Virginia Tech Shootings: Too Much Tolerance

Cho Seung Hui did not live the life he wanted. But on
Monday, on the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech, Cho
ended his life the way he wanted. And because of those
two hours of slaughter and suicide, Cho attained the

he craved.

He carried out the killings—and

we of the media
did the rest.

A month from now, few Americans will remember who his
victims were. But, decades from now, millions will
recognize Cho`s face. When it pops up on a TV screen
anywhere in America, they will ask, "Isn`t that the

Korean kid
who shot all those people down at
Virginia Tech?"

Cho is now up there with Lee Oswald,

Sirhan Sirhan

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
By documenting on
videotape his rage, resentment and hatred of those he
saw as persecuting him, and mailing it to NBC, Cho
ensured the world would hear, in his words,

why he did what he did.
He ensured that we would see
him as he saw himself, an implacable two-gun avenger of
the injustices done to him.

Cho wanted to be certain his story would be told, and
heard by America, in his own words. He succeeded. And
out there in America, other loners, unable to connect or
communicate, nursing grievances and grudges unknown,
seeing a future not worth living, are going to look on
the blaze of hideous glory with which Cho went out and
say to themselves, better such an end than continuing on
with this hateful life that I am leading to nowhere.

As Cho in his diatribe referred back to the killers
of Columbine, future killers may reference him. Unable
to be a part of a group, or unwilling to try, Cho now
belongs to a rare community—of the most

famous mass murderers
of them all. Five times

as many people
were cut down in Cho`s spree as died
in the St. Valentine`s Day Massacre by the gunmen of Al
Capone. And the people who died at Blacksburg were all
innocent. They were not the thugs and hangers-on of the
North Side Gang of

George (Bugs) Moran.

Though the 32 dead in Blacksburg were the victims of
hate and evil, to some, the massacre was another
argument for gun control. Yet, when one reporter began
asking Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine the gun control question
at a press conference,

Kaine cut him off:

"Our focus is on the
families and helping this community heal, so to those
who want to try to make this into some little crusade, I
say take that elsewhere. … For those who want to make
this a political hobby horse they can ride, I`ve got
nothing but loathing for them. … Let this community

Indeed, Cho`s massacre is more of an argument that
the legislature erred when it voted to make Virginia
Tech a gun-free zone. When the madman came onto campus
with his Glock and Walther,

no one was there to stop him.
Had a retired or
off-duty police officer been in Norris Hall with a
concealed weapon, lives might have been saved. For when
the good guys with guns—cops—arrived and stormed the
building, Cho shot himself rather than face armed men
instead of

unarmed students.

If there is a lesson to be taken away from this
horror, it is that we, as a society, are becoming too
tolerant of the aberrant. For, in retrospect, the signs
Cho was a

disturbed and dangerous young man
, who belonged not
on a campus but in an institution, are many.

He stalked one girl until she complained to police.
He e-mailed another until she, too, went to police. Cho
was taken to a psychiatrist, who concluded he was a

"danger to himself and to others."
He wrote
plays for a creative writing class so full of hate and
violence they alarmed one teacher to the point where she
pressed him to get counseling. Another teacher

had demanded and gotten his removal from her class.

Suite-mates in Harper Hall found him so

they thought he could not speak English.
All those
who lived with him seemed to know about him is that he
never spoke, turned away when spoken to, watched TV,
worked his word processor incessantly and went to the

Though he spent four years on campus, no one knew who
Cho was, which bespeaks a larger point. Colleges have
grown into city-sized universities of tens of thousands,
and have ceased to be communities, even as the United
States is ceasing to be a country, a nation and a

We are told that is a good thing. We are ever
admonished to respect differences, to be tolerant of
what we might think of as bizarre behavior. We are told
that among the worst of sins is to be judgmental about
how others behave.

Multiculturalism is what we are about.

Diversity is our strength.

, all

, all

are to be treated equally. At Blacksburg
on Monday, we learned that there is such a thing as too
much tolerance.



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America

can be ordered from