Loneliness. Anger. Hate. All of these things have been said to be inside the mind of Cho Seung-Hui, the 23-year-old South Korean native who slaughtered 32 innocent people at Virginia Tech then turned his weapon on himself.
A package received by NBC today contained a written work and video of a killer preparing for his â€œproject.â€ All day long, speculation has raced through all of the major news talk programs, from Sean Hannity to NBC Nightly News trying to answer the one simple question: â€œWhy?â€
He hailed from a working-class family who has immigrated to America. His parents operated a dry-cleaning business. His sister attended Princeton and currently works as a contractor in the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office, a part of the State Department. So what would make Cho fly so far off the handle?
Jealousy, lust, anger, pride, greed â€“ five of the Seven Deadly Sins can be found in his final words. He was no sloth nor was he a glutton, but he certainly personified the others. In reading some of the excerpts Cho references Mercedes, gold chains, trust funds, cognac and vodka, calling all of them â€œhedonistic needsâ€ and calling those around him, â€œbratsâ€ and â€œsnobsâ€ and railing against â€œdebaucheriesâ€. He certainly seemed angry with those around him. These certainly are not the words of one who has it all together.
Perhaps Cho was jealous because others at VT seemed, at least to him, to have more than he did. The sight of people his own age driving Mercedes Benz automobiles, wearing gold chains and heirs to trust funds must have been more than he could stand. Perhaps Cho desired to have more than he had, in terms of material possessions. With either of the first two, anger would build. The possibility of unrequited love could also incite anger. He was labeled a stalker, though no legal charges were ever filed. Lustful individuals tend to stalk the object of their affection, so having a woman refuse to reciprocate his affection could have set him off. This would certainly stoke the fires of anger. He obviously felt some level of pride. The package sent to NBC would confirm this. He wanted the world to know who he was. Murdering 32 innocent individuals on a college campus must not have been enough. Finally, the cold-blooded method of his rampage reveals his greed for power. He was in control and he knew it. He knew no one would stand to challenge him, so he had power.
The message here is clear. Choâ€™s life was wrought with evil. He wasnâ€™t a madman. The term â€œmadmanâ€ implies he was not in control of his mental faculties. Cho was in complete control. He obviously had been planning this for some time. One of the pistols he used had been purchased back in March. Both purchases were within the legal codes for buying small arms in Virginia. A madman doesnâ€™t go through this kind of planning.
In order for the families of the victims to have closure, Cho needs to be labeled for exactly what he was: an agent of evil. The families need to deal with the fact that evil murdered their loved ones. Proper passage through the grieving process requires that they and the rest of the world accept that on Monday, people were murdered by evil. Saying that Cho was mentally unstable absolves him of his responsibility for his actions. â€œOh, you canâ€™t be angry at him, he was mentally unstable.â€ This is of little comfort to those who lost family members. The families have the right to be angry. They have the right to want to see Cho rot in Hell. They have the right to go through all of the stages of grief so that they can come to terms with what has happened. Then, and only then, can they finally let go. Denying evil for what it was denies the families their rights to grieve.
It is with great hope for the comfort of the families that this article is written. None of them may ever read it, but hope that they can see evil for what it is, call it by its proper name and then move on is the purpose of this article. What Cho did was evil. Does that make him evil? What do you think?
WORLD - AN EDGE IN MY VOICE
Copyright © 2010 D. E. Carson
Inside The Mind of A Murderer
Copyright © 2010 D. E. Carson
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