Virginia Tech shooting
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.
- It will be very instructive to Koreans to watch the reaction of Americans [to the Virginia Tech shooting]. They know it's more gracious than their own reaction would be.
- Michael Breen, as quoted in "South Koreans balance sympathy and shame in delicate response to U.S. rampage" (20 April 2007), Associated Press
- Koreans can often view the world through a nationalistic lens and they will feel a sense of responsibility.
- 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.
- George W. Bush, statement on the massacre at Virginia Tech University from the Diplomatic Room of the White House (17 April 2007), Washington, D.C.
- As a South Korean, I can't help feeling apologetic about how a Korean man caused such a shocking incident.
- Jin-suk Cheong, as quoted in "South Koreans Told To Fast Over Massacre" (20 April 2007), Telegraph, United Kingdom
- 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.
- Sae-jung Kim, "South Korea's Reaction to the Virginia Tech Massacre: Koreans view American feelings through the lens of their own culture" (19 April 2007), OhMyNews: International
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Moo-hyun Roh, "President Says His Heart Goes to Victims, Families" (18 April 2014), The Blue House, South Korea
- High-capacity ammunition magazines are the common thread that runs through most mass shootings: giving attackers the ability to fire numerous bullets without reloading....
Here are just 10 of the U.S. mass shootings that involved high-capacity ammunition magazines.
1. Hartford Distributors
On August 3, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Omar Thornton, armed with a Sturm, Ruger SR9 semi-automatic pistol and high-capacity ammunition magazine, opened fire on his co-workers at beer distributor Hartford Distributors in Manchester, CT, killing eight and wounding two before taking his own life.
2. Fort Hood
On November 5, 2009, Nidal Hasan, armed with an FN 5.7 semi-automatic pistol and 30- and 20-round high-capacity ammunition magazines, killed 13 and wounded more than 30 at the Fort Hood military base in Fort Hood, TX.
3. Virginia Tech
On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, armed with a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol, Walther P22 semi-automatic pistol, and 15-round high-capacity ammunition magazines, killed 32 and wounded 17 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, before taking his own life.
4. Xerox Office Building
On November 2, 1999, Byran Uyesugi, armed with a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol and three 15-round high-capacity magazines, opened fire at the Xerox Office Building in Honolulu, HA, killing seven.
5. Wedgewood Baptist Church
On September 15, 1999, Larry Gene Ashbrook, armed with a Sturm, Ruger P85 9mm semi-automatic pistol and three 15-round high-capacity magazines, opened fire at Wedgewood Baptist Church, killing seven and wounding seven before taking his own life.
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, armed with an Intratec TEC-DC9 semi-automatic assault pistol, Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic Carbine, two Savage shotguns, and high-capacity ammunition magazines, killed 13 and wounded 23 at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, before taking their own lives.
7. Long Island Railroad
On December 7, 1993, Colin Ferguson, armed with a Sturm, Ruger P89 9mm semi-automatic pistol and four 15-round high-capacity ammunition magazines, opened fire on Long Island Railroad commuters, killing six and wounding 19.
8. Pettit & Martin, 101 California
On July 1, 1993, Gian Luigi Ferri, armed with two Intratec TEC-DC9 semi-automatic assault pistols, a 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and 40- to 50-round high-capacity ammunition magazines, opened fire at the San Francisco, CA, law firm of Pettit & Martin, killing eight and and wounding six before taking his own life.
9. Luby's Cafeteria
On October 16, 1991, George Hennard, armed with a Sturm, Ruger P89 semi-automatic pistol, Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and 17- and 15-round magazines, killed 23 and wounded 20 at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, TX, before taking his own life.
On January 17, 1989, Patrick Purdy, armed with an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle, Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol, an unidentified semi-automatic pistol, and a 75-round high-capacity drum magazine, opened fire on grade school children at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, CA, killing five and wounding 30 before taking his own life.
- Sugarmann, Josh (January 13, 2011). "10 U.S. Mass Shootings Involving High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines". HuffPost. Retrieved on October 17, 2018.
- Encyclopedic article on Virginia Tech shooting at Wikipedia