Thursday, April 19, 2007

enabled by The Commonwealth of Virginia

when the identity of a murderer is revealed, one of three things happens.
sometimes, neighbors will say - he seemed like such a nice guy, he must have snapped. sometimes, it is said of the murderer - he was very quiet - he mostly kept to himself. sometimes, it is said - he seemed troubled - or that he was trouble. in the case of Cho Seung-hui, the latter two apply.
it was abundantly clear that the 22 year-old Cho was troubled. it is also abundantly clear that a lack of common sense led to all-time high body count.
let's ignore the fact that Virginia tech police dropped the ball after they found the first two dead bodies; let's ignore the fact that a judge in 2005 declared Cho an imminent danger to himself and others. it is very easy for us non-professionals to second-guess the actions of the authorities after the fact, and at a great distance.
Cho did not just snap. - he had planned and obsessed this attack over the course of months, possibly years.
but consider how different this attack would have been if Cho had been armed not with two legally obtained firearms, but with a hammer - or a baseball bat, or a knife, a sword or machete, or even a bow-and arrow. without guns, could Cho have killed thirty-two people in such a short period of time?


in Virginia, no license or permit is required to purchase a firearm, no registration, no waiting period. in Virginia, police cannot limit the number of concealed weapons. local authorities there are prevented from enacting stronger gun laws than the state has. the attorney general of that state, the highest-ranking law enforcement official, is powerless to regulate the sale of guns.
the commonwealth of Virginia, with their lax gun laws, enabled Cho seung-hui in his killing spree. he simply walked into a Roanoke gun shop, produced his green card, and walked out with a 9mm, and later a .22 caliber.
Cho was enabled by a long tradition of school shootings in the united states - he called the Columbine killers "martyrs". but ultimately, this immigrant was enabled by the insane blood lust of the united states of america for firearms. enabled by the perversion of the second amendment, and ultimately enabled by the all-American notion:
i have a gun - you will do my will, or i will shoot.
last night, NBC news twisted the knife in the emotional wounds of the Cho's victims' families and friends. they granted the last wish of a mass murderer by broadcasting his video. news outlets usually refrain from showing bloody close-ups of a murder victims’ wounds. why? this kind of gruesome sensationalism is considered in poor taste. showing such photographs would be insensitive to anybody who knows the victim, showing bullet riddled dead bodies disgusts most viewers. such a gratuitous display adds nothing to our understanding of a news story. yet, NBC, and eventually every other news org did something much worse. they glorified this dead sicko by airing his bitter, hate filled video manifesto.
great job, Cho - you broke the record for a mass-murder by gunshot. you got your face on every front page on the planet. now the entire world can hear your insane ranting, courtesy of NBC news. mission accomplished! congratulations!

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