I know that the horrible events that happened at Virginia Tech are still on everyone’s mind. And when it comes to the V. Tech massacre, as pertaining to the blame game that’s happening right now, I think Jon Stewart said it best: “Doesn’t anyone want to reach on this?”
One day we’re hearing that lax gun control was the real killer. Another day we’re hearing it’s violent video games, even though the killer was not known to play video games at all. I’ve heard that it’s violent movies; I’ve even heard that the devil made him do it. And last week, I heard someone actually blame white girls (the first victim, a girl named Emily Hilscher, was a white girl who apparently spurned him, which leads people to of course blame her for his anger toward whites).
Come on. The devil? A white girl who dumped him?
I have a theory about why we keep getting these ridiculous theories: no one really cares why it happened. I mean, they want to know why he did it, but they don’t want to know why HE did it. No one wants to really think about what could make someone murder over 30 people in a shooting spree, so we blame everything around that person: easy access to guns, some girl who pissed him off by dumping him, violent video games he didn’t even play; hell, even the devil is a convenient scapegoat.
Why is it so hard to care about what’s going on with other people?
Admit it, everyone has their “I handle my own, and no one else’s” attitude, at varying levels. I didn’t know the extent at which I suffered from it until one day in class I found myself arguing to let someone drink himself to death, because it was his choice and there is only so much you can do to help someone before you just give up. Now, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but after class I was really astonished at my own coldness. Would I really let someone continue to lose himself in alcohol, just so I wouldn’t have to go out of my way to help them?
I can’t imagine myself doing something that carelessly cruel. But then, why had I said it?
Now, I don’t know much about the killer; nobody does, he was a very reclusive guy. But I know that it was obvious that he needed help, from his paperwork in class to his demeanor toward other people. It was obvious to everyone who met him that he needed help, yet he didn’t really receive any. Sure, he was sent to see a psychiatrist (after harassing two women) but apparently was released shortly after, even though he was declared mentally ill.
If we want to stop something like this from ever happening again, the first step is to stop blaming; we need to let that person take actual responsibility for what happened! It wasn’t guns, it wasn’t white girls, it wasn’t violent movies, and it wasn’t video games that killed those 32 people at Virginia Tech that morning. It was Seung-Hui Cho. He killed those people on April 16, 2007. Yes, it was Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old senior majoring in English, a real-life human being who killed a lot of people. He did it.
There’s more to what happened than the devil or video games. We need to stop throwing around shallow theories that don’t even permeate the surface of what happened, because doing so is an injustice to both the victims and the killer. Unless we start really looking deep into what caused this, this kind of thing is bound to happen again.