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Monday, April 23, 2007

Dead man on campus

A week after the deadliest school shooting in American history, I'm still baffled on what drove Cho Seung-Hui to single handedly annihilate each and every one of the 32 victims at Virginia Tech. We've heard all the stories, the videos, the manuscripts, everything. I'm surprised that for an English major, he doesn't have a blog. God knows what he would've have written about.
Any which way you put it, nothing justifies a killing. It's kinda ironic though, how the big 'ol US of A goes berserk when it's in their own backyard and could hardly give a whimper when it's thousands of miles away in the desert.
One thing is for sure, that Virginia Tech will be spoken in the same breath as Columbine and Cho will certainly be remembered, just as how he'd like it. I guess you can't help being intrigued by these kinda incidents. You can't really blame the media for putting on the spotlight. Even NBC's decision to air the video testimonial was honestly, for the sake of mass media. Deep down, you know people want to see it. It's bad taste, but so is showing dead Iraqis blood-soaked on the ground.
I've always had an interest in serial killers, and I would put Cho in the same league. He had the same, distinguished characteristics of the crazed killer. A loner, with a bad childhood and being picked on in school. I guess for them, this is their final moment of glory, the swan song, the final hurrah. And you don't have to watch Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers to know that this self-act of murder in the dozens will certainly cement their place as 'celebrities'. With every major newspaper on the trail, it's a sick way of having your 5 seconds of fame. It may even last longer in the pages of history.
The question on everyone's mind is "Why?" Only Cho will know for sure what drove him to carry out the assassinations of 16 April 2007. We can only guess the feeling of isolation, depression and hatred that boiled down in him. And when you have a country proud of its Second Amendment that lets any Tom, Dick and Harry to walk into a store and purchase a gun, that's just trouble waiting to happen.
I love how Michael Moore brings forward the firearms argument in Bowling for Columbine. How a system so screwed up can be implemented in the name of freedom and rights for every man. It's no rocket science. No guns, no head blown up by a .45 Magnum purchased from a local K-Mart. That's like me going to Giant to buy myself a nice, shiny Smith & Wesson.
A lot of issues comes to surface when you talk about the Virginia Tech Massacre. The blame game starts. What were the teachers doing? How did he get his hands on a gun? What did the counselors do? Weren't there any warning signs? You can analyze and re-analyze the situation over and over again, but the basic fact is Virginia Tech is a disaster waiting to happen. If it didn't happen there, it would be someplace else. VT won't be the last nor will it be the worse. The whole system failed. People failed. Society failed. Because as much as we pride ourselves in helping others, we have all known a Cho Seung-Hui once in our life. The loner, the one people don't talk much to, the weird dude, the whatshisname guy, mamat tu. Cho Seung-Hui wasn't created in a day. He was a product of a society that never really knew where he belonged. He wasn't sure himself. That's why he took the easy way out. A deadly one at that.

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