Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech Tragedy

Taking a breather from the usual witty posts, I would like to collect some thoughts on the most recent newsmaker that disturbed the country, and the world.

I'm pretty sure many of you have been hearing about it. The worst shooting in American history to date, and hopefully, ever. Cho Seung-Hui, a 23 year old English major, shot 33 people -- countless times to death -- including himself. I, personally, don't know what to make out of it. One man, successfully accomplishing an obviously sadistic plan (with suspicious beliefs of his girlfriend supposedly cheating on him) is completely senseless, unfathomable, and heinous.

Event descriptions from different witnesses have been piling up since the massacre, effectively convincing that the suspect had methodically conceptualized this plan for a long time, which includes multiple bomb threats in the same community a couple of weeks ago. According to media reports, the killer may have had something to do with recent bomb threats, presumably testing the University's security system. On Monday morning, he supposedly returned to his dorm residence to reload his weapons after killing two students in the same vicinity. He then proceeded to Norris Hall, chained the doors by himself, and started the shooting spree.

Eversince living here in the United States, I have openly expected a lot more from the governance, considering that the place I came from lacked a whole lot of synchronization. I was not disappointed. Malls are clean, public high schools and community colleges are impressively convenient, Airports and flights are friendly, and driving situations are far less hazardous. But one thing that could possibly prevent brutal attacks like this is an intense security system. I'm not saying that VT security's approach to the situation was any less. It might have been on some others' opinions, but I'm sure they've done their part in the best way they knew how. But on the other hand, I think colleges and universities in this country are very driven to ensue independence on students that liberated security is often tolerated. Just like my college which has its own police station (much like all colleges in this country), but we rarely see officers around campus, not even after the morning traffic. I happen to have spent my first high school years in Lorenzo Ruiz De Manila School, where security is as strict as it gets. There's an armed guard in every building, and IDs are firmly required for everyone who enters and leaves the campus, including transportations. I know, it's a high school, a reasonable proximity to monitor. But we all agree that there's absolutely nothing wrong in being a little bit too cautious, right? Especially in a country that leniently sells guns, and has been attacked by terrorism in the past.

One more thing that seemed absurdly funny to me was the method of communication during that very morning. The warning has been sent through email. Yes, Yahoo!, Google, Hotmail. Through EMAIL. I was shocked, totally perplexed at how dumb some people can get under pressure. My friend Brittany said it best, "Who in the hell checks out their emails at 7:30 in the morning?" and really, what person that practically resides inside the university doesn't have a mobile phone? Is this generation really that idiotic to use email as their form of addressing alarm, instead of an instant phone call, or even text message??

Speaking of text messaging. This may sound ridiculous, but I really think that it's about time 9-1-1 gets the hype of this commodity. A phone call is deeply necessary, but text messaging can be really helpful than it sounds. For instance, there was this girl who survived the second shooting by playing dead. While obviously restraining her nerves by not dialing 9-1-1 during the ordeal, she would have had an easier contact if text messaging was another way of asking help. This is me being humorless, folks. I sincerely think the rescue hotline must consider the text messaging system. Seriously.

What's really uncanny about the chain of events was the fact that the suspect even had enough time to keep himself alive after the first shooting, and with no one calling to the rescue, let alone the police -- who admittedly have heard the gun shots -- ignoring the incident in belief that it was just another one of those domestic fulminations. I, myself, have had enough debates and discussions (especially in my HDEV class) regarding this whole story. A lot of what ifs, could-have-beens, and should-have-beens. But instead of concentrating, and dwelling on what really could have happened, I suggest that the society gradually move on, and on the way, perform drastic changes in our systems to be able to protect ourselves in the future. If America didn't learn enough from the University of Texas massacre in 1966, I think now is the right time to learn something from the Virginia Tech tragedy.

My heart goes out to all the victims, the families affected, and the entire community of Blacksburg.


april said...

my thoughts exactly.

Vayie said...

Thousands of miles away from where it happened, we also feel the grief of this senseless killing spree. Just this morning I was reading how it all happened at Wikipedia, the portrait of the shooter and the package sent to NBC. I was watching the news and I can say that America is really in mourning. I can't understand why this has happened again and why they haven't learn from the Columbine High School massacre

May the souls of the victims rest in peace.

aCey said...

1st, let me just say i'm so lovin' the layout.

it is really depressing to learn about people our age who are probably too lonely... that they just lose it. i feel for cho, too. we don't know what he's really going through... my heart goes out, esp. to the one who got hurt...

anyway, stay safe, ate kai! :)

Kai said...

Thanks for dropping by.

Cho actually emulated what the Columbine murderers did. Besides from killing dozens, they also sent a video-taped message as a threat of some sorts. It's creepy!

I wanted to deviate the drama expressed in my latest entry by putting up a colorful theme and some Maroon 5, hehe, but thanks! About Cho, I still can't fathom killing 33 people, including himself, only to send out a message. If he was furious about the way he was being treated, there are countless ways of expressing his anger, and doing something about it. Killing doesn't result to anything but evil, so I really can't be sympathetic.

kat said...

what a tragedy is all i can say. it's obvious he had this all planned out (he started working out and buying guns in feb; and sending that package the day of the shooting). crazy. and really, no one could predict this. it can be any school, any place, anyone.

he was obviously psychotic.

Alternati said...

Columbine also happened in April... on this date.

It's really depressing and infuriating! The e-mail warnings were ridiculous!

I just saw the taped messages of Cho and he is deeply disturbed. It's sad thinking about the parents and how they feel secure thinking their children are tucked away safe in a university getting an education and later finding out this happened.... These are sad days we're living in.

Vayie said...

That's right. I've watched the video tapes and it's compelling and creepy. You don't know where all that anger comes from. I mean, he may have his own problems and angst but killing people at random to send the message across is just crazy! NO JUSTIFICATION, period. The world does not owe him anything in the first place.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

i wanted to blog about this tragic event, but i still can't find any time. there's so much going on. but anyway, it really is such a tragedy.

and i really haven't been able to keep myself updated with everything that's been circulating in the media. i haven't even had the time to watch the clips he sent to NBC. it's just so horrible that he just had to go on a second killing spree - without the police locating him and taking him into custody.

a girl in my astronomy class said her cousin goes to VTech & they haven't heard from her yet. that's pretty nerve-wracking for her family to go through.

may those who lost their lives rest in peace.

btw, i'm lovin' the layout, kai. :)

Kai said...

Eeek, I know. It's really creepy how everything seemed to have went as he planned. My prof also had the same sentiment. It must be indescribable torture for the parents.

I completely agree.

My friend, Tiff, also had friends there, and is actually living in the area. And I can just feel through her words that Blacksburg will never be the the safest suburb it once was again.