use the instrument? While you can take away the instrument there are other ways to manufacture death. Why do people do things like this? Is it poverty, mental illness, injustice, gangs, jealousy, love, hate or maybe just plain meanness? What motivates one person to remove another person from this earth forever? What causes a human to feel that much disgust and disregard for life? I know that murder will happen; it is the core of human existence. It could be said that survival and desire are the only reasons we are walking upright today. The survival instincts breads the shoot or be shot, kill or be killed attitude, desire fuels the need to kill for money and love among other things. Gangs are bread on fear and survival... the modern equivalent of ancient tribes fighting for land and privilege. And the insane do it because the voices say they should. While this is mostly waxing philosophical is it fair to expect anything less when humanity as a whole has such a violent history? We pray for evolution and enlightenment however it seems the more and more we evolve so does the weaponry we use to secure our evolution.


Now I am going to go smoke a pipe in a ascot while surrounded by 1 year philosophy students.
Mata
There are two ingredients for murder: opportunity and motive. Motive is something that we're unlikely to get rid of ay time soon, but guns make the range of opportunities far wider.

It's definitely right to look at what the motives are for this kind of event, but when you're dealing with a guy who was mentally unstable then it seems only logical that the second part of the murder needs to be looked at.
solari
Although cho shouldnt have been allowed to purchase those pistols that way im confidentthat he would have found another way to acquire guns. Gun laws dont have much effect on people that are going to use them illegally, because they tend to buy them illegally. Also, froma certain point of view the students of Virginia Tech have been killing him every day. I dont try to justify his actions but I heard he got beat up and bullied on a regular basis. He had no friends. Then in the news we read the headline[i]Cold Blooded Killer Goes on Vicious Rampage The media describes his actions as heinous for their own personal benefit. He needed a friend and some therapyNoone was there for him. so now he's a cold blooded killer instead of a desperate, lonely person, in a worlddevoid of compassion. i dont want to martyr him or say he was a great guy. he was a murderer. But he was also slightly insane, and therefore less responsible for his actions. If only there were people who cared
Maybe the shooting at virginia tech would never have happened.
trunks_girl26
QUOTE (solari @ May 6 2007, 01:04 PM) *
Although cho shouldnt have been allowed to purchase those pistols that way im confidentthat he would have found another way to acquire guns. Gun laws dont have much effect on people that are going to use them illegally, because they tend to buy them illegally. Also, froma certain point of view the students of Virginia Tech have been killing him every day. I dont try to justify his actions but I heard he got beat up and bullied on a regular basis. He had no friends. Then in the news we read the headlineCold Blooded Killer Goes on Vicious Rampage The media describes his actions as heinous for their own personal benefit. He needed a friend and some therapyNoone was there for him. so now he's a cold blooded killer instead of a desperate, lonely person, in a worlddevoid of compassion. i dont want to martyr him or say he was a great guy. he was a murderer. But he was also slightly insane, and therefore less responsible for his actions. If only there were people who cared
Maybe the shooting at virginia tech would never have happened.


Even though you mention that you're not trying to justify his actions, this post screams of absolving him of personal responsibility. I'm sorry, but he was a cold blooded killer, especially because the people he felt the need to kill were people he didn't know who just happened to be in that particular building at that particular time. If he needed that much therapy (quite a lot, as it seems, since he was institutionalized- not to mention the fact that people who "need *some* therapy" don't generally go on killing sprees), then either him (though how stable he was to be able to get therapy is debatable), his family, or the doctors that were caring for him while he was institutionalized should have gotten him some. And then there's the fact that there were people who reached out to him, such as his roommates, but honestly, how many cold-shouldered attempts at friendship are people expected to bear before they stop trying?

(Sorry if this sounds ranty but several sentences in your post kind of offended me, especially the last one)
sirdudly
The right people in positions of authority should have the power to take control of such instances when the warning alarms go off in a case like this shooting. The whole "we can't do anything until he hurts somebody, just because he preaches violence through his speech doesn't mean he's a violent person" thing isn't gonna work out in the future, this incident is just a horrible wake up call.
Witless
QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 7 2007, 06:24 AM) *
The right people in positions of authority should have the power to take control of such instances when the warning alarms go off in a case like this shooting. The whole "we can't do anything until he hurts somebody, just because he preaches violence through his speech doesn't mean he's a violent person" thing isn't gonna work out in the future, this incident is just a horrible wake up call.



I am find it very difficult to believe that there is some kind of system we have yet to discover that will forever prevert violent and mentally disturbed people getting too far away. Some people are inately destined and unstable through life and there's a small minority that are fine and stable outwardly all the way up until the day they go on their killing spree.

For sure having systems in place to make it less likely to happen are all well and good, but I don't think Cho would have been stopped by one. There are a lot of people that appear to have more disturbed thoughts than Cho that go on to do nothing. I don't think we can realistically go around drowning every person that appears to have psycological problems in psychiatrists and then believe we'll suddenly have no more mentally disturbed killers popping up.

It does happen sometimes, it's just a shame Cho was quite so easily able to get his hands on the weapons and oppurtunity.
pgrmdave
QUOTE
And now I have the Beatles song "Maxwell's silver hammer" going through my head.


I'm glad I wasn't the only one...

On a more serious note - sirdudly, you have to keep in mind that he didn't preach violence, he didn't (as far as I can tell) threaten anybody overtly. If violent artwork should be criminal, then Tarentino should be in jail for life. And preventative punishment is...well, quite frankly, scary. If there are ways to prevent possible crime without interfering with somebody's rights, then I'm all for it, but I just can't justify taking away somebodies rights without very, very good evidence that they were planning a crime. i.e. Researching pipe bombs online - not a crime. Building a pipe bomb - crime.
sirdudly
Tarantino violence is nothing like the peices of Cho's that I've read. Tarantino makes exploitation films, Cho wrote hate filled peices with obvious intended targets (Mr. McBeef).
Witless
QUOTE (sirdudly @ May 8 2007, 02:01 PM) *
Tarantino violence is nothing like the peices of Cho's that I've read. Tarantino makes exploitation films, Cho wrote hate filled peices with obvious intended targets (Mr. McBeef).



I think that's the point.. who would be able to abitrarily decide who are the dangerous ones and who are not. I have heard more than one person claim Tarantino has some serious issues based on scripts he has written. I personally don't agree with them. But I can't know for 100% sure I am right on that.

Unless someone can develop some 100% super accurate sociopath detector, any attempts to reach out towards disturbed people are going to frequently miss the mark. I mean we don't even know how many people are getting help before they were stopped. There might be 1000 per year that might go on a killing spree in the US with only 3-4 really getting out of hand without detection.

On the other hand there may be only 3-4 that might go on a killing spree with 1000 people that would have been harmless all along being spammed with psycological help.

There's no real way to predict how people are going to turn out. You can sometimes give amazingly accurate guesses. But that's still just a guess, and sometimes these things can't be detected.
Daria
Well isn't it just obvious? Get all the violent writers to have MRI scans. Then they can look at different bits of the brain, and go from there. Duh!


(I was recently told, after an MRI scan, that I wasn't a psychopath. It was good to know.)
pgrmdave
But not all psychopaths become killers. Would it really be right to lock them up because of that? And not all violent killers are psychopaths, so how much would it really help?
Daria
I was joking tongue.gif
I have no solution to the problem, and as long as human beings exist, I don't see a solution ever coming. If there aren't guns, then it would be arson.
Mata
The bits I saw of Cho's video on the news reminded me of some pretty typical complaints made by many people during their teenage years. That he was making these protests during his twenties perhaps was unusual, but not so unusual that you would think 'there's a guy who's definitely going to go on a gun rampage'.

A guy came along to my old martial arts class a few times. He was about 6'7" and painfully shy. I would say hello, and try to occasionally make eye contact, but it was clear that this man didn't want to be contacted. I lived next door to a guy at university who probably didn't speak more than four words to me in the last six months of us living that close - the best I'd get would be a nod. He would lock himself in his room and play his electric guitar really badly. Should this be ringing alarm bells? Should I assume that these people lack social skills to such a level that they will kill people out of sheer frustration? I doubt it (then again, I wouldn't necessarily want to give them a hammer a room full of puppies) but that's what people seem to want to say about Cho, but I just don't think we can learn that kind of lesson here.

Cho strikes me as a person like many other people. He doesn't seem amazingly out of the ordinary to me at all. He was very angry, but a lot of people are really angry. Something got to him too much and he had access to weaponry to go and do something about it. The Columbine killings opened a type of cultural Pandora's box - once the media had invented 'highschool shootings' then it became a genre of action that could be taken.

In 1984 George Orwell writes that people can't take any action that they don't have the words to express, that's probably not true, but I think that once a type of cultural event has been classified and named then it becomes more likely to happen in the future. No, the media isn't to blame, that lies with Cho, but they didn't help things - and showing his videos on TV so that his ideal of becoming famous came true just feeds the meme.
pgrmdave
feeding the meme...

It's difficult to determine when we are simply "feeding the meme" and when we are providing news, insight, understanding, and trying to understand our world. This thread definitely keeps him popular, but is it really feeding the meme? The video that was shown may have fed the meme, but before it was shown, there was very little that we understood about him, and there was a definite feeling of lack of closure. Now we know that this was, sadly, almost a typical school shooting, with the exception that it happened in college and not in high school. I think that the understanding that the videos provided was better than a simple attempt at "starving the meme" by ignoring the problem.
Mata
That's an interesting view. I like the idea that it provides some sense of closure, and I hope you're right.

In an ideal world, others who may have been feeling like-minded would have seen him, thought that he was a bit pathetic, and decided not to be like him.
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