Virginia Tech massacre

Cho Seung Hui is a name that will go down in the annals of history. It is the first time an Asian shot to notoriety the way he did, blasting his way through 5 rounds of ammo, killing 5 professors and another 27 students. One of them was a holocaust survivor named Liviu Librescu, an engineering professor. He was shot and killed in the Virginia Tech massacre while he was holding off the gunman at the entrance to his classroom so his students could escape through the windows. An accomplished academic, he received many academic honors during his career.

I find it ironic that he died the way he did. Can you imagine surviving the holocaust, escaping from the systemic violence and the Nazis, and then ultimately to have your life ended by a bizarre event that people are still trying to make sense of? But he died a hero, and at 76, one can say he had had a long full life. Nevertheless, I find it a sad pity that he had to go this way, in this spate of shootings, in such a violent senseless manner. And that is after he has survived the first senseless slaughter of the Jews. It makes a mockery of his initial survival.

Who was Cho? What was he thinking? Why the mediocre / bad plays?

A commission was set up by the governor of Virginia to look into these questions directly, but he also mentioned that one could probably never understand why he murdered the students. Like Izzy and Liting, I followed the news of the shootings with an obsession. It affected and shook me somehow. First, the news that he was Asian worried me inexplicably. Maybe it’s the collective mindset of the Asian community. I was worried that he’ll be Chinese, that the Americans will think that all Chinese are repressed mass murderers. I mean think about how Americans react when you tell them you’re a Singaporean. They’re still hung up about the Michael Fay incident where an American national was caned for graffiti. So they’ll ask about caning AND the ban of chewing gum in Singapore. That’s what they asked MM Lee in a recent interview too. Caning and chewing gum. Peas in a pod, they are.

Well, we all found out that he was South Korean. And now everyone’s trying to deny any connection with him. They called him an alien first. Imagine that. Who uses alien to term an immigrant except a lawyer? That’s the old old English legal term we’re talking about. It’s hardly ever used these days. He’s not a little green man brandishing his laser gun. It’ll do no good to paint him that way. Now he’s a South-Korean born native. That is largely correct, but it shows how the US is trying to distance its relationship with him. Having moved to the USA since he was eight, he had spent the better part of his life in the US of A. A whole 15 years. That’s more than the time he spent in his native land.  And South Korea tries to play down the fact that he was born there. He had spent the better part of his life in the States after all. Repeat ad infinitum.
Disowned by the nations. Well, he had it coming. There is seriously no sympathy there.

But this does not solve the root of the problem. The root of the problem is what caused him to kill so many people. He’s odd, he had an imaginary girlfriend called Jelly. He’s called deranged, his family felt that they don’t even know him after this incident. Fair enough, after all, one cannot eliminate mental illness from society. But then, what made him to be able to lash out his hate on society on such a large scale?

It is not video games that is causing all these school shootings. Jack Thompson has got it all wrong. He’s barking up the wrong tree. It is the gun control laws in the US. Or rather, the lack thereof. It is gun trade disguising itself as freedom and rights. It is a simple weapon, the gun. You pull the trigger, aim in a particular direction and it goes off. Bang. A person drops dead. Does the intention to pull the trigger equate to the intention to kill? Of course, any normal person would know that pulling the trigger will kill a person. My point is simply this– when a weapon makes it so easy for a person to kill another, public access to it should be heavily restricted. A photo id is not enough. Limiting it to people of legal age is not enough. What is needed is regulation. No matter how strong the NRA (National Rifle Association) lobby group is, the US should not lack the political will to legislate gun control. How many students would have to die in school shootings before such regulations are implemented? The Columbine High School shootings weren’t enough. Is Virginia Tech just another page in the chapter of school shootings?

Lowering the flag at half-mast for the victims of the massacre is the correct move by President George Bush. But something more than sympathy is sorely needed.

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Comments
9 Responses to “Virginia Tech massacre”
  1. Ned Stark says:

    Indeed gun control seems necessary. However this issue of guns is ingrained in their psyche, eg, the right to live free from danger could very well involve one being armed so as to protect oneself from danger. There is also historical baggage to consider.

    Check this out
    http://ineedaknife.blogspot.com/
    the 19th April Post

  2. deadisue says:

    Great site…I’m glad there are others out there who are still talking about gun control, since the MSM is likely to let it slide, along with most everyone in DC…I’ve been reading up on this for years now, and the problem as I see it, likes within the gun dealers in states like Virginia. Straw purchases are something Republicans and the NRA choose to ignore, and in effect, communities like Baltimore, DC and Philly are decimated by the constant influx of weapons, and laws are passed that make it harder for local law enforcement to do anything about it. I detail all this in my post below.
    Here is my contribution to the effort:
    Arm Fratboys -or- Curb Straw Purchases?
    I linked to your site on http://deadissue.com – hope you’ll check it out and maybe reciprocate.
    Peace – DI

  3. YCK says:

    More than the lack of gun control, I am disturbed by how poeple are so glad to disown him. It does not negate the fact that he belongs in some community does it? Of course whether they are blame-worthy is a separate issue.

  4. humanoidinterface says:

    Nedstark,

    I’ve read the post and I think that when the gun culture is so strong, it’ll take some time to reverse that mentality or to even change it. It’s true that arms will facilitate a revolution and overthrow the present government but if the government is already democratically elected, then I dun think that the need for guns remain. Of course, it’s a complex issue and I might be oversimplifying, but I think it can be said that America’s gun culture is too liberal for their own good.

    Deadissue,

    I’ve not read up on the specific issues and I think yr site details it very well. I’ve linked you too. =)

    YCK,

    I guess it’s ironic since he probably felt like he didn’t belong to any community in the first place. This probably fuelled his alienation and propelled him to do what he did. Now they are making a conscious effort to alienate him, making what was probable in life into reality in death.

  5. joe says:

    he may not be brandishing a laser gun but if you look just below the barrel on both guns in the pictures you will see a glass like lens like thing. that is the laser rail guide or a “lasermax” laser sight I have the same think on my glock 19 that is how I instantly noticed the day the photos were released.

    to my astonishment I have heard mo jabbering and talking about this shooting than any subject so far and no one but me has noticed that he had 2 laser sights in the guns. They cost 300$ per laser.

    All the talk about how much he spent well add on 600$ more for the lasers and especially since the serial numbers were scratched etc. points towards some kind of conspiracy.

    There is no possible reason why the police and people on the news arend saying hey he had a 300$ flashing laser sight inside each gun too by the way. maybee that is how he was so deadly, its hard to shoot a pistol at running people in chaos and actually get kills but if you had a laser and after the first few shots you see that you dont really need to worry about aiming the gun that explains his high hit rate and kill rate. My dad actually shot a wild hog that was drawing buzzards and he used the laser one shot between the eyes at 20 yards with the same gun and laser cho used.

    so i hear the conspiracy people talk about 3 things that are related to my observation.

    1 they argue about how much he spent and the total keeps adding up and now they nit pick over a few more dollars here are there on clips etc. well the lasers cost 250 to 300 each and almost more than the .22 walther pistol itself!! thats 600$ worth of lasers on top of what he spent.

    2 they argue about him being trained and where did he learn to use the gun so fast etc. trust me its not traingin etc where he got the advantage its simply the fact he didnt have to aim down the sights at all so he didnt need to think about it at all while he was going on his rampage just point and shoot. he actually could have used a gun in each hand with lasers flashing and still been effective. with no training other than practicing watching the lasers in his bedroom like i did iwhen I first got my glock.

    3 why did he file the serial numbers off that is disturbing also and may have something to do with them not sasying anything about the lasers.

    well why arent the police releasing the info about the lasers I can clearly see them in the pictures. its a good thing cho released the pictures etc maybe he was brainwashed and was trying to let us know and wasnt supposed to file the serials and send the pictures etc.

    anyway its been weeks now anyone see the laser sights? tell the cops tell fox news someone mention it please. there would be nothing but black below the barrel but its clearly a glass lens of a laser same for the .22 you can see the quite shinny gliny below the barrel it would also be quite black normally with no laser.

  6. joe says:

    I mean what do I have to do put the laser in and out of my gun and take pictures of me aiming at my camera and put them on youtube? that wouold be kind of sick to me but if it would get the question asked and brought up I can do it.

  7. Dee says:

    It’s a little sickening and frightening how easily one can buy a gun in the United States. Of course, this is secondhand information since I’ve never been to America but I’ve heard that in many schools and universities, all you need to do is find the right contact and you can purchase an arsenal of weapons ranging from combat knives to handguns, shotguns. rifles to even machine guns and hand grenades. Someone even recounted being offered a rocket launcher right on his university campus. And often, the “contact” for your local gun store is just right around the corner.

    Now, I also find it extremely disturbing how many Americans refuse to acknowledge this issue. They’ll go on and on about First Amendments, rights to carry a firearm, etc., etc. without ever seeing the issue for what it is. Yet, no amount of rights will bring back a victim of a gun incident.

    Here are a few facts:

    a) It is a known fact that America has the highest number of psychopaths(think clinical term, not Hollywood psychopath) in the entire world. While many of them will not resort to murder for issues like self-preservation(have no wish to go to jail), distaste for blood or manslaughter, etc., quite a few will. Think one of the Columbine killers as well as many various cult or terrorist leaders.

    b) Almost every human suffers from mild to even severe psychiatric and psychological issues in various periods of their life.

    c) It is very easy to purchase a gun or any sort of weapon in America. Even a child can get hold of a gun as all you need is a fake ID.

    d) Many teenagers or even children these days, suffer from various emotional disorders. And given that adults still treat children and teenagers like toys and objects of obsession, they’re likely to escape into other forms of reality.

    e) Many psychiatric and psychological conditions are still untreatable. Same with many psychopathic tendencies. Untreatable as in: no forms of treatments exist yet for such conditions, due to various factors like insufficient data, wrong assumptions made by various theories, etc.

    f) It usually takes between 1 to 3 bullets to wound or even kill a person. Depending on the distance as well as firing power of a gun, one could easily take down around 2 people with 1 bullet as some bullets are capable of exiting the body of a person. Anyways, if you brought in a machine gun with 1 to 2 ammunition belts into a room of 30 to 50 over people, you could clear the entire room in a few minutes since a machine gun is capable of storing a few hundred bullets and can fire a few hundred bullets in just a few minutes. In contrast, a shotgun would likely take off a few parts of the human body.

    Assuming that these points are just the start of a long, disturbing list of facts, I can’t even fathom how one human is so willing to lay his life in the hands of another human.

    In your post, you mentioned that Jack Thomson might be barking up the wrong tree. About that, he’s definitely looking at the wrong things. Not all video games promote violence and yadda yadda. Yet, it’s a known fact that anyone who has played first person shooters for quite a few months will undergone much of the training received by a trainee police officer.

    Of course, firing a gun is not as simple as clicking on a mouse or a button but you will have learnt to judge your distance while firing at a moving target, how to steel your emotions while hunting down the opponent. Also, since video games mimic reality, you’d have learnt how much firepower can take down an adult, what type of bullets fit into a certain gun, the firing rate of a gun, etc., etc. All these are definitely what a trainee police officer would also have learnt.

    Also, video games are pretty much a gray area really, since we don’t really know the entire spectrum of effects they have on the human mind and behaviour.

    So, I understand why some parents have so many worries and concerns about video games.

  8. Hi guys,

    Sorry, I’ve just finished my exams and I was busy having fun and didn’t reply to the comments for a while.

    Dee,

    I think that the comparison of playing video games with police officer training might be true. But the thing is, isn’t the information about gun powder and what type of bullets also available on the web? In that sense, if someone truly wanted to find out about such things then googling it will help them find out such information regardless of video games. The video games make such information incidental to the playing of the game and not the point of it. And when people play games it is to chalk up points and not to kill the ‘victims’ per se. Besides such games help to channel one’s anger to something more benign so that when one feels murderous, at least there is a digital outlet. Of course, it might fuel one’s murderous feelings, but like I said, I don’t think that’s likely. Getting a better aim by judging the distance can be achieved through other activities like laser quest and so on. So which is worse? The laser gun or video games? Personally, I think video games is quite far removed from reality. But of course, I don’t have the statistics and the subject is open to debate.

    And I agree that there are a lot of crazy people out there, US included. =]

  9. Simply Divine says:

    Hahahaa! Crazy people!

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