This was going to be a comment to Travis’ post of “To Show, Or Not To Show,” but I knew it would get long.
I don’t really have a problem with the 24 hour new organizations showing the video and photos of Cho Seung-Hui. However, I believe that line has to be drawn as to how many times you show it. I don’t understand why they don’t hype a specific show saying that they are going to show them at a certain time instead of running it over and over all day.
I believe it was CNN that had an FBI profiler on that said specifically that if these photos and videos are continued to be shown over and over and over again, there will be a copycat or copycats to go out and do just as Cho did.
Do I think it will happen, probably not, but after most all of the major school shootings there were other school shootings.
With that aside, the other aspect of this 24-hour media blitz from the campus of Virginia Tech is that all of the big time news organizations and covering this wall to wall 24-7. I wouldn’t have a problem with them discussing the facts but the speculation is down right irresponsible.
Since all of the 24 news organizations are disregarding anything unrelated to the Virginia Tech shootings, they are discussing what thing this kid came into contact with that might have made him do this. The big thing that I have a problem with is when Chris Matthews is trying to see if Cho’s suitemate believes that the video game Counterstrike made Cho do it.
Counterstrike is a game that has been played literally by millions of people all over this world for nearly 10 years. This game is that old. If you watch the video and see the photos of this kid, do you think that Counterstrike made him do this or do you think the severe mental illness had something to do with it?
But when you have to fill 24 hours of air time with discussion this type of thing comes up even though everyone knows that mental illness is to blame. And sometimes people flipping through channels only get to see one thing and that thing might some political idiot saying that a video game made him do it.
That’s like saying that someone saw him drinking a Pepsi a week before the shootings and asking questions about a 20 ounce bottle of Pepsi and its role in the killings.
The bottom line with all of this is that you can’t make a rational contingency plan for an irrational mentally ill person. It’s impossible. If you do that makes every suspicious package a bomb and multiples it by 10.
Not to long ago here in the OC we had a “suspicious” briefcase out at a local food plaza on a major parkway that runs through here. I happen to know the state trooper who responded to the call.
He looked at it and decided he would pick it up and move it to an empty lot about a half mile from there off of the parkway.
The bomb squad was called which and when all was said and done it was about a 4 or 5 hour ordeal that involved one of two robots blowing up the briefcase with a 12-gauge water cannon.
Price tags and a feather duster was in the briefcase left from a traveling manager for the toll plaza.
The trooper said that he probably would never move something like that again, but he said that if he had called the bomb squad without moving the case, they would have shut down the parkway in both directions for 5 hours.
We got the story but if he doesn’t move the case, it literally becomes a national story with helicopters over our heads.
That is a different situation, but if measures are taken to factor in irrational thought then that was a bomb and there were a dozen more just like it that we had to find.
The focus of this situation should be to educate people to see the signs of mental illness and instruct them how to handle a situation when they think a friend is having problems.
It seems to me that everyone kind of assumed that someone else would make Cho's mental issues their problem and ignored it for the most part.