Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Virginia Tech Sadness/Madness

(Disclaimer - I am reposting this here from another blog I wrote earlier this evening. Hence, the lack of capitalization and spelling errors. I was rushing to get my thoughts out and I don't feel like editing it)

not many people here (i know have written about the horrible virginia tech killings. those who have have said most of the same things i would have said. but one thing that is really bothering me (ok TWO things) is that the man who killed all those people was obviously mentally ill. and i don't mean like "that dude was crazy", i mean like a full on mental illness. he wasn't evil; he was schizophrenic.

this might sound strange, and i am not siding with the guy at all, but i feel really sad for him. the more i read about his reasons for killing people and seeing his photos all over (and other news sources -which is problem number TWO) the sadder i feel. i don't know why it isn't obvious to more people out there but it's evident that this man was suffering from schizophrenia. i think i'm able to say that because his writing and behavior reminds me of what my sister went through at one time. i'm not going to lie and say that she wouldn't have killed people, because if she didn't get help when she did, she most certainly would have killed my mom and then herself. that's really hard to admit, but it's true. the voices she hears tell her that no one likes her and that she's worthless and everyone is better than her. much like what the guy in VA stated in his letters and writing.

this may also sound terrible, but i think it's horrible how the media is portraying him. and by that i mean the way that they are mis-pronouncing his name, for one thing. have you noticed that conservative media outlets call him Cho Seung-Hui, which is the way are spelled in Korea (with the sirname first), whereas the non conservative outlets (like NPR) use the American spelling of Seung-Hui Cho. the conservatives want to drive the point home that he's a Korean immigrant whereas the other group want to educate the public to the fact that he's not an immigrant at all, since he's lived in the US for 15 years. not to mention that when the story first broke, the killer was a Chinese Nationalist here on a school visa. my point is that our nation is already scared to death of Muslims, so now we're supposed to be afraid of Asians or Koreans? the thought totally boggles the mind.

i'm also disappointed on how the "manifesto" and box of photos and videos was made public. i, personally, do not want to see or read any of it. i think it's irrisponsible for NBC to release it as well. my feelings are such because i truely believe that this man was suffering from a mental disorder. and because i believe that he was suffering, i feel that the media and NBC is making him look like someone who snapped one day and shot up 30 people. i'm pretty sure that he was planning it for years in one form or another. that's how things usually work with schizophrenics, anyway. the media will not be sympathetic, that's for sure. but it bothers me that they aren't being a little more, um, compassionate? is that the word i'm looking for? i mean, fuck - the guy still has a family out there. there should be more respect (i can hear people saying that he doesn't deserve respect at all, which is valid to some, but not to me).

i feel really horrible that all those people died on monday, but i also feel horrible that Seung-Hui Cho is being turned into an even MORE horrible person as the days go on. there are pudits claming we should now profile Koreans, which is just ridiculous. there are bloggers saying horrible shit like blaming the students for not tackling the gunman. there are people blaming the gun store owner who sold him the guns. there are pundits who are blaming the university for not kicking him out when he was "stalking" those two women. people are blaming the mental hospital for not keeping him there. and there are way too many people blaming the people who thought he was "off" but never really said anything. and they are screaming the loudest at the ones who did say something for not saying MORE. by law, there's only so much you can do, and i don't think that a lot of people understand or can process that. which is a shame.

in my opinion, there's no one to blame here. you can't place blame on anyone or anything for what happened. he did something horrific and unforgivable, there's no question, but i'm positive that it was more due to the severe chemical imbalances in his brain than the fact that there's too much wealth and debauchery in the USA.


Julie said...

You know, I heard a really compelling perspective last night on NPR about gun control that I think plays particularly well with the horrible event which transpired on Monday.

The commentator started by talking about health care in America - and how medications for mental illnesses are doled out by prescription ONLY. You have to a) Have access to a doctor, b) go through a sometimes-lengthy evaluation by a doctor and get a prescription, and c) retrieve the medication by turning the prescription in to a pharmacy. People with mental health issues need to navigate through all of this, typically, to get medicated help.

However, if someone with a mental health issue wants to buy a gun, there are far fewer obstacles to purchasing one. There is no centralized registry of people with known mental health issues available to gun dealers. And a waiting period, if applicable, does little to prevent this sort of use with someone who has a serious problem.

I find it really unsettling that, as a country, we make it easier for the sick to purchase weapons that to seek treatment.

cat said...

Oh, so much to say, too little time to say it in, I also do feel sad for the shooter, he must have lived is such termoil for so long. People who COULD do something like this, definately have mental health issues. I am NOT in any way shape or form excusing what he did. Or am I saying all mental health patients (treated or untreated) are bad and going to go on a shooting rampage. I know a lot of people who have various mental health issues that live a "normal" life and would never dream of doing such a thing. I just wanted you to know that others of us feel for him. Although I must admit not as strongly I as I feel for the victims and their families and the family of the shooter. But it is a frustrating part of this tragic event...

I hope this made some sense. I am running short on time and my mind is going faster than my hands...

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Honey Bunny said...

oh crap. looks like i'm going to have to take the anonymous posting access off my account now. look at this spam! it's nauseating.

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