Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shock And Disbelief

As a parent of a college student and step-parent of another, I have no words to describe the horror that took place yesterday. This could happen anywhere at anytime. No one is immune from this kind of thing. But more than anything, it truly makes no sense whatsoever.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, and those that will be traumatized by this for the rest of their lives.


Greg said...

What else is there to say? Horrifying.

Mary Ellen said...

Like Greg said, there are no other words to describe it, horrifying.

My first inclination was to call my daughter in Missouri. She recently graduated but still does some work on the campus until she moves out East next month. I can imagine how difficult it was yesterday for all parents who have children who are living or working on a college campus. I just wanted to hear my daughter's voice, even though she was miles away from this tragedy.

My prayers are with the victims and their families, also.

Greg said...

So the psycho was an English major. Can't wait to see what was on his reading list. I read elsewhere that he wrote the words "Ismail Ax" on his arm, which some suggest is a reference to James Fennimore Cooper's "The Prairie," in which a settler named Ishmael Bush sets out to escape civilization carrying a gun and an axe.

Also, the news is reporting that, although he filed off the serial numbers, the guns were bought legally. And recently.

I got all this at hotair.com. Someone there speculates that the kid targeted the engineering building b/c he perhaps wanted to be an engineer but couldn't hack it.

Mary Ellen said...

"John Markell said Cho Seung-Hui was very low-key when he purchased the gun and 50 rounds of ammunition with a credit card in an "unremarkable" purchase."

I wonder exactly what constitutes a "remarkable" purchase?

Greg said...

Mary Ellen: seen the Borat movie yet? There's a seen where Borat asks the gun shop owner which gun is best for killing Jews. After a brief pause, he suggests a [insert name of powerful handgun here]. Indeed, one wonders what would raise the eyebrow of a gunshop owner.

Mary Ellen said...


I've never seen that movie. I just heard about how racist it was and that kind of humor never interested me. But that scene is telling isn't it?

I guess common sense goes out the window when people are talking about gun rights. I just hope this event wakes up everyone to the fact that this needs to be addressed once and for all.

Have you read any of the shooters plays he wrote? I read part of one, but it was so violent and creepy I had to stop. My gosh...

LASunsett said...

Greg and ME, this is a sad situation to be sure. I cannot say what the right answer is. I believe in gun rights, for those of us that are lucid enough to handle responsible gun ownership. As we are hearing now and as per usual in this kind of case, there were warning signs. We always hear about the warning signs somewhere around the 1st or 2nd day after the tragedy.

It's hard to make any kind of a case that this guy should have been allowed to purchase a gun, at all. But that, within itself, is a tough call.

By saying that a crazy person can't buy a gun, it's going to be tough call, anyway you look at it. Most psychiatric records are protected under privacy laws, if the person has not committed a crime and if the establishment of a psychiatric diagnosis (of any kind) was not the result of trying a crime.

For that reason, I do not think background checks would be effective.

So, unless I can somehow have a startling and moving revelation come to me, I can't offer any kind of an answer. (Mark the date down if you wish, I just don't have an answer.)

Mary Ellen said...

Hello LA

I agree with you, there are no easy answers to this question of "how could this have been prevented". I think it's probably a combination of many things, and even at that, I'm not sure if gun laws or having the kid removed from school could have prevented a person who is so sick from carrying out this crime. Short of a crystal ball, I'm not sure what to say.

On the other hand, these are some of the things I've seen on the French blogs. (excuse the long list, I felt they all deserved to be printed) It seems that this provided the perfect opportunity to rub salt into the wounds from this tragedy. Everyone of these comments came from different bloggers on SF's or ITU.

The United States are a very violent country where people - like high school or college students - are senselessly murdered because ANY wacko can buy a fire arm.

And please, mainstream media, spare us the sob stories of traumatised victims (sniffle) now that “shock and awe” has returned back home.

Comparing the two riots of LA 1992 and Paris 2005 in terms of deaths is always interesting, especially when we look at where we place the priorities. Many of the deaths in LA were a result of looting and property protection. Makes one wonder if property is more valuable than life in the US?


American having fun the week end …

good video T-Iova.

Americans also live for sports scores.

NRA 33 - Virginia Tech 0
Just to keep them updated

It not only about guns.

What about some universities teaching
violence? Did you know that in some schools “Star Wars” is matter of study?

So basically we Euros cannot presume to judge or even be fair on the US situation re guns, because in a situation where everybody else and his aunt packs a gun, you cotta carry too or you’re at a disadvantage.

The killer had been living in the states since 1992 (since he was 8) so he is somewhat Americanized so you can’t completely blame it on him being ‘Korean’. I would correctly label him as a Korean American. He probably had problems fitting into society, especially in a state such as Virginia where there aren’t that many people that look like him. Maybe he was a ‘loner’ because there weren’t any other Koreans?? The isolation and probably some racial persecution in addition to the incredible pressure from his parents to succeed might have contributed to this mess.

“It is really incredible when one thinks of it that this kind of things occurs in a country supposedly developed… That shows at which point the lack of social fabric and individualism are a failure.”

BTW, I must be living in a different country. I never owned a gun, never committed a violent act, never saw Star Wars in a college class, my aunt doesn't own a gun, and I'm not a racist, and I've never shot an automatic weapon just for fun on the weekends (and neither have my kids). I've also never been a victim of a violent crime, had anyone pull a gun on me, or been called a racist by any minority.

Maybe I live in Canada or something...you know how bad we dumb Americans are when it comes to Geography! (eye rolls).

To the credit of some, there were more reasonable remarks that didn't paint us as two-headed monsters. So, there may be hope yet.

LASunsett said...


The one thing I have found with many Euros is, there is a certain sector of the population that paints the US with the same broad brush they accuse Americans of painting them with. Hypocrisy is human trait, that often times transcends nationality and culture. They forget that in their angry rantings, sometimes.

Greg said...

For the record, I do not blame the gun shop that sold the kid the gun. They followed the rules and they didn't know the slightest thing about his mental state. I saw the gun seller on the news. He said the kid seemed like "a clean cut student."