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What Caused The Virginia Tech Massacre

1738 words - 7 pages

In society today, whenever and wherever a tragic school shooting occurs, politicians and social media pounce on their chance to do something on gun control across the nation. Although the guns were the weapons during the shooting, they are not the cause of the shootings. Instead of gun control, everyone should be focusing on how to help the shooters who showed signs of mental illness. After all, a sane person would not go buy a gun with the intent of murdering several people; only a mentally ill person who became aggressive would go out and buy a gun for that purpose. Therefore, everyone should be trying to prevent the real cause of school shootings from occurring to prevent another tragic event from happening again. The main reason why school shootings, like the Virginia Tech Massacre, occur is that the shooters were mentally ill or depressed; the tragic events can be avoided if they got the psychological treatment they needed before they became too unstable. An overall solution to this is to raise awareness of depression and its warning signs in order to prevent another outbreak of depression-related violence from happening in the future.
Seung-Hui Cho, the shooter of the Virginia Tech Massacre, had a rough life during his entire childhood and it ultimately lead to his development of depression in college. He immigrated from Seoul, Korea to Virginia when he was 8 years old. Studies show that boys who “immigrate at or after puberty, who lived in a white neighborhood… [are] more likely to have a difficult time in adjusting to their cultural world” (Kim, 2007). This parallel’s Cho’s case because he struggled all his life to adapt to a multicultural society. He was neither comfortable with the Korean or American cultural communities. His peers bullied him in the Korean church groups and seemed extremely shy to everyone (Kim, 2007). In spite of his seemingly harmless shyness, it could easily have been hidden anger, suffering, and emotional scars that built up over time, eventually changing their whole personality. He nicknamed himself “Question Mark” (Thomas, 2007), revealing that he could have questioned his self-identity.
During college, Cho’s signs of mental illness and depression were apparent and lead to violence. He wrote numerous poems and theater plays about death, stalked women on campus, and socially isolated himself from his peers. He never acknowledged his suitemates on campus, nor did he try to enjoy himself at parties with his “friends” (Thomas, 2007). However, he just seemed “strange” to his fellow classmates; he was always facially expressionless, dressed in dark clothing, and rarely ever talked to anyone (Thomas, 2007). A judge ordered him to a community health system for stalking the women and possibly being “an imminent danger to self or others as a result of mental illness.” However, after diagnosis, the psychiatrist stated that he was “normal” and released the same day (Thomas, 2007). Cho believed that his only way of...

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