On the morning of April 16th, 2007, a young Virginia Tech student by the name of Cho Seung-Hui walked into a dorm building and shot two students to death. He quietly left, video taped a message, took pictures and placed them into a package that he sent to NBC Studios. Two hours had elapsed from the time he killed those students and put together his package before he returned to Virginia Tech's sprawling college campus to finish his killing rampage.
When he was done, 32 people were killed and more than 17 wounded before he finally turned the gun on himself and committed suicide, ending what became the deadliest shooting spree in modern U.S. history.
Many that believe in God wrestle with these questions and seek to find reasonable answers. Many of those that do not believe in God see these questions as one more reason why they don't believe. The rationale being that if God was real then these events would not transpire.
So why do these things happen?
Where was God that day?
Or, is there even a God?
The answers are not strikingly complex, but to uncover them will not be so simple. To get to these answers we will need to take a journey. A journey about life, faith, truth, reality and eternity. A journey through history, self-discovery, time and beyond. A journey of the human condition. A journey that may challenge religious, theological, academic and intellectual prejudices, bias, knowledge and understanding. Through uncovering clues and solving some mysteries. A journey that will require cutting back some dead brush that blocks our vision. In scaling some intellectual obstacles or sludge through mucky religious waters in order to sail beyond what we believe we know.
How far are you really willing to go?
Would you be willing to take this journey?
It is one that may lie for you within these pages. It will take a certain amount of time and sacrifice, along with a desire and willingness to be open. To apply critical thinking, exercise logic and use some common sense. If the answer is "yes", then let us journey together. I must warn you, only the truly serious individual will complete this trip. However, I guarantee that for those who will continue through to the last mile, they will be the ones that will gain greater insight on issues while possibly learning a few things about themselves. And I believe, will end up making some important decisions.
The gauntlet has been thrown; my challenge to you has been given. If you feel you are ready then proceed with all diligence.
It is a question that has been asked many times. Possibly one you have asked yourself. It is joined by other questions, such as:
In the aftermath, questions as to why and how this could have happened were debated. The usual topics were analyzed and presented as possible explanations. Lack of gun control; poor childhood; abusive peers that made fun of him; psychologically insecure; a loner who didn't fit in; a person desperately wanting to be noticed, or an individual who wanted to make a statement; poor parenting skills; the college's lack of an adequate warning system; the court system that let him go; the doctor's fault; the school administration that did not act on complaints. Secondary explanations followed suit. Some even suggested that Cho was a victim himself. The overall consensus that was finally given, in the attempt to rationalize such action, was that Cho suffered from a mental disorder.
Newscasts have since covered other mass shootings that have resulted with the same final analysis and explanation. And, although we seem to come to the same conclusion as to the symptom, the root cause that produced it seems elusive.
Weeks after this horrific event we learned that Cho had been preparing for some time in buying extra clips for the guns that he had purchased, taking target practice lessons and more. Actions of a thinking, conscious individual aware of what he was plotting. And although he had time to change his mind, he never did.
Why? Few clues could be gleaned from the rambling message he recorded. A message that also contained religious references.
"The question" that eventually arises during such horrific events was eventually asked...