Finger-pointing won’t answer problem of evil


Finger-pointing won’t answer problem of evil


GateHouse Media
Tue Apr 24, 2007, 10:41 AM CDT


A tragedy the magnitude of last week's mass murder in Blacksburg, Va., prompt most of us to ask serious questions. What compelled a student to kill 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus? How could someone so obviously disturbed gain access to the weapons he used? Why didn't anyone recognize his potential for violence and do something to prevent it?

These responses are to be expected, given the scope of the collective sorrow experienced by people across the nation. And in time, there is no doubt some individuals may be forced to address some of these questions. The answers may help school officials, counselors and legislators in crafting policies and procedures designed to more effectively deal with such problems.

But the finger-pointing masks an inescapable fact: Regardless of who missed what signs and who failed to raise security measures, Seung Hui Cho is solely responsible for all those deaths. And when someone decides to engage in such violence, there often is little that other people can do.

Some have described Cho as a loner who didn't interact with his roommates. Others have said his writings were very disturbing.

These statements are most likely true, but they don't explain why he killed so many people. How many young people across the country could be described as loners?

How many of them have a bizarre attraction to violence and write rather alarming things? Thousands, tens of thousands? Perhaps more?

So there are many others who face circumstances very similar to those Cho experienced. Yet virtually none of them make the leap from disturbed loner to mass murderer.

While he was plagued by fear, resentment and isolation, Cho had choices to deal with his problems. The difference between him and the countless others confronting the same problems is that he chose not to find alternative ways of handling his fear, resentment and isolation.

Cho opted to walk down the path of violence, and this is a mindset few others can comprehend. He took so many innocent lives because he rejected other avenues for addressing his angst.

Evil is the true imponderable in life. Yes, we may get a few answers to why this tragedy occurred and how to reduce the likelihood of another. But free choice can be a weapon controlled only by the individual who wields it.


Original Source: Brookfield, IL - Brookfield Suburban Life
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Brent Jesiek


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GateHouse Media / Brookfield Suburban Life, “Finger-pointing won’t answer problem of evil,” The April 16 Archive, accessed April 15, 2024,