Blaming Foreigners, Unarmed Students, Video Games, and Evolution for the Shootings at Virginia Tech

The shootings at Virginia Tech have been used by many to justify their prior agenda. While all the details are not in yet, most likely this was an isolated tragedy which, by itself, does not provide justification for any policy or viewpoint. That won’t stop many people from trying.

Debbie Schlussel has a long series of posts in which she uses this to justify her xenophobia. In one post, she writes, “Remember that the next time you hear President Bush and Condi Clueless waxing lyrical about how we need more foreign students in America. We do not.” Opponents of restrictions on guns argue that the problem was an isolated nut, and his actions should not be extrapolated to responsible gun owners. Similarly the actions of this one foreigner should not be extrapolated to other foreigners. Of course those who look at everything from the viewpoint of the Muslim threat will not see things this way. Schlussel even initially predicted that the killer must be a Muslim:

So who is the shooter? What is the shooter’s nationality? What is the shooter’s religion? Waiting to find out. And wondering why the police and media are referring to the shooter as “Asian” and not by specific nationality.

If I were Asian, I’d be legitimately upset with this broad generalization of the mass murderer’s identity.

Why am I speculating that the “Asian” gunman is a Pakistani Muslim? Because law enforcement and the media strangely won’t tell us more specifically who the gunman is. Why?

Finding that this was not the case just provided another opportunity to attack Muslims:

And remember: Just because this attacker was not Muslim, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of potential and hopeful ones among the thousands Muslim nations are sending here to “study” under Saudi King Abdullah’s scholarships.

Debbie Schussel also thinks that the solution would be to have more people running around with concealed guns, as do other conservatives such as at The American Spectator.

The Carpetbagger Report points out an even more absurd argument from The National Review as John Derbyshire blames the victims:

As NRO’s designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn’t anyone rush the guy? It’s not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness’ sake—one of them reportedly a .22.At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren’t very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can’t hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren’t bad.

Some find yet others to blame, such as Dr. Phil who blames video games. After the Columbine shootings, Ken Ham blamed the shootings on the teaching of evolution. Ham has similar views on Virginia Tech:

We live in an era when public high schools and colleges have all but banned God from science classes. In these classrooms, students are taught that the whole universe, including plants and animals—and humans—arose by natural processes. Naturalism (in essence, atheism) has become the religion of the day and has become the foundation of the education system (and Western culture as a whole). The more such a philosophy permeates the culture, the more we would expect to see a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness that pervades people’s thinking. In fact, the more a culture allows the killing of the unborn, the more we will see people treating life in general as “cheap.”

I’m not at all saying that the person who committed these murders at Virginia Tech was driven by a belief in millions of years or evolution. I don’t know why this person did what he did, except the obvious: that it was a result of sin. However, when we see such death and violence, it is a reminder to us that without God’s Word (and the literal history in Genesis 1–11), people will not understand why such things happen.

Update: Archie Bunker Logic and the Right Wing Reaction to the Shootings at Virginia Tech


  1. 1
    Pug says:

    We all know what a brave fellow John Derbyshire must be. It takes a real coward to blame yound men who were gunned down only two days ago for their own deaths.

  2. 2
    janet says:

    The VT shooter was a troubled young man. But he was an American kid having spent the majority of his childhood in America. His ethnicity had nothing to do with this tragedy but his American life maybe did.

  3. 3
    coyote says:

    The issue here is:
    Guns kill people who shoot them.
    Whether your good or evil, whatever your ethnicity, if you own a gun and you carry a gun and you shoot it, chances are your more likely to be killed or injured by a gun. Hasn’t anyone seen The Departed??
    I’m pretty sure most of you have!

    The bigger problem that is facing America is its addiction to speed and violence. Today we are living through a constantly accelerating pace of culture. A culture that is fueled by images and information that can be delivered through many different channels of varying speeds and levels of clarity and communication. The key to solving problems like what has happened most recently at Virginia Tech is putting a greater emphasis on social responsibility in our day to day consumption of entertainment media and advertising. Violent outbursts like V.T. have been ongoing during the last 40 years or so at a steadily increasing rate in highschools, college campuses, office buildings and on street corners both in the suburbs and big cities. Most of the readers of this blog are connected with the ad/marketing/media industries so why not ask yourselves, is there a better more human way to create and distribute effective non-violent messages to people? Why are we so enamered with violence today? Most people I know aren’t genuinely angry, they just choose to buy into violence and extreme Points of View as a way to distract themselves from what they are really feeling. I believe most people are genuinely passive, loving, caring and nurturing human beings who have been persuaded away from their natural insincts of behavior for one reason or another. Its time to embrace a change and a new direction for American culture. No more senseless war, famine and destruction! More Hope, Opportunity and Education that will break down stereotypes, fears and the insecurities that we all share as we live through our lives today! So put away your guns, your bullets, your bombs and go hug someone you love or wish you could love because that is what didn’t happen to Cho Seung-Hui. He chose to embrace violence in place of love and humility.

  4. 4
    Jimmy Pratt says:

    I think there is a more pervading reason for, not only, the killings at V.T., but the scandalous comments of Imus, the shameles conduct of this administration and I could go on. We are a Society that had, not only lost our ethical compass, but stepped on the damned thing in it’s search. Instead of having a National Dialogue on what is right or wrong our Media is making news, by injecting into their diatribe, or like Imus, and others trying to shock the Audience. In the meantime, their bosses don’t complain, but encourage this conduct for the All-Mighty Bottom-Line. We have an Adminastration in Washington in Washington that not only acts like Big Brother, (double speak) but takes no responsibilty. Worships the bottom line.

  5. 5
    battlebob says:

    How about putting the blame where it really should lie; with the shooter.
    All the targets are victims.
    Save the philisophical discussion about society ills. They do not apply.

    I would like to see better training when guns are purchased. How about indoctrination into the pitfalls of misuse and about the need for responsible use?
    Use as a model the hoops that must be jumped through to get a concealed weapons permit.

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