|This article appears in the June 8, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
LYM Presses Virginia Tech Panel
On Role of Violent Video Games
by Gabriele Arroyo, LaRouche Youth Movement
In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings carried out on April 16 by Seung-Hui Cho, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine commissioned an independent Incident Review Panel to complete an analysis of the circumstances leading up to, during, and immediately after the shootings that claimed the lives of 33 people. The panel is led by retired Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Gerald Massengill, and includes Hon. Diane Strickland, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, Dr. Gordon Davies, Dr. Marcus L. Martin, Dr. Aradhana A. Bela Sood, Dr. Roger L. Depue, and Carroll Ann Ellis.
At the second of a series of official hearings in Blacksburg, Virginia, near the Virginia Tech campus, on May 21, members of the LaRouche Youth Movement, representing the LaRouche Political Action Committee, attended and spoke. Thus far, at both panel hearings, LPAC has been the only organization to bring to light the macabre role that violent first-shooter video games, such as the Valve Corporation's "Counter-strike," have played in training not only the Virginia Tech shooter, but also other similar student shooters, including at Paducah, Ky., Littleton, Colo., and Erfurt, Germany.
The statements of LaRouche Youth leader Paul Mourino, who testified on May 21 (see below), and of LPAC representative Donald Phau, who testified before the panel in Richmond on May 10, have been the only public testimony before the panel that addressed the addictive nature of these video-games, their role in creating student killers, and the fact that this brainwashing has been done deliberately.
The premise of the panel's investigation was threefold: what the university knew about Cho prior to the event; what transpired in the Emergency Policy Group in the two-hour lull between the first and the second shootings; and, finally, what has been done to help students, family, and victims in the healing process.
The speakers before the panel included Vice Provost for Academic Affairs David Ford, University Legal Counsel Kay Heidgreder, Vice President for Student Affairs Zenobia Lawrence Hikes, the Montgomery Regional Hospital, Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger, the Virginia Department of State Police, and the Virginia Tech Emergency Response team. The panel meticulously reconstructed what happened at the scene of the crime, giving an account of the scope of the tragic events, the way that the university handled the case, and the efficiency and rapid response of the medical emergency rescue team.
Each speaker gave detailed testimony, consisting of an hour-by-hour timeline of the way this tragedy was handled. Among the topics discussed were the legal premise of disclosing confidential medical records of patients, the 174 rounds fired in 9 minutes by the shooter, the psychological and other counseling provided to victims and their families, and what measures are now being taken by universities nationwide in preparedness.
`The Purloined Letter'
As "The Purloined Letter" of Edgar Allan Poe attests to the principle of investigation (the case of Monsieur G, the Prefect of the Parisian police, and C. Auguste Dupin in search of a stolen letter), at times the very simplicity of the thing being searched is that which puts one at fault. Despite the perseverance, resourcefulness, cunning, and thorough diversity in technical expertise commanded by these nationally recognized experts in higher education and mental health, their faux pas lay in the fact that they did not pose the most fundamental questions.
There exists no doubt that the panel's measures being adopted may be advantageous and even indispensable. However, the incessant probing, and scrutinizing with microscopic detail of events would inevitably lead to a fruitless investigation and, furthermore, a morally erroneous one, were the premise of search to remain in the realm of the perceptual, by focussing solely on effects, without asking the right questions that would get the underlying root cause.
Lyndon LaRouche stated in an article on the 1999 Littleton massacre: "Unless the U.S. government, and many relevant other influentials, change their view of this problem, abandoning the useless approach they have publicized thus far, the horror will continue, gun laws or no gun laws. Unless relevant institutions get down to the serious business of addressing the actual causes for this pattern of violent incidents, this murderous rampage will persistwhether or not guns were legally sold to adolescents, or whether or not the producers and distributors of cult-films and Nintendo-style video games intend that specific effect" ("Star Wars to Littleton," EIR, July 2, 1999).
Without taking that principle into account, it would be impossible to understand the nature of the problem or its cure.