Virginia tech Killings

Cho Seung-Hui, who killed 32 people on Campus, was apparently lonely, desperately looking for his individuality, burdened by anger against a society that he saw as antagonistic. Needed desperately to be noticed. To be touched. Living in a fantasy world in which his final act would be the supreme statement of his own existence. If this young man was in Iraq or Palestine, he would have been a suicide bomber and labeled simply as a Muslim terrorist. So while the world tries to understand why young Cho would commit such a tragic last act, I would ask the world to look at the young suicide bomber with the same analysis.

30 thoughts on “Virginia tech Killings

  1. I do not feel an iota of sympathy for this crazy person who took so many innocent lives. Yes, he was disturbed, but nothing justifies what he did. His professors were aware that he was disturbed, and they tried to have him seek help, but to no avail. I do not think he wanted to assert his own identity by committing this henious crime. He never spoke to anyone,(according to those who knew him) not even with his room-mates, had no friends…he obviously had some major issues with himself. He never even answered professors, never attempted to mingle with people. He was just mentally unsound. The V Tech killings show us that there are some pretty crazy people in the world.
    My deepest condolences to the friends and families of the victims of this horrific incident. The least we can do is to remember them in our prayers. With time, I am sure the Hokies will rise above this tragedy and emerge from it stronger. Go Hokies.

  2. But strangely moving that an act so farawy can affect us in Londonistan, no? The tabloids carried it as there front page stories and melancholy lingers, like the far-off scent of smoke, across an ocean. As your best friend likes to say, we are indeed, all connected. America braces herself and buttons down for copycat oppurtunists, a sad reality of the fallout of acts such as this massacre. Can’t help but feel low, gloomy, what a terrible waste of young lives.

  3. This is why I stongly believe that every child should be exposed to the arts at a very young age. The world of music, dance, theatre, etc. gives you the ultimate platform to express yourself in a positive way. As a child, I felt very isolated from the world till I was introduced to the wonderful world of music and dance. I feel magic, enchantment and eternal bliss every time I perform on stage. It is my means of communication and more importantly my ultimate proof of existence…I fail to understand why arts education is not given its’ due importance in school. I have heard of mathematicians, scientists, etc turning into suicide bombers and doing other crazy things but I have yet to hear of a true artist resorting to such pitiful measures….At the most, an artist will slab random paint on his or her canvas and call it modern art but that’s a whole new topic better left for another day!!!!

  4. Well said, Shekhar.
    The VT English department head, who tutored Cho for a while, said he looked as if he was always crying behind his sunglasses.
    love, Heath

  5. The killer says “I did it because, I had to”. Doesn’t the statement sounds like what Mr. Bush has been saying to the world about all the wars he is waging and all the killings he is commissioning across the world?
    ‘Lonely’…’desperately looking for his individuality’…anger against a society’… all these reasons sound so familiar to me living in India, because almost 50% of colleges going Indian students feel the same. But, they will not or cannot go for shooting people “indiscriminately” simply because guns are not available to these hands.
    I blame the American gun culture and attitude of its leaders who promote this method by attempting to solve all the problems of the world at their gun point.

  6. The reasons behind his act are still not very clear. But if its just depression, as it is perceived to be, then I strongly condemn your analogy shekhar. Religious extremism has got nothing to do with loneliness or identity crisis. Muslim terrorism has to be looked and dealt as terrorism and not with compassion. Use of violence in the name of any religion , be it Muslim, Hindu or any other, has to be very strongly dealt with. Comparing Islamic suicide bombers to this guy would mean playing into the hands and the game plan of the religious fanatics.

  7. That is a very interesting comparison…individuality complex caused by liberalism v/s that caused by religious extremism

  8. Shekhar, I believe that the greatest antidote to violent male behavior is the presence of loving female energy around.
    Of course not all violent men are ready for this and you cannot force female companionship down an unwilling and hostile individual. What needs to be looked at is why have we evolved in such a way that the antidote to violence (that is love) has been so disfigured by humans that countless millions suffer in its absence and seethe with anger and hatreds of all types. The story begins in the unloving environs of an unloved woman’s womb.

  9. Shekar
    I would say its wonderful to compare the two situations. However, killing innocent people is not justified for any reason what so ever. Whether they are Iraqis or Palestinians. I have been to Iraq recently and to palestine during 2002. Its not easy to live in that situation and I would have done what those guys do too. But that is not the solution to the problem. it only makes things worse. Can u suggest a better solution?

  10. The comparision is valid only with the view of damage it had caused.. otherwise not a valid comparision.

  11. I just wonder what familes and friends of those dead must be going through. A shooter comes from the blue and ends so many lives in one go. All hopes, dreams, love , worries, happiness, existance gone in the blink of an eye. What must they be wondering about this life we all have. How can somebody come from no where and end it all in a split second. We all worry about our futures and the comforts we need in our lives and how we can lead better happier lives, but was it destined that these 33 people were to die for no reason by the hands of a mad man!!
    America definitely needs to have more gun control. It should not be so easy for any one to buy guns just like it was tobacco or alchohol. This is not the first time such a thing has happenned and it just keeps getting bloodier every time.
    I was shocked to see a discussion on Fox News last night with one guest arguing for more guns in US society so people can control such gunmen right before they go out of hands. I think violence only breeds more violence. There should be more gun control and better use of technology to track people who buy guns. RFID cards on guns could be a great way to track them. There should be policies in place to track usage and some kind of electronic checks to only allow permitted, monitored and regulated usage of guns.
    We live our lives a lot more for our loved ones than just for ourself to lose them to psychopaths. God bless the families of those who died in VT!!

  12. Sabba : the solution always is to first understand what causes violent behaviour. History is full of the futility of suppresion of violence. It always comes back with greater violence and then even greater suppresion. So what are the universities in the US going to do now ? Armed police n Campus ? Dossiers on the mental health and other aspects of their students ? This is not practical. What we need is to try and analyse, understand and then try and erase the fundamental rot causes of what leads to such violent behaviour patterns. And in the US it is fast becoming a pattern.

  13. Prabhu, yes I agree in as much as that the young suicide bombers are often manipulated into believing this last act is where their destiny lies. They have the added idea of giving your life to the ‘true faith’. That manipulation did not exist in the case of the Virginia Tech case. But did u see how close the video was to that of the kind that young suicide bombers make before going to their deaths ? shekhar

  14. Dear Shekhar
    Back again, because the combined breadth and depth of understanding of your response to this situation is healing, balanced, vibrantly strong and kind, and it is good to encounter and read at this moment, it’s like a medicine.
    Please share this with a wider audience. There must be many others need to encounter a response of this quality, to counteract the fragmented, distorted responses of so many who are speaking in the media right now.
    love, Heath

  15. The reasons behind this act are never going to be clear, because they are far bigger and NO Reason is justified for taking innocent young lives.
    1. A place, where it’s as easy to get a gun as it is for a kid to buy his treat at a local pie shop. (That’s how huge the gun industry is in profit in this country).
    2. A place, where homicide and crime rate is the biggest in the world (Lawyers are very rich in this country).
    3. A place, where heart attacks and mental stress are in top numbers than even the third world’s poorest countries. (Health Insurance is a big money making thing in this country).
    4. Divorce rate is the highest. (Even that rolls the economy).
    5. Violence (video games) and the porn industry are the biggest in the world, because it’s part of freedom (profit) of expression.
    6. A corporation, whose whole purpose and motive is JUST to make profit, under the banner of freedom and rights.
    This corporation has to be transformed into a nation so that all the people living here can find a way to make it a HOME rather than a SHOP, which is for money making purposes only. It needs to be transformed from a profit making organization (at other people’s cost) into a place where they can have peace and tranquility.

  16. I totally second Sanjay malhotra’s opinion. Iam surprised and shocked that he had access to weapons so easily. its easy to get and its so cheap(<100$). cannot really understand rational decision behind allowing ‘Gun Culture’ still.!? or atleast they can increase age restriction to 40something since hunting is not teenage interest.

  17. The way the incident is being hyped up and presented in the media, I fear it is going to lead to even more suspicion among foreign nationals in the west. The west must also understand that similar acts have been committed by their own citizens in the past. This must have something to do with the gun culture in the US bcos similar incidents have happened and I think it has happened only in the US, if I am not wrong.
    The similarity in the videos, I think, is bcos in both the cases they know they are about to kill themselves. The two cases could be viewed in a similar perspective if the motives or the drives were anywhere similar. I think they are two poles apart. One is hope & faith and the other is agony of life. Two can make interesting comparison, but can it be looked at with the same analysis?

  18. Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Welcome to the future. The Virginia Tech incident is a sign of our times. This is the near future of the world. It’s good that guns are not so easily available to the youth of India or you’d see such killings here every day.
    Get used to it.

  19. The original post is understandably triggered by the tragic and deplorable incident in VT – an incident that spiraled questions about the intent, purpose, root cause and endless speculations about the circumstances in Cho-seung Hui’s life and growing up years that led up to mental/behavioral imbalances, eccentricities, and its culmination in such a gross finale.
    There is surely no disagreement as to the heinous nature of this incident. Whether the result is 32 dead (as in the VT incident) or an infinite multiple of that number (as in a suicide bombing in Iraq or Palestine) is just a matter of degree and scale of expression of a psyche — individual vs. collective, that has been hurt/humiliated, adversely interfered with by elements of oppression, suppression, depravation, the feeling of being taken advantage of, at varying levels….all or any of which fuel expressions of rebellion and destruction.
    The point of the post, I think, is not so much about the crime itself or to make point-to-point comparisons, but to reflect *out-of-the box* of this current event. To strip the mind of its conditioning (by popular media, politically motivated hypocritical PR, or otherwise) and tendency to assign stereotyped causes/labels to such action, as in the more common inferences for a similar act “in Iraq or Palestine”, and expand the thinking canvas to the GENESIS of such occurrences. The army of investigators on this case, ranging from psychologists to attorneys, and everybody else between and beyond says something about the commitment to understand the context of the incidents of the present, delve into the past circumstances, and reconfigure systems, processes, relationships or whatever else that might help prevent or at the very least mitigate such occurrences in the future.
    It is to look, not at the termites you see on the branch of a tree, or succumb to an immediate (and popular) instinct to target termite repellants to its surface. For, the termite colonies exist and breed from under, breeding at some ghostly rate of 500 eggs per day, destroying the very roots that power its natural process of growth, ability to flower, blossom and sustain a green environment. What you see on the branch is just an external manifestation of a systemic disorder that has already wreaked havoc with its cancerous proliferation and path to destruction. Chopping off the branch is deluding oneself of its elimination, only to see it pop up in several other branches later, is it not? Assuming a fertile ground, nourishment with enhancing nutrients, routine and proactive maintenance fencing off destructive weeds could preempt such a situation, should it matter whether the termite is on an apple tree in Washington or in Kashmir? Should it matter whether the termite is in the estates of Coffee Arabica or Coffee Java?

  20. This incident sent a chill down my spine!!
    Shows how much can mockery and ridicule and hurt can harm someone!!! Just the same way that it created the bandit queen ! Isn’t it a shame for the world to encourage such behavior ? isn’t it a shame on each of us that we let such a thing happen? Isn’t it a shame that one of us – one another human felt so hurt that he hurt so many others like him? Isn’t it a shame for us to be writing and preaching abt such acts of pain while we shud atually be correcting these in the society?
    I know not what the answer is to the questions above !
    But yes, its an eye opener certainly and makes us pause for a minute!!!
    May the almighty rest the departed souls and give strength to the family of the accused to bear his loss and his past.

  21. btw, is this really ur , i mean shekar kapur-the director’s website? if it is , finally a sensible website from a sensible person around…keep up ur good work…
    warm rgds

  22. Hi Kavitha, I think u r absolutely correct when u look at it from a macro level. The most important common thread between the suicide bombers and this man is HATE. That probably is also quite visible in both their videos. But I still believe that the reasons behind the hate are very different and so they require different understanding & treatment.

  23. Shekhar,
    The VT killings are a reflection of two realities – A networked world is comming close the concept of ‘ World Family’ – Human Tragedy or Elation in one part of the world is equally felt my Humans in other parts. Secondly , the complexity of the society we have created is reacting to us in strange ways.
    No human system can satisfy everyone – and insufficient philosophies have added to the confusion. This world is keeping its sanity only due to individual sanity – None of the Organised Religions have helped the human cause – it takes one depressed individual to bring this into focus.
    The world media , controlled by SU and Uk have focussed on this killing – with tributes to individuals – in other parts of the world – they are just a statistic .
    As long as there are two classes of Human beings , and Two kinds of Terrirism , such incidents will only be repeated.

  24. Shekhar, Rudra
    Its been felt in all the parts! Because the media is more powerful in this country , No matter what, they need some thing to make money if its aprooved by BIG UNCLE.It is a world power and have money.when a rich AND powerful person get killed, Its moarning and when a 4 year litle babby looses all his family with a big bomb then it gets censored.Even (we) “The family” is only told whatever the most senior member of the family wants to tell us.Did the CNN and world media talked that much about train bombing in india none of the international media ,cause the people died in that was citizens of a poor(family) nation.I wish I had one solution.

  25. As soon as the video was released, somehow I compared this incident to a piece in Ayn Rand’s novel ‘Fountainhead’ – a young sculptor attempts to kill a famous person! While the famous person “forgives” the guy, it is the world that doesn’t. I’m not sure…why Cho felt that there was no other option left. Be it a suicide bomber or a ‘thief’ or a drug addict or a random ‘killer’ or any person who is a compulsive procrastinator (like most of us) looks like they see no other way out at that point of time. But as long as the law books have different yard sticks and different punishments for these “crimes” the world will never see…a Seung Cho or a suicide bomber or a regular ‘procrastinator’ with the same analysis.

  26. Why is that when thirty two people are killed in one incident, the whole world is shocked. But if more than 32 African American kids succumb to gun violence, on the same day, in various inner cities throughout America, nobody bats an eyelid ?

  27. Dear Shekhar,
    its the same story the world over, with different characters and situations… insane , irresponsible people that snuff life out of innocent young ones. whether its virginia tech or raichur or nithari or …. the utterly tragic part is that the culprits go unpunished and those that are responsible never learn the lesson.
    How can we make a difference?

  28. With ref:- to the statement at the top of page with such comments as… ” If this person was from Iraq or Palestine he would be classified as a terrorist”. Whilst this is likely true it is also sad that there is no one, that I am aware of, stating the truth that…. In the Islamic faith the act of being a suicide bomber brings the said person into the limelight as a martyr, for the good of the cause, and deserves a special place with special rewards….AND this IS sanctioned by the Koran… By contrast the Christian Bible calls such an act … MURDER…for which God will require a sentence of the guilty be tortured, and this to be carried out for ever. This torture being the fact that said guilty one will be forever banished from the presence of God to darkness. In this state the guilty one will utterly hate even ‘being’, and it will cause one to try to devour themselves but they cannot. In the Christian Bible, unlike the Koran, Jesus clearly instructs HIS followers to prey for those that do evil, that they may come to know Love, and know it in it’s fullness before they die in their sins.

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