The videotaped testament of Seung Hui Cho is provoking a strong counter-reaction. The Virginia Tech mass killer left a video message blaming the world for the crimes he was about to commit. Excerpts were played nationwide on television April 18, 2007, but chances are you won’t be seeing much of them from now on.
In the first steps towards recovery, many in the Virginia Tech community want the killer silenced. Students are calling Cho’s grisly video legacy “disturbing.”
“Obviously he wanted everybody to see this as soon as possible after these shootings occurred, and I just think it only adds up to everybody’s sadness and sort of nervousness even, just about the entire situation,” said Taylor Shapiro, a Virginia Tech sophomore.
Expert psychiatrists said airing the video is a social catastrophe.
“He needs to create and produce his own picture in order to give himself a sense of power. Nobody saw him that way. He didn’t see himself that way ,and that’s why he set this up and he did this to achieve mortality,” forensic psychiatrist, Michael Welner said.
Major media organizations have stopped airing the video. Some in the community are sending messages that the media itself needs to take a step back.
There are as many as 1,000 student suicides across the country each year. With Cho’s own history, mental health experts are pointing out that funding has steadily decreased since the 80s.
“The chief concern is that people don’t feel they have adequate budgets or adequate resources to provide enough counseling on campus for students,” said Richard Kadison, M.D.
Virginia Tech is offering students an array of services to aid in the road to recovery. The investigation is now focusing on understanding a very sick young man, who never found that path.