The Root Cause Of The Virginia Tech Massacre

Ken AshfordCrimeLeave a Comment

The gunman, student Cho Seung-hui, was a "loner".

Could have predicted that.

He was also a resident alien, originally from South Korea.  How long before wingnuts on the right use this for an anti-immigration anti-Muslim ("keep them ferners out") platform?

"THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG" UPDATE:  The prize goes to radio talk show host and wingnut Debbie Schlussel, who was pushing for the Muslim/terrorist angle as early as 3:00 yesterday:

So who is the shooter? What is the shooter’s nationality? What is the shooter’s religion? Waiting to find out. And wondering why the police and media are referring to the shooter as "Asian" and not by specific nationality.

If I were Asian, I’d be legitimately upset with this broad generalization of the mass murderer’s identity.

Why am I speculating that the "Asian" gunman is a Pakistani Muslim? Because law enforcement and the media strangely won’t tell us more specifically who the gunman is. Why?

Even if it does not turn out that the shooter is Muslim, this is a demonstration to Muslim jihadists all over that it is extremely easy to shoot and kill multiple American college students.

Posted by Debbie at April 16, 2007 02:57 PM

Why were you speculating that the "Asian" gunman is a Pakistani Muslim, Debbie?  Um, because you’re a bigot?

UPDATE:  Well, now I’ve seen it all.

We live in an era when public high schools and colleges have all but banned God from science classes. In these classrooms, students are taught that the whole universe, including plants and animals–and humans–arose by natural processes. Naturalism (in essence, atheism) has become the religion of the day and has become the foundation of the education system (and Western culture as a whole). The more such a philosophy permeates the culture, the more we would expect to see a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness that pervades people’s thinking. In fact, the more a culture allows the killing of the unborn, the more we will see people treating life in general as "cheap."

I’m not at all saying that the person who committed these murders at Virginia Tech was driven by a belief in millions of years or evolution.

Of course he’s not.  He’s only saying that this kind of thing is what we get indirectly when we teach evolution.

[UPDATE:  Oh, man.  Now we’re blaming it on co-ed dorms and liberal arts:

And I’m sorry, some will really think me foolish, but I don’t think dorms should be co-ed, so that crazed, jealous boyfriends can enter their girlfriends’ dorms and kill them and the innocent young men who come to their aid.  If it had been a single-sex dorm, the killer might not have been able to enter so readily.  There aren’t enough difficulties getting young people through college these days so that we have to deal with "domestic disputes" in their dormitories as well? 

And, sorry again, but thoughts also arise on the killer’s being an English major and on the spiritual emptiness of much education nowadays.   

Good lord.]

Look, people.  This has nothing to do with the fact that Cho was a "ferner".  It has even less to do with the fact that we teach evolution in schools [or co-ed dorms].  It’s because he was disturbed.

Christy Smith draws from her experience, and writes a good post about "red flags":

There are certain common threads that I saw a lot in working with abuse and neglect cases, juvenile offenders and adult criminals over the years of my practice.  And they were similarly identified by the psych professionals with whom I worked on a day to day basis, who provided therapy and evaluation services for us in particular cases — and in the literature about these sorts of issues and at seminars that I attended.  In particular, a seminar on violent juvenile offenders that I attended — run by the OJJDP — during the time I was a prosecutor, helped to hone in on the psychological aspects and root causes, as well as to indentify certain "red flag" behaviors that are common across the board in violent incidents.  These include, but are not limited to:

– Animal abuse, especially torture and physical violence of any kind.
— Arson/fire starting.
— A history of sexual abuse, either as a victim or a perpetrator.
— Anti-social/loner tendencies.
— Outbursts of anger.
— A history of bedwetting beyond young childhood range.
— Language delays, causing difficulty in comprehension or expression.
— An obsession with firearms or other explosive devices or weaponry.
— Abuse toward younger siblings or other family members.
— Violence in the home.
— Obsession with violent video games, or other violent media or literature.
— Drug and/or alcohol abuse, especially where it results in violent behavior while intoxicated.
— Truancy/delinquency issues.
— A home life that includes maltreatment, neglect and other emotional abuse issues, as well as exposure to physical abuse, to themselves or to others in the home.

This is by no means a complete list — there are a number of other factors as well, and any one or more of these factors may be present without seeing a child have issues with sociopathic or other violent behavior. But they should raise concerns for adults around that child, and should at the least say that the child needs some extra intervention to be certain that the behavior and questions raised do not spiral downward into more violent behavior. This includes aggressive mental health intervention, as well as family counseling, where appropriate, because so often mental health problems go hand in hand with a lot of the red flag problems raised above.

We can talk about gun control, but the real root problem is psycho-social.  That’s what we need to talk about.  Not immigration.  Not eveolution.

UPDATE:  Here’s a look into his mind — from a play he wrote for his creative writing class:

Cho’s bizarre play features a 13-year-old boy who accuses his stepfather of pedophilia and murdering his father. …The teenager talks of killing the older man and, at one point, the child’s mother brandishes a chain saw at the stepfather. The play ends with the man striking the child with "a deadly blow."

Read it.  It’s seriously fucked.

UPDATE:  Another play.