Pictures of deranged killer Cho Seung-Hui, which were sent

to NBC news as part of his 'Manifesto.'



Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

Virginia Tech One Year On: America's 'Silent Scandal'


"The way people with psychological problems are handled, however, is a silent scandal. Even after Blacksburg, American society is so uncomfortable with the topic that it was quickly suppressed."



By Dietmar Ostermann

Translated By Ulf Behncke


April 15, 2008


Germany - Frankfurter Rundschau - Original Article (German)

Shock. Horror. Outrage. Frustration. A year ago, the usual pattern that the United States has of dealing with bloody killing sprees repeated itself once more, after the worst-ever massacre at an educational institution. On April 16, 2007, Cho Seung Hui, a student at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, whom a judge had arranged psychiatric treatment for two years earlier, shot and killed 32 fellow students and professors, then himself. Shock and horror were followed by outrage. Proponents of stricter gun controls were indignant about the fact that someone like Cho, who a judge had declared dangerously mentally ill less than two years before, was able to purchase firearms unimpeded.


Gun rights advocates were indignant, because the university forbids the carrying of firearms. If the victims in Norris Hall would have had guns, so the logic goes, Cho couldn't have killed 32 people.


Shock. Horror. Outrage. Frustration. Somewhere amid all of these emotions, reforms are inevitably promised. In the case of the Blacksburg massacre, there were hopeful signs. A commission of inquiry appointed by Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine noted in its final report two primary factors that made possible this act of madness: Loopholes in the gun control laws and a health care system in which mentally ill people often get no help. The debate over gun control erupts loudly and often, yet it's a discussion without consequences. The way people with psychological problems are handled, however, is a silent scandal. Even after Blacksburg, American society is so uncomfortable with the topic that it was quickly suppressed.


Even more than the U.S. mania for weapons, this bloody killing spree represents the often tragic consequences of a system in which mental suffering is not only ignored - it is criminalized. "Virginia's mental health laws are flawed and services for mental health users are inadequate" the Blacksburg Report found .



While at school, Cho Seung Hoi's severe mental problems had been diagnosed. At that stage the problem could have actually been addressed. But like hundreds of thousands of other mentally ill people, he was then left to his own devices.


The National Alliance on Mentally Illness , an advocacy group, estimates that in the United States, one in five mental illnesses in children and adolescents ever get treatment. In adults that rate is even lower. Insurance companies frequently exclude treatment for mental illness and government assistance usually comes too late. It's significant that the largest psychiatric hospitals in the United States is located in a prison. According to a 1998 study by the U.S. Department of Justice , roughly 16 percent of all prisoners in the country (283,800) were insane. More than 547,800 were on probation. At the end of their sentences, treatment for prisoners usually ends, along medication and assistance.


Prompted by the Blacksburg massacre, the U.S. Congress made selling weapons to the mentally ill more difficult. A national database has been improved to facilitate the sharing of information with gun dealers. But the situation of patients remains unchanged. Only stigma and social ostracism have grown.







Kitabat, Iraq

'Thank Allah the Virginia Killer Wasn't Muslim'


Financial Times Deutschland, Germany

Now Suddenly, Gun Control Looms Over White House Race


Le Monde, France

An American Tragedy


NRC Handlesblad, The Netherlands

The Problem: Americans Distrust State Monopoly on Violence


JoongAng Daily, South Korea

The Legacy of Cho Seung-hui: America's Lesson to Koreans


The Korea Herald, South Korea

Koreans Feel Collective Guilt Over the Massacre


Xinjingbao, People's Republic of China

Information Society Triggered Massacre


China Daily, China

A Nation Cannot Be Tarred by a Single Killer


La Jornada, Mexico

The 'Paths of Death' Lead to Washington


La Jornada, Mexico

A Culture of Violence


O Povo, Brazil

Virginia Tech: Sign of Our Wounded Civilization


Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates

Shooting Shows Something Ails America 'At its Core'
































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US April 18, 11:11am]

Virginia Tech students try to come to grips with what's happened, Apr. 16, 2007.

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Before committing his desperate crime, mass murderer Cho Seung-Hui made a video as part of his 'Manifesto,' Apr. 19, 2007, 00:02:04RealVideo

RealVideo[LATEST NEWS PHOTOS: Massacre in Virginia].

—EURO VIDEO NEWS: Massacre re-ignites gun control debate in America, Apr. 16, 2007, 00:01:41RealVideo

Front Page of Le Monde, April 17, 2008.

Cover of The Guardian, U.K., Apr. 17, 2007.

Front Page of Italian Newspaper, Corriere della Sera, Apr. 17, 2007.