Friday, April 20, 2007

The Catcher in the Rice Paddy

Hello all, I'm a new contributor to this blog. I hope you find my first post interesting. Forgive a bit of changing voice, I composed this in a hurry, before my mind could lose any of the points I wanted to make.

I found the "manifesto" and videography released by NBC news yesterday to be most revealing. Instantly it was clear to me. For years Cho Seung-Hui has been struggling with unhappiness and an inability to fit in. Eventually he began to find himself blameless for his own faults and shortcomings. It was simply somebody else's fault, somebody was keeping him down. He began fomenting a great hatred against his perceived oppressor until it became all-encompassing. Mr. Cho had decided to put a Marxist twist on the route of J.D. Salinger's famous Holden Caulfield. He became an avenging angel against his perceived enemy, the rich. Mr. Cho railed against decadence and the ills of western society and culture and blamed them for his impending actions.

Those who he saw as spoiled and insatiably greedy "caused" him to purchase two semiautomatic handguns and rob the world of a brilliant researcher combating cerebral palsy (Dr. Kevin Granata), a holocaust survivor and outstanding aerospace engineer (Dr. Liviu Librescu, who's final act was to sacrifice himself blocking Mr. Cho's path long enough for some of his students to jump out the window), a beloved teacher of environmental and civil engineering and mentor/father figure to thousands of undergraduate and graduate students (Dr. G.V. Loganathan), a Fulbright Scholar and German teacher (Jamie Bishop) and a cultural icon to Nova Scotia and teacher of French (Jocelyne Couture-Nowak). The killer also took the lives of students Ross Alameddine, Brian Bluhm, Ryan Clark, Austin Cloyd, Matt Gwaltney, Caitlin Hammaren, Jeremy Herbstritt, Rachael Hill, Emily Hilscher, Matthew La Porte, Jarrett Lane, Henry Lee, Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan, Lauren McCain, Daniel O'Neil, Juan Ramon Ortiz, Minal Panchal, Daniel Perez Cueva, Erin Peterson, Michael Pohle, Julia Pryde, Mary Read, Reema Samaha, Waleed Shaalan, Leslie G. Sherman, Maxine Turner and Nicole Regina White. He stole from us the best and the brightest in their chosen fields, full of the promise and potential of the rising collegiate. The world was their oyster until their paths were darkened by someone "saving" them from decadence, a Catcher in the Rice Paddy of his native Korea where, ironically, his parents took him from as a baby to make a better, richer life for himself here in the United States. I'm sorry Mr. Cho, this is neither fighting the good fight nor freeing the world from oppression, this is lunacy.

Your insanity and irrational mind took the lives of 31 people, without whom the world will be a darker place. You destroyed hundreds more families and altered countless lives by inflicting horrible violence upon what should have been a place of safety, security and tolerance. Just like Holden Caulfield, you thought your self-righteousness entitled you to dictate the course of other people's lives. Unlike Holden, you did not live to find out how wrong you were. A little bit of our nation died because you felt emboldened and empowered to rain your vengeance down upon those who had not wronged you.

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