Cho Seung-Hui: “You Caused Me To Do This”

April 17, 2007 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Cho Seung-Hui, violence, Virginia Tech | 55 Comments

(Updated)

Cho Seung-Hui, the murderer at Virginia Tech apparently left behind a message wherein he claims: “you caused me to do this.”

Cho Seung-Hui, the student who killed 32 people and then himself yesterday, left a long and “disturbing” note in his dorm room at Virginia Tech, say law enforcement sources.

Sources have now described the note, which runs several pages, as beginning in the present tense and then shifting to the past tense. It contains rhetoric explaining Cho’s actions and says, “You caused me to do this,” the sources told ABC News.

Apparently professors had recommended that Cho see a counselor over some disturbing things he was writing.

Lots more to come about his short, deadly life.

(Updated)
The photo was removed from flickr. I’m not going to put one of his propaganda pictures here. He’s not going to reach from the grave here on this blog.

(Update)

ABCNews has more on the macabre writings. They are really quite disturbing, and it goes to show that signs were there that this is the kind of young man who could lose it.

One play attributed to him, called “Richard McBeef,” describes a 13-year-old boy who accuses his stepfather of pedophilia, and ends with the boy’s death.

In another, called “Mr. Brownstone,” three high-school students face an abusive teacher.

“I wanna kill him,” says one character.

“I wanna watch him bleed like the way he made us kids bleed,” says another.

Newsbloggers has the actual plays.

(Updated)
I just wrote about how CNN is reporting that Cho Seung-Hui was declared mentally ill in 2005, and an “imminent danger to others.” This really adds to the portrait of who he is and why he did what he did.

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  1. ya know if the students were able to carry a GUN maybe ,just mabe someone cuold have stopped this before it got this bad.

  2. bill is right. an armed community is a strong community. n.r.a. all the way. stupid libs.

  3. Bill,

    That is one possibility. The problem, which you touch on, however, is that it would still be bad in the first place. Yes, someone who would have had a concealed weapon might have been able to get it out and fire back, but that still doesn’t do much for those who had already died before the “hero” could pull out his own gun and take down the bad guy. In other words, the scenario would still be bad, innocent people would still be dead.

    Dave,

    All the “armed communities” in the world are not going to stop someone from killing a target he plans to kill. And as a liberal, I don’t appreciate that kind of comment here on my blog. Don’t like it? Don’t frequent here. Simple as that.

    Now, what is my view about “gun control?” I believe we can pass all the laws we ever could want, but it would still not stop those individuals who wish harm upon others. Ours is a free society, in the which people who do stupid and very harmful things are free to do so.

    The problem with violence in America is not about the guns themselves, but about the culture. The Swiss are not violent one towards the other because it is not in their culture to be so. Hence, their society is very armed and also very safe. Few bad incidents happen there (though recently they had two or three pretty horrific such incidents).

  4. i beleive if more people had guns wed be safer but think of all the deaths we would have if everyone carried a gun. i dont mean random shootings. wut if a couple gets into an arguement then the boyfriend pulls out a gun and shoots her because he was filled with anger and doesnt realize what hes done until moments later. Im gonna buy a gun when im able to. to protect myself at home im not going to walk around with it. Not everyone has the same mentality you do. you may be able to control yourself but others cant. You might always have a guy who will fool around with a weapon. What if someone likes to drink often.

  5. My husband was attacked in our driveway and if he had not had his pistol in his truck, he wouldn’t be standing here today.

    He normally doesn’t carry a weapon but he had just finished coming home from a sheriff’s volunteer posse meeting. It is common practice for the volunteers to take their weapons to the meeting.

    There is something said to protecting yourself and your family. But it is also very important that you know how to handle the weapon. You can’t buy a weapon and think it will protect. Only you can protect yourself. You have to know how to maneuver and know when to and when not to use it.

  6. Liza,

    Thank you for sharing that. You make a great point about it being more of how we handle ourselves than about the weapon itself.

  7. Arming the community will not stop someone from killing a person if he/she wants to, but it WILL stop that someone from killing SEVERAL people!

  8. Ned,

    It might. We’ll never know. It might just lead troubled individuals to seek other means, say, bombs, instead of guns to do their dirty work.

  9. […] Cho Seung-Hui: “You Caused Me To Do This” (Updated) Cho Seung-Hui, the murderer at Virginia Tech apparently left behind a message wherein he claims: “you […] […]

  10. Sad to hear this news yesterday (i’m from Malaysia).
    I believe your gov will be trying their best to do what they can?

    On the other hand, I don’t think that arming the community would help much. It’s like you walking on the street…fearing that there are someone out there who might just pull out a gun and shoot you. or, fearing that everywhere you walk, there’ll be a sniper aiming at you.

    That’s why, in my humble opinion, that the guards in the campus should actually do a routine check to ensure no such weapon has been brought into the campus.

  11. Well, someone did have a gun and did stop more people from dying.
    And it was recently, too. How strange our attention span is so short regarding this.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17124042/

  12. agreed Alvin. despite having an armed community, why don’t u just learn martial art? huh!

  13. Coming from a country where I am quite happy and quite relieved we don’t have a gun culture. I have read about the university and it’s laws against students carrying guns, I am really astonished that these laws exist in a state that does not carry the same values. Since reading about Virginia the state it seems their gunlaws are not that strict and that background checks are not done on buyers of weapons. So unless the university grounds are surrounded by a big bullet proof bubble and the only way to get through the bubble is via a security check point, the gun law of the university is obsolete and stupid, to say the least. And this applies on a larger scale too. For any type of gun regulation to work in the USA, it has to be a global adoption of the same policies, but that will never happen and hence it will never work.

    It really astonishes me that the pro and anti gun lobbyists are crying out and making this into such a political issue, in the USA. (because to be honest here in my country Australia it is not as big a deal). By doing so they are wiping, avoiding and totally ignoring the real issue. What leads a person to a point in their life that they think the answer to their problems it to kill others, and not their enemies, but completely innocent people. Have there not been enough mass killings in the USA for people to look for the real answers and not sugar coat them with political agendas?

    It’s a sad reflection of society.

  14. hmm let me explain what I meant by ‘it is not as big a deal’. Of course the shooting itself is a big deal, it is tragic and many of us are saddened for those who have died. What isn’t such a big deal is whether it is an argument for more or less gun laws. The questions being asked more here are, what led this man to this stage, especially as it closely follows the slayings in Utah and the slayings in the Amish community. All of which had one common factor, besides guns. The perpetrators were all men, with problems.

  15. Maybe it’s just me being from a society without a gun culture, but I really fail to understand how bringing more guns into society is gonna help stop gun-related violence..

    No offense meant towards anybody posting here but it really horrifies me, as a citizen of a small, peaceful nation with strict gun control, to see how anybody could speak out in favor of less strict gun control in the wake of something like this 😦

  16. props to Trudy’s comments. And I can’t believe that this loss of young life has gone straight into the gun policy spin zone. If you’re an American and you want to spin this, think on this point – these deaths are tragic but consider the fact that you have the luxury of being able to mourn, actually being able to notice the loss of so many lives in one unexpected moment. And ask yourself, is the life of somebody living in America worth so much more than people living anywhere else. No tragedy diminishes another, but perhaps some can help people to re-evaluate those they seem so comfortable treating as acceptable.

    And obviously, condolences to friends and families of the dead, although I would expect few of them are spending much time on the internet at the moment.

  17. It appears someone took the picture down.

    It is obvious that this kid was deeply disturbed. Bottom line though, there is little that could have been done about him. For every one guy who writes violent prose and kills bunches of people there are at least a thousand who write violent prose and never kill a soul. Besides, our laws really don’t allow the courts or police to take action until he has committed some act to harm himself or others.

  18. […] trust in mankind as a whole.. Yet, somehow, possibly while looking at the comments to this post, my anger towards the gunman and everything that happened quickly faded in the light of my wonder, […]

  19. This problem is much deeper then necessity to carry a gun. We must recognize people like this boy Cho Seung-Hui, he is growing tumor in our society, and he could not feat- in- he decide to damage it.
    I am immigrant my self I know who it feels when people rejecting you and making fun of you. But I am strong I love human – nature – and God’s creations. Just look around ….

  20. Whenever people get upset about American gun culture, I feel obligated to point out that we’ve had school shootings here in Canada too, most recently in September ’06 in Montreal. (why are they always in Montreal?) Don’t forget it’s even happened in Scotland, 1996. If someone doesn’t have access to guns, they might buiild a bomb. People are the problem, and yes, I do like that Canada doesn’t have the same kind of gun culture, before you go off on me…

  21. Actually, they are trying to Islamize Virginia Tech shootings. Right-wing US pundit Debbie Schlussel offers her insights into the Virginia Tech campus shootings.
    She says that the shooter was Paki and Mulsim.
    For details, visit the following link:

    http://ahmedismailibrahim.wordpress.com/2007/04/17/theyre-trying-to-islamize-virginia-school-shootings/

    By the way, Paki is a racist word. Just Google it to make sure.

  22. Thank you for your input everyone. I think we have much to learn from this terrible incident as a society.

    One thing that really impressed me about New York City after 9/11 was how it really came together like I hadn’t seen it do before. I hope terrible incidents like this will help us understand each other better.

  23. To all of the above:

    I think that the real point is being missed here. Gun control, or no gun control–background checks or no background checks. What does it matter? You can have all the gun control, and background checks that you are willing to have, you can put all of the guns on this entire earth in a huge pile and burn them; but you can’t stop murder. What if a gun was never used? What if knifes and swords, or vehicles and bombs were used? Would we start a vehicle control act? Would we take knifes away from the carpenters and butchers that use them just to make a living? A few days ago the world witnessed a scene that will never be forgotten. A scene of a natural disaster–the race of mankind. Try as you will. Nothing can stop this storm. A storm of hate, selfishness, lacking all reason and showing no remorse. This storm has been raging for eons and for eons it will continue. There will be murderers, alduters, liers and theifs. They are all one in the same–doers of evil, and I am one of them as is every other person in this world. Controling guns will not stop events of horror from happening, the only thing that can do that is the complete annilation of humans. However, since that is not an option we must take another escape. When you see someone in need, help them. When you see someone that is hungry, feed them. When you see someone that is naked, clothe them. Do this because someone loves you. Love those that hate you; befriend those who have left you astray; bless those that curse you and love your enemies. Love is more powerful than any gun, or nuclear weapon, love your enemies and they will surrender to you. If everyone followed in this, and cared for one another, laws would not be needed. People would be moral and all evil would be defeated. You can turn a raging storm into a blissful, sun-kissed day. Don’t wait for the storm to stop for you; make yourself the end of the storm.

  24. Thanks to those who post on gun control not being the issue. It’s not the problem which, if addressed, would open the door to a handling – just as much as curbing people’s ability to buy cars would stop them from being involved in a car accident.

    A few things are at hand right now, though:

    a) There are some extremely distraught, grieving people there in Blacksburg who need some help. There are simple things that anyone can do which can help in situations such as this, outlined on the Volunteer Ministers website. (http://www.volunteerministers.org) Most people would like to comment and spectate on things like this, but there’s honestly things that the average person can do which will help. Don’t know if you’ve ever had anyone shot or killed around you, but it tends to make one very disturbed and upset. You can help with this.

    b) Cho Seung-Hui was on psychiatric drugs. Every other school shooting incident to date involved a kid who had been put on psychiatric drugs and then wigged out. See http://www.cchr.org/ – it’s fully documented.

    Now, reason I bring up (b) is that psychiatrists are there on the ground right now, trying to give people antidepressants to calm them down, right after a drugged madman shot up the school.

    So, if you know anyone at VT – make sure they stay off drugs, and use something more conventional – like a good friend, so as to get through this and then get back to life.

  25. […] just commented on a post I saw on The Good Democrat, regarding Cho Seung-Hui.  A ton of comments on this post centered around the whole […]

  26. As a longtime Bouncer/Bodyguard, my pistol saved my ass more than once, never had to fire it in my defense, thank God, but wearing it provided enough of a deterant to see me home safely each night.

  27. deadbouncer,

    Thank you for your comment and for the fact that you are not a dead bouncer. Be safe out there.

  28. to the idiots at the top… all it takes is one bad day and something could go wrong. Iv been made fun of and im pritty happy i didnt have a gun cause my anger would have gotten the best of me. Amagine thousands of people like that. Everyday there would be a school shooting. How he got a gun on campus is a mystery but thats where it should all start. check peoples stuff before they come on campus!

  29. CNN is reporting that Cho was declared mentally ill and an “imminent danger to others” back in 2005.

  30. “How he got a gun on campus is a mystery but thats where it should all start. check peoples stuff before they come on campus!”

    Gee. Take gun, put in bag/coat, walk onto campus.

    Let’s say they follow your plan and build a wall around the thousand acre campus and funnel all students through metal detectors. So how many outposts do you need on a fence surrounding over a thousand acres to make sure no one employs the high school kids answer to a fence- hop it.

    I sincerely hope you are joking. Searching everyone before they come on campus. Funneling 25,000+ students through metal detectors. Hey, let’s just go ahead and build schools to look like prisons- one big building and lots of barbed wire.

    And if you were foolish enough to shoot someone because you got mad, you might want to consider seeing a professional for help with your anger problems. As an owner of multiple guns who has been quite angry at times, never once have I thought of shooting someone I was angry with.

  31. University campuses today are vast sprawling mini-cities, and those within urban centers are quite intricately fused with the cities in which they reside.

  32. I live in Asia and when news of the VA Tech killings reached me, I was deeply saddened by it.

    While I have no wish to get into the debate “having a gun makes a difference in ensuring ones safety” vs “guns would only promote further violence”, what’s more depressing is the actual fact that more and more people are arming themselves and using guns just to get their points across and their grievances heard. Even my country is not a stranger to that event since we recently experienced an entire schoolbus full of kids being held hostage by an man with guns and bombs. Thankfully, no one was hurt in that incident because the man surrendered after the proper authorities heard his plea.

    I just hope and pray for everyone’s sake that guns will never be the solution to today’s violent times. There are so many troubled people out there and the world is indeed a cruel place. Further access to weapons will just put a very bloody period to that statement.

  33. All this thing about arming people are just absurd. Lets look at countries where people are armed to the teeth. Afganistan? Iraq? Congo? And in these countries they have several militias as well fighing ‘tyrannical governments’.

    So much help it did to prevent crime. If the NRA love gun touting cultures so much, let them move their ass to these countries and show us how gun culture works before trying to impose their beliefs on the American public.

  34. Gun policy or not, it doesn’t matter anymore now. I believe what matters now is how to avoid something like this from happening again. The campus authoriy should enforce the “no gun policy” they claimed they practiced…. how? It’s their job to think about how to do that and not just claiming this n that but not working on it.

    p/s… a gun can protect when it falls to the right guy…but it can harm when it falls to the wrong guy and since we most probably have more “wrong” guys in this world…. i guess it’s safer to have a no gun policy 😛

  35. And to the people who say that guns are not the problems the person is. Yes that is true, but it is also easier to empty the entire clip on a room packed with people than to use knives to stab them one by one.

  36. I’m sure you’ve heard the news by now about how the killer had “Ismael Ax” scribbled on his arm and he sent a package to NBC News with the return address (i.e. his address) bearing the name “A. Ishmail” — Why associate himself (a Korean whose name is Cho Seung-Hui) with Ishmael? Obviously he was cryptically indicating that he is a Muslim terrorist. Obviously “Ismael Ax” is broken foreign mangled English for Axe of Ishmael, and he is claiming to be Ishmael’s Axe or in other words, a Muslim executioner. He also made references to “martyrs” in his notes to NBC. But although NBC released the facts of what was scribbled on his arm and what the return address of his package is, they are too PC to mention what it indicates and what this means–America has been attacked again, by Islam. This is 911 all over again, but this time Bush and the media together will sweep it under the rug and make it all about gun control rather than Islam.

  37. Might I remind you of the ninjas and samurai. Two very elite groups of people, who with with just two of them could execute 30 people in less than 40 seconds. You don’t have to stab them one by one. Just imagine one guy loaded with stars and throwing knifes, and the other armed with two long swords. If one knows how to use them they can be deadlier and more destructive than most any gun. You can never truly respect a weapon until you know what it is capable of. You can never know what it is capable of until you know how to use it. That is one of society’s largest misconception, they don’t think about other weapons, but if more people knew how to use them guns would not be much of a problem. And to the guy who says he would kill someone if he got mad at them and had a gun; NEVER learn martial arts, if you did then you would be killing people with your own hands. The issue is that people have lack of respect for weapons and other people. No control of any kind will solve this problem.

  38. ” if more people had guns we’d be safer”
    Exactly how many more is enough?
    I live just outside of New Orleans where every other person is a gun owner, it’s also one of the deadliest places in the country.
    Exactly when should I start feeling safe?

  39. Quite the list of comments to read here but unless I missed it, why hasn’t someone mentioned the number one location of where kids get their guns to shoot at school? Sure, this was an instance of someone getting the weapons in their own right to cause harm, but I have to wonder if those that are for having their own guns realize the trap they’re walking in.
    Although there is no real profile for a student shooting, one thing stands out – most of the kids that have done this kind of thing almost *always* got their gun(s) from home. Feel free to look it up.

    In any case, like so many others have said, this particular shooting shouldn’t be used as a political tool for the advocacy of pro- nor anti-gun control. One thing I can’t help but ask is, if this guy had a history of mental illness, why wasn’t something done about it before? How is it that he ended up in possession of weapons when it was already known he was ill? It sounds to me more like no one wanted to get involved or take responsibility of this young man after having it determined he was a potential and serious threat to himself and others. In this instance, what do guns have to do with anything? In this case, it was a means to an end (as has been mentioned previously) but the problem was never with the gun; it was with the wielder and the clear lack of any real kind of psychological help.

  40. voiceofreason,

    Ali Eteraz has the latest from the words of the killer himself, who said in the video sent to NBC:

    “I die like Jesus Christ to inspire generations of defenseless people…”

    “Do you know what it feels like to be impaled upon a cross”

    Seems our killer was Christian.

  41. Caleb,

    That is an excellent comment. I do think some who press for more gun rights don’t realize that you can protect yourself quite well against armed assailants with other weapons, far more deadly than a gun. Thank you for your comment.

  42. Khevor,

    In this particular case, had the gun seller conducted a background check, it would not have taken long to learn Mr. Cho was mentally ill. Virginia doesn’t do background checks for gun purchases though.

  43. It’s a shame, George Bush is worse than Cho Seung-Hui. Religious righteousness is whats really killing society today. If people we’re fair they’d call both George bush and Cho Seung-Hui a terrorist. Sure George bush had good intentions but if you play that card then everyone had good intentions didn’t they. Sure Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people. But seriously, how many people has George Bush Killed? America is a fascist. Blame others. He kind of had a point there. One hundred Billion ways to change things, every minute cost you an opportunity cost and with each difference what was your marginal benefit. Is that wrong?

    So, who do you blame. We blame ourselves. People shouldn’t look down on this kid. Open our eyes and simply respond with the only good that man can do and that is try to understand, try to make change, continue to search for the truth and tear down all your barriers.

    Instead, you’ll respond with one-sided righteousness, ignoring what really sets people off.

  44. ConspiracyAtheist,

    No, religious righteousness is not what’s really killing society today. It is religious hypocrisy that is. A righteous religious individual would not actually support warfare. It does say a lot about our Christian society today.

    Spencer W. Kimball, a modern day prophet, said:

    In spite of our delight in defining ourselves as modern, and our tendency to think we possess a sophistication that no people in the past ever had — in spite of these things, we are, on the whole, an idolatrous people — a condition repugnant to the Lord.

    We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel — ships, planes, missiles, fortifications — and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:

    “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
    “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45).

    We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us — and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Nephi 1:7) — or he will fight our battles for us (Exodus 14:14; D&C 98:37, to name only two references of many). This he is able to do, for as he said at the time of his betrayal, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53). We can imagine what fearsome soldiers they would be. King Jehoshaphat and his people were delivered by such a troop (see 2 Chronicles 20), and when Elish’s life was threatened, he comforted his servant by saying, “Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kings 6:16). The Lord then opened the eyes of the servant, “And he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (vs 17).

    What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? Our assignment is affirmative: to forsake the things of the world as ends in themselves; to leave off idolatry and press forward in faith; to carry the gospel to our enemies, that they might no longer be our enemies.

    It isn’t the righteousness of religious individuals that is killing society. It is the unrighteous.

  45. Yay for Daniel!! At least somebody knows what they are talking about!

  46. Khevor,

    In some instance you may be correct on the idea that most kids that bring a gun to school get it from home. However I have only heard that to be the case with elementary students who bring them just to show them off. In both the Columbine and Virginia Tech incidents the shooters did not get the guns from home. They were responsible for carrying out the whole thing. Also, with there being a pretty large gun black-market the ones who would suffer from more gun laws are the innocent ones.

  47. Should not US review its policy of easy availability of firearms for everybody?

  48. well, whats a better solution? not giving everyone guns. Any why did the cops wait? they didnt go in right away? he was dead before they even entered the building.

  49. oh ya, and im just an irrational youth. not much of what i would do is different from most other youth!!!! im sure that as a kid every body knew that one bully that they wanted to pump full of led.

  50. There are blog posts, social commentaries in online news publications, and expert opinions everywhere on the net concerning the causes of incidents like the VT massacre. You can point to causes all you want, but we all know by now that there are plenty of powder keg types out there. A certain percentage of them will explode and attempt (successfully and unsuccessfully) to cause harm to others. Knowing this, and still allowing average citizens to have access to weapons that can cause severe or fatal damage to scores of people in short periods of time is ridiculous and shows how unevolved so many of us really are. It’s not because Americans are violent. I live in Japan and firmly believe that, if the average Japanese citizen was allowed access to firearms as easily as Americans are, the murder rate here would skyrocket.

    It seems like so many people are concerned with spouting off opinions about causes and not many are interested in taking steps to quickly eliminate access to what we all know are responsible for killings of lots of people easily with little effort – guns. Particularly handguns.

    You don’t need a gun. I mean, really, tell me why you need one? You need to defend your family and property, you say? How often do successful protections of law-abiding people’s homes and families with guns happen compared to senseless killings with guns purchased legally? You can say that high crime areas are dangerous and law-abiding citizens living in those areas are definitely in need of guns that can be purchased legally, but even in these areas I doubt the ratio mentioned above has ever favored law-abiding citizens.

    America was born in the throes of a violent upheaval. The American gun culture has been around since the birth of the nation. It’s been around so long that many Americans believe that being American means having a gun. Isn’t it time to advance our thinking, put down the guns, trade in our gas-guzzling, super-polluting SUVs and trucks, and start thinking about people other than just ourselves?

  51. NBC created this monster and they are trying to create another one by playing his propaganda video over and over. All the victims’ families should join together in a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against NBC for wrongful death. You don’t believe it? Well, why did he sent his garbage to NBC? He knew that his propaganda would be shown by them because all he was really doing was mimicking their propaganda anyway. The Left says all us crackers deserve to die for what some moronic morons who lived 200 years ago did, and this guy just took that stupidity it’s illogical conclusion. NBC is Cho’s father and ABC is his mother, and they are proud of their bastard child. Just turn on the TV and you can see their pride and joy.

  52. Jk,
    In accordance to your harsh judgements and shallow in-sight, you are the same as Cho. It takes a great amount more of incidents in a persons life to allow such a climax. So, if you don’t know what you are talking about, then speak in silence.

  53. southofreality,

    You also are narrow-minded. To think that you or anybody else could come up with such a easy out plan is absurd. Speak badly about my country as much as you please, but it wasn’t much over a century ago that yours was bloodthirsty for it’s own people; creating it’s own massacre. As far as America goes, it was not by any means founded “on throes of violent upheaval”. The purpose for firearms is far beyond what a city-slicker like you can see. I will elaborate in a coming message.

  54. Question Marks…

    “This didn’t have to happen”, Cho Seung-Hui said, after brutally murdering thirty-two people at Virginia Tech University.

    And this terrible tragedy of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers didn’t have to happen, if we’d only listened.

    But we never listen.

    We never listen to those that are different from us- the outcasts, the lonely, the homeless, the ones that are unspoken for. We don’t try to understand. We shun them and put them out of our minds because of our fear that we will become like them.

    And these people become more and more lonely and alienated in their isolation.

    Words like “creep”, “deranged misfit” and “psycho” devalue this killer’s humanity so we don’t have to face how similar he is to us. Cries of “how could he have been stopped” are uttered by media quick to sensationalize and gain market share, when the words “how could he have been listened to” are never considered.

    Because we don’t want to listen.

    We don’t want to hear about loneliness and alienation when we’re all so busy with our lives, making money and making friends. And the unpopular, the ones that don’t fit in, the lonely ones are ignored or made fun of because we don’t care to understand anything about them.

    As a boy, Cho Seung-Hui “was picked on, pushed around and laughed at over his shyness” (Associated Press). When he started college, according to the Guardian, “his mother took his dormitory mates to one side to explain about her son’s unusual character and implored them to help.”

    And he clearly needed help, devaluing himself so much that he called himself “Question Mark”.

    There are more “Question Marks” out there. There are millions of them. And if we don’t listen to them, they will follow the same path again and again, because people are not connecting. We are becoming more and more disconnected from each other, creating more and more “Question Marks” every day.

    Most “Question Marks” don’t become murderers. Some just kill themselves. Most harm no one and live just as we do, needing antidepressants to appear what we call “normal”. They may be someone you know, someone you love.

    This “Question Mark” was once a little boy, who cried, and smiled and loved, He wanted to fit in just like you and I. But that desire to fit in transformed itself into anger towards a society that shunned and ignored him.

    How many more times will we shun and ignore the one that doesn’t fit in, the one in the corner, the one that’s different? When all we have to do is listen, before it’s too late.

    But we won’t.

    Thirty-two human beings who did not know Cho Seung-Hui were murdered.
    They were sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, with dreams of futures that will never come and children that will never be born. The thirty-two leave behind people that love them. People that are now scarred for life by this horrible day of death.

    To most of us that have not been directly involved, this tragedy will become a memory and fade like all the others that came before.

    And the “Question Marks” will appear with more frequency, again and again, because we don’t listen.

    We never do.

    —————

    http://www.x-thc.com


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