Well, it didn’t take long. Many of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre have yet to be buried, and already the blubbering, bleeding-heart absolvers are advocating forgiveness for Seung Hui Cho. Today’s Washington Post has a front page article titled, “An Isolated Boy in a World of Strangers.” The piece recounts how Cho was unusually quiet as a child, fought with his older sister, and that his photo did not appear in his highschool yearbook. Uh….yes?

While the Post attempts to lay the groundwork for a backdrop and environment that will call for forgiveness for Cho and his monstrous act, the article is too soon, too prosaic, and too predictable. While we are coaxed toward absolution by the newspaper, we also learn in the same publication of one family who, on Monday, will see for the first time, their daughter laid out in her coffin at a funeral home. Then there is the young man whose twin brother was among those annihilated. To lose a sibling is dreadful enough – to lose a twin is dreadful squared. Of the 32 murdered by Cho, the majority will be lowered into their final resting place this week. Yet the time for Cho’s forgiveness is now.

This approach to exculpation is little more than a variation of the perpetrator-as-victim. syndrome. So-and-so was pushed around at recess in school. Therefore the fact that he eviscerated his boss two decades later, is both understandable and worthy of some sort of reprieve. Who knows…there may never have been a World War II had not some bully filched Hitler’s strudel at lunchtime. No doubt in places of worship across the land, sermons are being preached about how forgiveness is Christlike. Yet Christ himself went into a fury and violently overturned the tables of the money changers who were, in Christ’s view, desecrating the Temple. There is nothing in the Bible that says he later forgave them.

So we should not be coerced into forgiving Cho by religious zealots who attempt to “shame” us into doing “the right thing.” Who are they to forgive? They are neither victims nor members of victims’ families.

The actions of Seung Hui Cho were premeditated and carefully planned. Thirty-two families are undergoing the agonies of the damned right now. It was no spur-of-the-moment act that Cho later regretted. There is not one shred of evidence that he ever apologized or admitted feelings of remorse. In fact, it was between murders on the Virginia Tech campus that Cho calmly and deliberately sent his video manifesto to NBC news – and then continued on with part two of the bloodbath.

The parents and relatives of Cho apparently were clueless about his strange demeanor and potential for violence. Aside from admitting that Cho seemed “unresponsive” when talked to, there is no evidence so far that they sought help for their son or encouraged him to get treatment of some sort. Still, there are those who want to pillory members of the administration at Virginia Tech, and perhaps some of his roommates who, it is alleged, should have spotted something depraved and destructive about the lad.

Everyone is to blame and everyone is at fault except the perpetrator – and he is now entitled to our forgiveness and exoneration. We should recognize this call for amnesty for what it is: an easy way to close the door on this appalling experience and “move on,” as the pretentious self-help authors counsel.

John F. Kennedy said, “Forgive your enemies, but remember their names.” Camelot is no more. But the stench of Lee Harvey Oswald remains.

– Chase.Hamil


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