In the Mind of a Murderer
Justify it as you like, I cannot think of Cho Seung-Hui as anything other than a murderer. A lot has already been said about the subject, so apart from the links to his plays here[link], I won’t be saying much.
The content of his plays being sophomoric aside (in all honesty my high school freshmen have written richer and deeper material than this), I don’t think the content of his plays immediately says that he “fits the profile of a school shooter.” As a previous entry said, there is no such thing as a profile; each situation is born of unique circumstances mingling with the unique turmoil in each unique individual. However, it is a definite warning sign of a person being disturbed, coupled with his general attitudes and way of pushing others away. Help was offered, but he refused it and did what he wanted to do anyway.
One can’t help but feel powerless when confronted with a person like this. The other school shootings we had in the past were perpetrated by children who I think could have been talked to—just that insufficient attention was given to their behavior. However, this guy was already an adult—like many other instances of adults going on a rampage, they have already made up their minds and will no longer respond to reason. This is why it is imperative that schools should take events like this seriously. Sure, they are aberrations, but this implies that somewhere, something went wrong.
The most immediate problem seems to be security, of course. Students will not be able to bring firearms (or poison, as in the case of Gelyn Fabro) if the security weren’t so lax. Guards search bags, yes, but do they know what they’re searching for?
Of course, there’s also the whole issue with of how the person is treated. The school can only do so much—personal and parental problems are already beyond the reach of guidance counselors—but still, the school can provide the student with an environment where he or she can express his or her frustrations in a harmless way. Cho’s situation was different—this guy was already an adult, and that’s why I believe that his problems were already beyond reasoning. He had to deal with them by himself, and he couldn’t. He had to choose the worst possible option. But for high school students, I believe that something can be done. Of course, people are different. There are university students who might be receptive to counseling. Cho’s case is indeed an aberration, but aberrations do not excuse the school from not taking any action. In his case, action was indeed taken. Schools just have to be sure that they’ve done everything in such cases.
I’ve always believed that elementary students need a teacher who they could see as a parent. In high school, they need a teacher who they could see as a friend or elder sibling. In college, a student needs a teacher who he or she could see as a mentor. Thankfully I’ve had such teachers in all my years in the academe.
On a less serious note:
Another Mario parody[link]