To some online, gunman is a hero, martyr:
We have an article here from the Detroit Press about people who idolize school shooters. Apparently it was written by Captain Where The Hell Have You Been For The Past 8 Years.
In the videotapes Cho Seung-Hui sent to NBC in the midst of the Virginia Tech massacre, he spoke of his children, brothers and sisters and compared himself to Jesus.
Many may shrug off such rantings as those of a deranged killer.
But not everyone.
“Cho Seung-hui, we fringed ones salute you,” reads one Web site that praises the bloodshed just days after the country recoiled at the deadliest shooting spree in U.S. history.
Rowell Huesmann, a professor of psychology and communication studies at the University of Michigan, called such sentiments “disgusting.”
But, he added, there’s a reason for them.
“There are disaffected people who are alienated, for one reason or another, from society who wouldn’t do anything physically violent,” he said. “But writing these gives them a chance to be aggressive to society in a way that’s fairly non-risky.”
He says non-risky, I say cowardly. Get back to me when one of you mutants has the balls to say this to a family member of one of the victims. Then again that would require you to leave your mom’s basement.
If Cho wanted notoriety as a martyr for the disenfranchised, history indicates he’ll get it.
That’s what happened with Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, students at Columbine High School in Colorado who shot to death 12 classmates and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves eight years ago today.
And locally, it happened with Andrew Osantowski of Clinton Township in 2004. The then-17-year-old was accused of stockpiling an arsenal to gun down classmates and blow up his school, Chippewa Valley High in Clinton Township. His plan was thwarted after he shared it in an Internet chat with a teen in Washington state, who told her father. He, in turn, called Clinton Township police.
Online, Osantowski was praised.
“I, for one, salute Mr. Osantowski,” a Web site posting read at the time. Osantowski, who was convicted of threatening an act of terrorism and using a computer to threaten terrorism, was sentenced to 4 1/2 to 22 years in prison.
I wonder which site that was. Oh yeah. It was this one. What the article fails to mention is that the person who made that comment has since recanted his opinion of Andrew Osantowski.
But hey, if it opens the eyes of some parents who have at risk kids hopefully it will avoid another Columbine or Virginia Tech.