Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shooter is Man from South Korea

The shooter in the VT massacre has been identified:

Police identified the classroom shooter as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior from South Korea who was in the English department and lived in another dorm on campus. They said Cho committed suicide after the attacks, and there was no indication Tuesday of a possible motive.

"He was a loner, and we're having difficulty finding information about him," school spokesman Larry Hincker said.

It seems that everyone is blaming the "American gun culture" on what happened but perhaps Cho Seung-Hui took his cues from another infamous mass murderer, Woo Bum-Kon, also from Korea:

Bum-Kon had an argument with his live-in girlfriend in the afternoon of April 26, 1982. Enraged, he left the house and went to the police armory, where he began consuming large amounts of whiskey. He became moderately drunk, raided the police armory of its weapons and built a personal arsenal. Bum-Kon then stole a single high-powered rifle and some grenades and left the armory. It was by this point around dinner time. He walked from house to house, and abused his position as a police officer to make people feel safe and gain entry to the home. Then he shot the victims, or killed the entire family with a grenade. He continued this pattern for the next eight hours, and into the early morning hours of April 27.

Bum-Kon committed the worse mass murder in known history, killing 58 people--could the Virginia shooter have been trying to do the same?

Update: Commenter sophizo points out in the post below this article from the Washington Post which states that the killer was an "English major from Centreville" and that he was a native of South Korea and immigrated to the US as a child. The article also indicates that the woman killed in the first dormitory shooting had no link to the killer. Thanks to the commenter for pointing out this article.



Blogger sophizo said...

I just wrote a comment on the previous post, but I really suggest keeping track of the details using a DC area newspaper (i.e. The Washington Post) since the shooter and at least one victim were from this area (where I live). You will get your most accurate information from these sources and not from articles written by people from other countries.

It will be very interesting to see what information comes out in the coming days about this guy.

11:22 AM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I told my sons last night,

There are times when the only answer to a bad man (or woman) with a gun is a good man (or woman) with a gun. It's not the best solution, and it's not a fun solution. But sometimes it's the only solution you have.

Sadly, there was no one in that position at VT. Maybe it would have made no difference anyway. But it was the only thing that might have had a chance.

12:14 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I told my best friend a few minutes ago that you can't plan for random acts and random acts of violence are harder to stop than random acts of kindness.

My heart goes out to the Hokie nation. God bless you all.

12:57 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One very unusual feature of this mass murder is the break in time. In most mass murder cases, the shooter shows up and starts firing and it's over when the shooter either runs out of ammo or life.

In this case we have two murders followed by a gap of several hours before the real mass murdering began.

1:06 PM, April 17, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

wally - I noted the unusual time gap too. I think that is what tricked the administration at VT think the killing was over with the first two.

1:26 PM, April 17, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

wally - I noted the unusual time gap too. I think that is what tricked the administration at VT think the killing was over with the first two.

1:27 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Government has proven itself incapable of preventing people with bad motives from getting and using guns (Washington DC, New Orleans, NYC, LA, etc.)

Government has proven itself quite capable of restricting responsible and licensed gun owners from utilizing their sidearms for defensive purposes (too numerous to cite.)

Perhaps the answer for immediate, defensive protection of life and liberty lies NOT with the Government, but with the individuals involved. Perhaps the Founders realized this by protecting the individual right of self defense with the 2nd Admendment.

The continuous question is: when will Liberal Government realize that they are not as capable of preventing indiscriminate violence as responsible individuals are?

2:08 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it says something about how weak our culture has become when no young man tried to seriously challenge the shooter. Why didn't a few guys get up behind him and beat the heck out of him? He was only carrying a 9mm and a .22. It's not like you risked getting hit in close range with a 12 gauge shotgun. Shades of box cutters if you ask me...

3:06 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When an English major commits mass murder, you know your culture's screwed.

3:51 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easy for most people to come out and decry this violence, blame it on gun laws, cultural values, etc. Take a look at the previous shootings and mass murders in this country and you will find that white males have been responsible for most of them. It is not easy to live being called a chink, gook or whatever racial slur people come up with and it is not limited to blacks or Latinos.
As for gun control, I challenge anyone who promote additional gun control as the solution. If you are willing to provide compensation to me and my family when I'm attacked and the police are not responding then I'll give up my rights to defend myself.

4:34 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

miket: It looks like we did have some people who did what they could. We don't know yet what really happened in those rooms, so we don't know what opportunities existed. Plus, the guy was apparently not using normal ammo for a 9mm -- whatever he used was capable of penetrating a solid wood door and seriously injuring people on the other side.

Having said that, though, I do realize that these are modern-day college students, most of whom have been taught from infancy that self-defense is a Very Bad Thing. It would be more typical of such people to sit tight and hope that the authorities get there in time to rescue them. I'm not saying the students who didn't defend themselves are bad people. They are just products of their environment. They aren't used to thinking any other way.

5:19 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jumping the gunman sounds cool when you're not the one getting shot at. The military has to pretty much re-program highly-motivated young people to do anything under fire other than hide - never mind charging into the bullets. What do you expect from a bunch of college students taken completely by surprise?

5:32 PM, April 17, 2007  
Blogger randy.B said...

Interesting AP reporting where South Korean officials express fears of backlash.


Then at the end of the article is this interesting paragraph:

"Despite being technically a state of war for decades against North Korea, South Korea is a country where citizens are banned from privately owning guns and where no school shootings are known to have occurred.

However, the country has not been immune from shooting rampages.

In 2005, a military conscript believed to be angered by taunts from senior officers killed eight fellow soldiers, throwing a grenade into a barracks where his comrades were sleeping and firing a hail of bullets."

Did a professional journalist intentionally omit the reference to Woo Bum-Kon or just not recall?

On the other hand, it could be argued that Bum-Kon's actions were affective violence.


6:37 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why didn't a few guys get up behind him and beat the heck out of him?" - miket

The horrific circumstances of V.Tech aside, I often think about this myself (the Akron, Ohio pizzeria assault also comes to mind.) I believe that we are living in a liberal utopia: modern feminism has brainwashed American boys to be soft for 30+ years now, civil-rights "leaders" and trial attorneys have practicaly neutered first-responders, and on and on.

Somehow, I can't imagine Depression-era youth allowing a little Asian kid to gun down upwards of 30 classmates in cold blood. In my humble opinion, the late 1960's-early 1970's separated the men from the boys.

8:25 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is wrong with ppl??? everyone's making it out that hes a national from s. korea, why should they get backlash since hes lived here(U.S.) since he was 8? just bc he's korean all of a sudden hes connected to another korean killer?

a killer is a killer is a killer regardless of ethnic background,race or nationality

10:31 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the commenter above> a little asian guy? he's 6 ft tall!

10:33 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: miket's post

I think many of us have wondered about that and the questions will come out slowly and as tastefully as possible.
It didn't hit me right away until I hearing about:
1. all the classrooms he went into and the time it took
2. young men were well represented among the many people he came across
3. MOST OF ALL, each victim at the hospital is reported to have at least 3 shots each.

Is bravery rarer and more special than we thought? Should the military get more credit for making men?

I'm a woman and I noticed this, but my husband did not. I wonder if we are more likely to note bravery.

11:49 PM, April 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a woman and I noticed this, but my husband did not. I wonder if we are more likely to note bravery.

I don't know. It doesn't seem like it's a woman thing to notice bravery. But when discussing this shooting, my mother, my sister and I realized we'd all thought the same thing when first hearing about it.

However, since it's becoming less and less common, I have to respect bravery more and more when I see it. So hat's off to those students and teachers who exhibited it in this instance.

Amy K.

5:06 AM, April 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure bravery is getting more rare, or if simply the idea of "taking action" is being trained out of people by our culture.

Gun control is merely symptomatic of it, not causative. "The state will protect you, provide for you, ensure no one calls you mean names."

My sons are in a private, Catholic school in part because I am counter-cultural -- I reject this notion (and cuz' they're bright).

My sons are both black belts in part because I am counter-cultural -- I reject this notion (and cuz' they wanted to attend).

My sons have been shooting since the youngest was 6 in part because I am counter-cultural -- I reject this notion (and cuz' they like to shoot).

My eldest son had an issue with another boy getting physical with him whenever the teacher's back was turned.

My wife, that teacher, and the headmaster had a discussion at my urging (I was unable to attend).

The school was told, in no uncertain terms, that either they would deal with it, or I'd drop my son's leash (so to speak) and he would deal with it. I pointed out that 7+ years of martial arts training might give him a slight edge at dealing with a jerk trying to bully him.

Fortunately, the school dealt with the problem (they're great), and I've heard no recurrence.

Unlike popular culture, I teach my kids to walk away unless someone gets physical. Then they are to take their opponent down immediately. Once it gets physical, the discussion is over, and it's time for action.

I guess that makes me primitive. So be it.

Or, as I once told a prissy little hemorrhoid: "That's MISTER neanderthal to you"

1:08 PM, April 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Interesting AP reporting where South Korean officials express fears of backlash. "

We have a largish Korean community here in the Seattle area and they are expressing the same concern. I think they are projecting. Judging from the way they treat foreigners in Korea, if something like this happened there, there would be a pogrom. They must be puzzled why one isn't underway here.

1:11 PM, April 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting thread regarding the question whether men of earlier generations would have allowed this sort of attack to continue unchallenged. Also interesting to note that the one hero emerging from this tragic story is a 76-year-old Jewish professor who was wintessed by many students blocking the door to his classroom while urging his (much younger and stronger) student to jump out of the windows to safety. Perhaps he - like so many of the Greatest Geberation - learned that evil people in small numbers can only prevail if good people in large numbers do nothing to fight back. Slavery, the Holocaust, Communism, Dictatorship, the first three planes on 9/11. The people who finally fought back aboard Flight 93 - the plane that ultimately crashed into the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania - had learned the same lesson and chose to rise up and prevent the same fate. Hopefully Professor Liviu Librescu's final - and finest - lesson to his students will endure and will not be forgotten.

8:26 PM, April 18, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

I have an uncle who was adopted from South Korea. Currently he is serving time and I wonder if his fellow inmates will harrass him about this.

It is sad that the professor survived the Holocaust and died this way.

12:18 PM, April 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I disagree. There was nothing sad about Librescu's death. Bittersweet, yes. But honestly, how can any man die better than this ?

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods,

Okay, so I'd guess he thought of his students as more of his children than his father, but the sentiment still holds.

Librescu was buried today. If there is a Valhalla, then I think Leonidas is toasting him tonight.

Godspeed, Liviu Librescu.

2:56 PM, April 20, 2007  
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