Political Mishmash

I haven't commented on the VA Tech shooting here. It's partly because I'm overly opinionated, partly because I didn't think it was right to have one of those "BLOG MY REACTION" posts, and mostly because I've been in similar shoes to Cho's.

I'm not about to comment on the shooting here, though I have elsewhere. However, I will comment on comments about the shooting.

Firstly, I very much dislike the instantaneous reactions of people with an agenda. Almost instantly people were saying that the shootings were cause for <Insert Agenda Here>. There were people saying we needed changes in gun control, some more lax, some stricter and all different. There were people saying we needed mental health industry changes. There was Jack Thompson, who declared the whole thing Counter-Strike's fault before we even knew who the shooter was. Incidentally, last reports stated that Cho didn't play video games at all, he wrote dramatic plays.

I'm all for figuring out what went wrong and fixing it, but political grandstanding doesn't help anyone but the people grandstanding. I doubt it even helps them as much as they believe.

The best reaction we can have is that of compassion. Compassion for the survivors, compassion for the dead, and compassion for Cho and everyone like him. He killed 32 people, a terrible act, and left us question how such things could happen. The unfortunate, knee-jerk reaction is to seek out people similar to him and isolate them, ridicule them, and take out our frustration on them. This is the absolute worst thing we can possibly do.

I've been reading a lot about Cho, and the events surrounding the VA Tech shootings. He was made fun of out throughout middle school, high school, and even university. In short, isolated, ridiculed, and transformed into an object for others to vent their frustrations upon. While not the only factor in matters, increasing the level to which we do such things is in no way going to stop such events from reoccurring.

People in Cho's position need, first and foremost, the compassion and friendship of others. Isolating them further only harms the situation further. Demonizing Cho, however angry and vitriolic his diatribe and video clips, does not change what he did or the events that lead him to believe it was his only way out.

My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered because of this event, whether by a gun, the media, or those who would take out their sorrows on the people who need help the most.

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