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