Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Shooter Identified

Virginia Tech students Lindsey Williamson, left, of Culpepper, Va., and Katrina Broas of Middletown, NY embrace as they reflect on the shootings. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

Update - Monday, April 30 @ 3:44am

This is an interesting headline that instead of going back to bed got me to stop: Did 'Dateline' Push Cho Too Far?.

In that article Phil Mushnick points out that NBC's Dateline ran a show on Robert Hyde and that somehow that's what put Cho over the edge. Cho very well might have tuned in to that broadcast and it firmed his resolve. There is some connection to NBC because he did mail his manifesto to them the rather than the other news networks and agencies out there. Maybe he did see it and realized if Dateline did a show on Robert Hyde that NBC would definitely air his video. Who knows?

However, this line runs the risk of shifting the responsibility away from the shooter. Cho bought the first gun weeks before the incident. Then he complied with the required waiting period and then purchased a second gun. We might not ever know exactly what combination of events pushed Cho or what finalized his decision to take so many lives, but he was arming himself and working out for this way before that showed aired.

If he did see the show it probably only firmed up his resolve and helped him decide where to send that package rather than pushed him to do what he did.

Update - Saturday, April 21 @ 6:03pm

It's study break time here in the library, so that means find a computer and surf the Internet until I feel guilty.

I found this article at the Economist: In the university of death

This article discusses how the pro-gun stance of Virginia very well might have a lot to do with how easy it was for the shooter to arm himself.

I can't say. I don't know enough about Virginia politics, but it's worth a read.

Here is an article from the New York Times which says that according to US federal law Cho shouldn't have been able to purchase firearms because he was declared a danger to himself: U.S. Rules Made Killer Ineligible to Purchase Gun

Mr. Cho’s ability to buy two guns despite his history has brought new attention to the adequacy of background checks that scrutinize potential gun buyers. And since federal gun laws depend on states for enforcement, the failure of Virginia to flag Mr. Cho highlights the often incomplete information provided by states to federal authorities.


Update - Friday, April 20 @3:35pm

Backlash much?
NBC News in the hot seat

April 19: Bitter backlash against NBC News and the media for running materials from the Virginia Tech gunman. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough asks MSNBC analyst Craig Crawford, commentator John Ridley, and the Center for Media and Public Affairs' Matthew Felling if the media made the right decision.

Update - Thursday, April 19 @ 7:10am

Cho sent a multimedia manifesto to NBC news: featured here on MSNBC. They received it, copied the materials and then forwarded it to the FBI. Based on the postmark, he sent it between the first and second shootings. They've already showed a picture of him outfitted and holding guns on CNN International.

This is some crazy stuff.
Cho's manifesto

April 18: NBC's Pete Williams talks with Brian Williams about the disturbing content of the manifesto that Cho Seung-Hui sent to NBC.

I'm sure people are curious about how the news is being viewed here in Korea. I was on my way home on the bus last evening and for the entire bus ride there was a news radio special discussing the shootings. This broadcast was on from the time I got on the bus at City Hall and was still going at the time I got off. My trip takes about 10 to 15 minutes, so that's a long radio broadcast.

On a personal level, I've had Koreans express to me that they're shocked over what happened. Of course, because Cho Seung-hui is Korean there is collective shame too. I was at school yesterday, and I had a few Koreans tell me how sorry they were. Even the lady who sells me fruit came out of her shop to express her sorrow over this incident. It's definitely touched people here.

Also, there is a fear of backlash over this. The AngryAsianMan is discussing it here: the shooter was korean-american and here and now...the backlash? I think it's something we need to think about because everyone is reeling from this horrible massacre.

BTW, Kenneth Eng is back too.

More later. It's time for me to get ready for work.

CNN: Massacre At Virginia Tech
Time.com: The Question Mark in Harper Hall
The Smoking Gun: Virginia Killer's Violent Writings


Update - April 18, 2007 @ 3:50pm

The articles and analysis of what happened are coming in a steady trickle. I've got one hour until my midterm, so I'll just update this with two articles from the WashingtonPost.com:
The first covers what the Virginia Tech community thought about him and touches on his demeanor and writing. Honestly, it's just opinions with tied together with the handful of facts we have on Cho. The second gives some info on the people who lost their lives in this morbid tragedy.

I'll weigh in later.

I'm sure that by now everyone has heard about the tragic mass shootings that occured at Virginia Tech. I'm smack in the middle of midterm exams right now, but this newest piece of news got me blogging.

The shooter has been identified as Seung-hui Cho (in Korea Cho, Seung hui)*. He had US residency, but had South Korean citizenship. According to the report, he left a "disturbing note" and had the receipt for the firearms he used in his backpack.

At this point that's about all there is to this development in the story. However, I wanted to blog it. Now I've got to study at bit more.

I'll update this later as more news is released.

News Links:

ABCNews: Shooter Identified as Cho Seung-hui
NYTimes: Virginia Gunman Identified as a Student
CNN: Police: Virginia Tech shooter an English major, 23
The Blotter: First Gun Bought March 13; No 'Spur of the Moment' Crime

Korea Blogs:
The Marmot's Hole: Virginia Tech shooter a Korean student: report
Metropolitician: Shooter is South Korean
Of course, the Korea-specific blogs are all posting on this right now. So instead of linking them all, here is a link to the Korea Blog Aggregator (it's on my sidebar too, for future reference.)

By the way, if you're one of those folks harassing Wanye Chiang, stop it. It's a horrible tragedy but he's not to blame.

*In Korea, your family name or surname comes first and then your given name or first name. So, by Western tradition, his first name is Seung-hui and his last name is Cho.

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  1. Hi Jane,
    We've been covering it over at the The Pressmen's blog and also at my own on Easy Writer.

    It's awful. A sad, sad day.

  2. Until I read your blog today, I did not realize that the shooter was Korean -- I haven't looked at my newspaper yet.

    As someone who has been to Korea four times and has plenty of Korean friends, I feel sorry for all the Koreans I know who are now going to go around hanging their heads over this.

  3. Hey Kanani,

    Yeah, it's a really sad time for everyone. Of course, I feel most for the victims and their families.

    It's really just terrifying. The silver lining is the stories of heros like Professor Librescu who lost his life bracing up against a door to prevent Cho from entering a room. Students lives were certainly saved.

    I haven't really gotten deep into it. However, now that my exam is over, I'm sure I'll shed quite a few tears

  4. Hi Mary,

    Yes, I'm sure it's very sad for Koreans too. However, the people I feel for most are the victims, their families and their friends.

    Korea and Koreans are strong. They'll get through this and they'll be able to see and change for the better because of it.

  5. This tragedy is haunting everyone... it could have been prevented if that boy had gotten the help he so clearly needed...

  6. Hey Omni,

    No disagreement with you there. I feel for everyone involved or touched by this, and that means all of us.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.