“You caused me to do this”
from Cho Seung-Hui’s note left in his dorm room
Cho Seung-Hui — The Face of Evil
By: Joe Leonardi
Many are looking to place blame for the Virginia Tech Massacre. The fault for this terrible tragedy is one person’s responsibility. Cho Seung-Hui is that person. Are there other mitigating factors? Of course there are. Should the counselors he had seen been more aggressive? Maybe. Should he have been placed on psychotropic medications? I don’t know. What if he already was taking them? How would that change the conversation? Should the school have warned students on campus there was a shooting? Most definitely. Should the opinion of his psychological evaluation, stating he was a danger to himself and others, have been made known to the authorities to prevent him from legally purchasing a gun? Dam straight. Would a change in any of the above have prevented this tragedy? Probably not.
I took time from writing because I wasn’t sure I was going to comment on this horrible tragedy. I put up a solitary sentence and had planned to post nothing else. However, in the time between the murders and today, I have witnessed events and news reports that make me shake my fist in anger and my head in disgust.
How can anyone on the right or the left turn this into a story about gun control? From Senator McCain coming out the same day and stating his support for the 2nd amendment to Rosie O’Donnell going on her tirade against gun ownership — I am sickened. This is not about gun control. It is about a mass murder!
We can debate gun control and the second amendment until we are blue in the face, stricter gun control would not have changed the outcome. Guns were banned on Virginia Tech’s campus, but this did not stop Cho Seung-Hui from bringing pistols into the dorm. If he could not have purchased the guns legally, he would have found another way to arm himself. If handguns were not attainable, he would have found another weapon. While guns may be the most common way many mass murders are committed, they are not the only possible tools of destruction. Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City used a homemade bomb. The largest school murder in U.S. history did not involve guns it too used explosives.
The Bath School Disaster happened in 1927; in a time before ultra violent movies were in vogue and prior to the “culture of violence” we constantly hear about whenever something like this happens. We must realize that sometimes evil is in our midst. It can not always be recognized and it can not always be stopped. Cho Seung-Hui would have found a way to fulfill his “manifesto.” We can not apply logic to the illogical. We can not apply sense to the nonsensical.
I watched what was released last night from the packet Cho Seung-Hui sent to NBC. In the airing of the story we were made privy to the thoughts of a madman. He was methodical in his planning. He was resolute in his determination. He was calculating enough that between shootings he went to the post office to mail his “manifesto” to the media. All of this, and I’m sure there is more, demonstrated that Cho Seung-Hui was going to murder and then kill himself. If not the students in the classrooms, it would have been students or others somewhere else.
Not every tragedy is political and unfortunately, not every tragedy is preventable. Cho Seung-Hui was a disturbed young man. His mind did not function rationally, logically nor compassionately. He murdered without feeling. He murdered without discrimination. He simply murdered.