The shooting at Virginia Tech is definitely shocking and saddening, but it’s not new. Every couple of years there seems to be another school shooting and the perpetrators all seem alike. They are loners, malcontents, and victims of an ever-depreciating society. Cho Seung-Hiu, the Virginia Tech killer, was probably deeply disturbed and psychotic, but what caused him to be that way? Certainly his negative family environment, self-prescribed isolation, and increasing anger had something to do with it. But where were the friends to help him out? Where were his parents to provide a positive example and nourishing environment?
The political pundits were quick to cite violent video games and even terrorism as the motive behind the massacre. It’s an easy answer. The Columbine killers played violent video games and fantasized about terrorizing other students. I hate to quote the Black Eyed Peas on such a serious issue, but “where is the love?” The boys that commit these atrocities had no love. It seems like such a hippie, new age thing to say, but Jesus said it all the time. We are too busy with our own lives to give a damn when someone cries for help in every way. Our iPods have to be listened to, that TV show has to be watched, we have to instant message all night, but we can’t simply open our eyes to something that’s staring us right in the face.
I’m just as guilty as anyone on this. I like listening to my iPod a lot and watching my favorite TV shows religiously. But how can I justify getting my entertainment fix while a fellow brother or sister in Christ is so depressed, so overcome that they consider murdering dozens of their peers and then themselves? Blame cannot rest on one source alone but on all of us. We failed Cho just as much as we failed the students that were killed. I hope we can all have the strength and courage to turn off our iPods once in a while and look around at our brothers and sisters in Christ, hoping and waiting for the chance to step in and love unconditionally.