Virginia Tech shooting

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Our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech today... Schools should be places of safety, and sanctuary, and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community. Today our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. We hold the victims in our hearts; we lift them up in our prayers; and we ask a loving God to comfort those who are suffering today. ~ George W. Bush

Virginia Tech shooting, also known as the Virginia Tech massacre, occurred on April 16, 2007, when Seung-hui Cho, a South Korean college student, shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself. It is the deadliest massacre at an American university to have been perpetrated by a single person.

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Quotes[edit]

In its guilt-laden reaction to the Virginia Tech massacre South Korea may be muddling America's healing... The American reaction is that the crime was committed by a single isolated individual who happened to be South Korean, and that it's not South Korea that committed the crime. But South Korea doesn't seem to make a distinction... Koreans are in shock and concerned that this incident will have a negative impact on South Korea's well-built reputation and the future treatment of all Koreans... But it's solely Korea's perspective, and it's an over-reaction. ~ Sae-jung Kim
It will be very instructive to Koreans to watch the reaction of Americans. They know it's more gracious than their own reaction would be. ~ Michael Breen

B[edit]

  • Shot for shot, either a .45-caliber Colt 1911 or a .44 Smith & Wesson revolver will do more damage than a Glock nine-millimeter.
    Still, a Glock, or another large-capacity semiautomatic, can make a very bad situation even worse. During a mass shooting, such as the Luby’s massacre in 1991, a deft gunman can fire more rounds and reload more quickly with a modern pistol equipped with hefty magazines. When Seung-Hui Cho slaughtered thirty-two classmates and professors at Virginia Tech in April 2007, he used two pistols: a nine-millimeter Glock 19 and a smaller .22-caliber Walther. Considerable media attention focused on the fifteen-round compact Glock and the fact that it enabled Cho to unleash a greater volume of rounds in less time. Whether his choice of the Austrian brand raised the horrific body count remains a matter of speculation. It probably did.
    There is no question that Jared Lee Loughner created more carnage in January 2011 because he brought a newly purchased Glock19 to a political gathering in a shopping mall in suburban Tucson, Arizona. On a sunny Saturday morning, Loughner, a deranged twenty-two-year-old, opened fire at a constituent meet-and-greet hosted in front of a Safeway supermarket by his congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. In just minutes, the gunman sprayed thirty-three rounds, killing six people and wounding thirteen others, including Giffords, who suffered severe brain damage from a point-blank shot that passed through her head. Among the dead were a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl who served on her elementary school student council and wanted to shake hands with the vivacious politician. Loughner used a special oversized magazine, making it possible for him to do much more damage in a matter of minutes than he otherwise might have. He did not stop firing until he had to pause to reload and attendees at the event tackled him.
    Since the expiration in 2004 of the ten-round ammunition cap, Glock has led the charge back into the large-capacity magazine business. Sportsman’s Warehouse, the Tucson store where Loughner bought his Glock, advertises on its website that “compact and subcompact Glock pistol model magazines can be loaded with a convincing number of rounds—i.e.… up to 33 rounds.”
    The scale of the bloodshed in Tucson, like that at Virginia Tech and Luby’s, presents the strongest possible evidence that a restriction on magazine size makes sense. Such a limit would not stop a Loughner or Cho from attacking, but it could reduce the number of victims. Only six states—California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York—have their own limits on large magazines. A national ten-round cap seems like a logical compromise that lawful gun owners could easily tolerate. The NRA has concluded otherwise—and pushed the issue off the legislative table.
  • Our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech today...

    Schools should be places of safety, and sanctuary, and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community. Today our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. We hold the victims in our hearts; we lift them up in our prayers; and we ask a loving God to comfort those who are suffering today...

    Laura and I have come to Blacksburg today with hearts full of sorrow. This is a day of mourning for the Virginia Tech community; and it is a day of sadness for our entire nation. We've come to express our sympathy. In this time of anguish, I hope you know that people all over this country are thinking about you, and asking God to provide comfort for all who have been affected...

    Yesterday began like any other day. Students woke up, and they grabbed their backpacks and they headed for class. And soon the day took a dark turn, with students and faculty barricading themselves in classrooms and dormitories; confused, terrified, and deeply worried. By the end of the morning, it was the worst day of violence on a college campus in American history; and for many of you here today, it was the worst day of your lives...

    It's impossible to make sense of such violence and suffering. Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're gone; and they leave behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation.

C[edit]

  • As a South Korean, I can't help feeling apologetic about how a Korean man caused such a shocking incident.
  • You have never felt a single ounce of pain your whole life. Did you want to inject as much misery in our lives as you can just because you can? You had everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn’t enough, you brats. Your golden necklaces weren’t enough, you snobs. Your trust fund wasn’t enough. Your vodka and cognac weren’t enough. All your debaucheries weren’t enough. Those weren’t enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything.

D[edit]

  • On 16 April 2007, a new record was set for mass shootings, with 32 dead and 23 wounded on the Virginia Tech University campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The shooter was 23-year-old senior Seung-Hui Cho, using Glock 19 and Walther P22 pistols, and stocked with four hundred rounds of ammunition....
    The Virginia Tech shootings were described in 2007 as the worst “mass killing”, the “worst massacre”, in US history....
    The Virginia Tech shooter, born in South Korea and brought to the United States by his parents at eight, was himself a child of colonial war: the US war in Korea and the continued presence of tens of thousands of heavily armed US troops on the Korean peninsula. He had been diagnosed as depressed but was likely bipolar.
    He appeared to be overwhelmed by wealthy, white students, who made up 75% of the undergraduate student body.

K[edit]

  • American society, composed of diverse races and ethnicities, has a lot of tolerance of different kinds of people and can embrace them all as Americans. Korean society, however, is composed of a single ethnicity. It is more intolerant to people of different ethnicity and skin colors. Koreans have a strong bond to people of Korean ethnic origin even when, as in the case of the gunman, a large proportion of their upbringing took place in a different culture. That's why there is widespread mourning and collective guilt over the gunman's behavior and its consequences. It's doubtful whether the South Korean reaction will really help anyone... In its guilt-laden reaction to the Virginia Tech massacre South Korea may be muddling America's healing process. The American reaction is that the crime was committed by a single isolated individual who happened to be South Korean, and that it's not South Korea that committed the crime. But South Korea doesn't seem to make a distinction in this sense... Koreans are in shock and concerned that this incident will have a negative impact on South Korea's well-built reputation and the future treatment of all Koreans... But it's solely Korea's perspective, and it's an over-reaction.

M[edit]

O[edit]

  • As you all know 33 people lost their lives today, this morning. Most of them were of the age of many of the young people in this audience, they were going to class, they had their lives in front of them, their parents were proud of them and looking forward to having them home for summer or visiting them on campus and their lives were cut short in a tragic and random fashion. And so it makes all of hearts ache, particularly those of us who are parents. I have an eight-year-old daughter Maila and a five-year-old daughter Sasha and they describe all that I hold dear in the world and so when I hear stories like this I think from the perspective of a parent and I try to imagine what that must be like - not even just the parents of those that were killed or wounded but a parent who knows their child is there and is uncertain as to whether they were in that class or participated in one of the venues that was struck. And it makes us think about violence in this society.
    On the way up I asked my staff to pull a quote, or pull the speech that Robert Kennedy delivered after Dr. King had been assassinated. Riots were taking place all across the country. This is a famous speech that Bobby Kennedy delivered at the City Club in Cleveland. And he said:
    Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.
    And he goes on to say:
    Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.
    That was written in 1968, almost 40 years ago. What's striking obviously is that when you read that passage you have a sense that in a lot of ways we haven't made much progress. That this society is still riven by violence, that we continue to be degraded by murders and crime and all manner of abuse perpetrated on our children and Bobby Kennedy is right: we tolerate it. Obviously what happened today was the act of a madman at some level, and there are gonna be a whole series of explanations or attempts to explain what happened. There is gonna be discussion about how did this person get the firearms that he used. And there are already reports that potentially the semi-automatic weapons he used would have been banned under an assault weapons ban that was allowed to lapse. There'll be discussion about security on college campuses. There will be speculation as to what caused this young man to snap. But I hope that it causes us to reflect a little bit more broadly on the degree to which we do accept violence, in various forms, all the time in our society. We glorify it, we encourage it, we ignore it, and it is heartbreaking and it has to stop.

P[edit]

  • The Lord sent a world-class whopper of a massacre to Virginia Tech, killing thirty-three, drawing headlines like 'Shocked!', 'Horrified!', 'The worst massacre in U.S. history!'. Well, we wish you were thirty-three thousand killed, but we are thankful to our Father for thirty-three.

    President Bush and thousands of others, politicians and preachers, are making speeches and lying in their teeth, all agreeing that they can't explain such tragedies, but they're just certain a loving God had nothing to do with the massacre. They say, evil did it, like Star Wars, some evil force.

    Bush said, in a big memorial service the other day, we've come to mourn and grieve and try to make some kind of sense out of this senseless tragedy that makes no sense. Well, wrong, President Bush. It makes perfect sense, to those who believe the Bible...

    God is punishing America for the way they have persecuted us..

    For sixteen years, America has conducted a crusade of terror against Westboro Baptist Church: bombing and vandalizing our property, raiding our church with lying search warrants, seizing and destroying our goods, assaulting and battering us, putting our people in the hospital, slandering, threatening us with death, suing us, prosecuting us, arresting and jailing us, blaspheming, mocking and scoffing at our message from God, vilifying us, demonizing and marginalizing us, a technique that they hope would silence all those who are trying to preach, saying that we're just a bunch of kooks... Only brute beast blindness explains America's conduct against Westboro Baptist Church. By refusing to heed Westboro Baptist Church, that God hates fags, and by continuing to persecute Westboro Baptist Church, America is pouring gasoline on the raging fires of God's wrath. America may expect many more dead and maimed bodies from Iraq, many more Katrinas and other natural disasters, and many more Virginia Tech massacres. Westboro Baptist Church rejoices, not grieves, when we see God's vengeance... Think, America. Think Iraq. Think Katrina. And think Virginia Tech massacre, because worse and more is on the way.

R[edit]

  • The Korean people and I were horribly shocked and deeply saddened at the tragic incident two days ago at Virginia Tech in the United States. I pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and express my wholehearted sympathy to the wounded, the bereaved families and the American people. In addition, I hope that Americans will overcome this great sorrow and difficulties and will regain peace of mind as soon as possible.

S[edit]

V[edit]

  • The two handguns used in the Virginia Tech shooting—a 9mm Glock 19 pistol, and a 22 caliber Walther P22 pistol—stand as stark examples of the trend toward increased lethality that defines today’s gun industry. Since the mid-1980s, the gun industry has embraced increased firepower and capacity to resell the shrinking base of gun buyers in America. In the 1980s, a very significant shift in gun design and marketing occurred: high-capacity semiautomatic pistols became the dominant product line. Formerly, the most popular handgun design was the revolver, most often containing six shots. In 1980, semiautomatic pistols accounted for only 32 percent of the 2.3 million handguns produced in America. The majority were revolvers. By 1991 this number had reversed itself with semiautomatic pistols accounting for 74 percent of the 1.8 million handguns produced that year.
  • In the last nine years, Glocks have figured prominently in at least five mass shootings. In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech University, used a Glock 19 and Walther P22 to kill 32 people and wound 17 others in two separate attacks on campus. The Glock 19 is a smaller pistol that is easier to conceal. Three years later, Jared Lee Loughner used a Glock 19 to shoot 20 people in Arizona, gravely wounding US Representative Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others, including a nine-year-old girl.
    In 2013, Pedro Vargas went on a shooting rampage inside his apartment complex in Hialeah, Florida. With his Glock 17, Vargas murdered six people and held two neighbors hostage during an eight-hour stand-off until a SWAT team stormed the building and killed him.
    On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof killed nine people with a .45-caliber Glock pistol at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Two months later, Vester Lee Flanagan II shot and killed a Roanoke, Virginia, television reporter and a cameraman with a Glock 19 during a live news broadcast.

W[edit]

  • Investigators said Cho procured one of the guns he used in the rampage, a Walther .22-caliber pistol, Feb. 9 from a pawnshop on Main Street in Blacksburg near the Virginia Tech campus.
    On March 16, he bought the second gun, a 9mm Glock 19, from Roanoke Firearms, a gun shop on Cove Road in Roanoke.
    He used his driver's license as identification and had no problem buying the guns because he was complying with Virginia law, which permits the purchase of one gun a month, investigators said.
    The Glock was used in two shootings, first in a dormitory and then in Norris Hall more than 2 1/2 hours later, officials said. A surveillance tape, which has now been watched by federal agents, shows Cho buying the Glock, sources said. Both guns are semiautomatic, which means that one round is fired for every finger pull.
    Cho reloaded several times, using 15-round magazines for the Glock and 10-round magazines for the Walther, investigators said...
  • Virginia Tech. Gabby Giffords. Now Aurora, Colo.
    The names and places are linked by tragedy, death and the Glock semiautomatic handgun.

    The young men who carried out these mass shootings — and analysis says such killers are almost always male and most often young — all counted at least one of these versatile, easy-to-fire pistols in their arsenals....
    Like other mass shootings, Friday’s attack sparked calls for more gun control.

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