Copyright 2007 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
|Seung-Hui Cho Smashes Old Mark Set in 1991
|Chooses to Shuffle Off Mortal Coil Before
He Could Go On Interview Circuit
With his rampage through the Virginia Tech campus on April 16th, Seung-Hui Cho set a new record for the most people slain by a single gunman in a single day. Not counting himself, Cho killed 32 individuals with his two handguns on that day. The old mark of 23 hadn't been matched since 1991 when George Hennard set the record during a killing binge at a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. The figure proved tough to top as not even the frenzy of carnage at Columbine High School in 1999 could achieve the ghastly toll set by Hennard, and there were two maniacs working in tandem at that event. Other previous record holders in the activity of most human kills in 24 hours using guns, individual category, were James Oliver Huberty with a score of 21 at a McDonald's restaurant in San Diego in 1984 and Howard Unruh with 13 on the streets of Camden, New Jersey in 1949. Other than the pluck and determination of the individual, reasons for the wide increases in new records include advances in equipment over time. By comparison, new standards in semi-automatic weapon and ammunition technology helped Cho to exceed Unruh's mark by 246%.
Cho now stands alone at the top. However, the issue of mental illness arises due to his suicide before he could enjoy the celebrity his efforts brought him. Cho's face and words filled television screens for days. More people saw and heard him than saw and heard Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell. Who but a crazy person would go through the trouble of attaining such an accomplishment -- largely for the notoriety it would bring -- and then kill himself before the payoff? Unruh, for example, still lives and resides at a New Jersey mental institution, gleefully recollecting his record. "If I'd had enough bullets, I'd have killed 1,000," he says.
All the same, records were made to be broken. Cho chose to attain his success in Virginia, a state that does not require a permit to purchase a handgun, registration of handguns, licensing of handgun owners, or a waiting period. Any attempts at matching the record might more easily be achieved in similar states. They are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming. The Police Gazette will consider a difficulty curve or separate categorization for states with more stringent gun laws. And remember, buying guns in one state and transporting them to another to commit a crime is a federal offense, so don't do it!
A young man from Australia has taken advantage of the new record's notoriety, and developed "V-Tech Rampage: 3 levels of stealth and murder!", an online computer game available for free here that puts you in the shoes of killer Seung-Hui Cho and sets you loose on the Virginia Tech campus, guns blazing. Ryan Lambourn of Sydney said he created the game "because it's funny," a comment that did not sit well with those who find the bloodbath at Virginia Tech somewhat less humorous. After receiving an avalanche of angry condemnations, Lambourn said he would remove the game from the sites where it exists for $1,000 each, and would apologize for another $1,000.
We here at the Gazette are looking for an additional Sporting Editor and we think young Ryan Lambourn would fit the bill remarkably well. However, something tells us we wouldn't be able to afford him.
Australian Brings V-Tech Carnage to Online Gamers
May 18, 2007