The Virginia Tech Tragedy – Are We Still Missing The Point?


It has been two days and a few hours since the devastating and unconscionable act carried out by Cho Seung-Hue, a 23-year-old South Korean, against his fellow classmates.

The world has since gone through shock and disbelief, the grief, the anger; and now, as in most tragedies of this multitude, the finger pointing has surfaced.

Blame is being placed on the the U.S. gun control, which is the most lenient in the Western world. Blame is being placed on Virginia  Tech , itself, for not responding to the first shooting and alerting students fast enough, and securing the campus buildings. Korean and Korean-American students fear a backlash, although they are not directly or indirectly involved with the horrific incident that occurred at Virginia  Tech .

It is this writer’s opinion, and dismay, that we are all still missing the point. As human beings, we are quicker to place the blame on something or someone else, rather than to see the situation for what it really is and to accept, at least, a small part of the responsibility ourselves.

This writer feels that most of the blame really falls back on the doorstep of Cho Seung-Hue.

After all, who should know Cho Seung-Hue better than his own parents? Who is ultimately responsible for the actions and behavior of their own child, than the parents? And before my readers get upset because I am attacking his parents, who had nothing to do with the actual attack, this is not about his parents in particular… it is about anyone who is a parent.

It is about parents completely being involved with their children from day one, and staying involved. It is about “seeing”, really “seeing” their child for what that child is in the “now”, and not when the child was a cute little bundle of joy… but in the “now”. It is about the parents educating themselves to the *”warning signs” that their child might be heading down a dark passageway. And really… most importantly, it is about the parents acting on those warning signs reflected by the child. Not reacting (yelling, screaming, pleading, etc), but acting.

Many parents (it is up to you to decide whether or not this rings true for you) have a tendency to see what and who they want to see when looking at their child. Now being a child once myself, I recognized this early on and used this to the fullest. Ninety-nine percent of the time, that is acceptable on both sides and really just a part of the family dynamics. However, it is that one percent that can lead to tragic, and even deadly, events.

There are parents, (this is where some may get defensive, but hey, who said I was describing you?) that recognize several negative changes that fits the “warning signs” of imminent and severe consequences in the future, but choose to simply ignore them. They comfort themselves by thinking that it is “just a phase” the child is going through and that it will pass. They recognize that there is a problem themselves or are forced to face the issue by friends, family, school, etc., but decline getting professional counseling because it is too time consuming or it cost too much money. And lastly, and a tragedy in its own dimension… they really are too busy dealing with every day life and self-induced responsibilities (careers, etc) that they have disconnected completely from their own child and have no clue what the child is capable of, let alone who or what the child has become.

This writer believes that there have always been warning signs in every individual case involving incidents similar to the Virginia  Tech  incident. This writer also believes that some of these tragedies that have occurred might have been prevented if parents would have been more alert to the negative changes in the child or the child’s behavior that leant towards violence, and then would have gotten the necessary professional help needed… not only for the child, but for the parent as well.

Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around, and we can all bite off a piece of the blame pie. There is an ever increasing amount of violence in movies, on tv, and in the music that our children listen to, and in the games our children play online, but again, ultimately, it really does fall back on everyone’s doorstep.


*Some of the warning signs indicating a potential problem:

Social Withdrawal

Excessive feelings of rejection

Feelings of being picked on and persecuted

Expressions of violence in writings and drawings

Uncontrolled Anger

Drug and Alcohol Use

Serious threats of violence

Past history of violent and aggressive behavior

History of discipline problems

*I found a great guide (from 1998, yes that far back, so this is not a new phenomenon) listing the above warning signs, and 40 pages of valuable information every parent should read. Here is the link to the pdf file:

Source by Debbie Barth

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