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Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by zeke12, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    The aim wasn't to terrorize. The aim was to murder. That is why the shooter is a murderer and not a terrorist.

    The hijackers on 9/11 wanted to murder. They also wanted to terrorize. Their terror comes in the reality that they are not alone in their reasoning or desire to do harm.

    The VT shooter doesn't have a group, army or network of associates. Once his life ended, his reign of terror ended. No is stating that they will pick up where he left off. This was a one shot murder mission.
  2. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Pastor --

    I agree with a lot of that, but the question that comes to my mind if I accept that reasoning is where to classify Columbine.

    Clearly, those two wanted to kill and to terrorize. And I'm not sure that wasn't part of this guy's motivation, as well.

    Is the distinction in wanting to cause fear for political gain versus personal gratification?
  3. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    The reason Columbine falls into the murderous rampage category is because their aim of "terrorizing others" was not achievable. There was just the two of them. It wasn't a network or organization.

    The day after they died, nobody else was going to follow into the school and shoot it up as part of a plan.

    There was an aspect of terror where those two walked the halls and picked people off. However, it wasn't an organized movement.
  4. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Again, Pastor, I think I mostly agree, but isn't there some evidence out there of school shooters reading up on previous school shooters?

    Didn't the Columbine kids have a bunch of press clippings about the kid in Kentucky?
  5. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    Yes, but those actions were independent. They are not an organized movement to obtain an end. Their end is to terminate the lives of those that they dislike. Once that is achieved, there is no more terror.

    The other students are copycats, not disciples.
  6. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    So for you, the term is about achieving a political end?
  7. MartinEnigmatica

    MartinEnigmatica Active Member

    In that case, wouldn't any sort of act influenced by a prior one be constituted as terrorism - be it murder, abuse, or another crime? I suppose there's a difference if you actively seek out information on the subject, like trying to find out everything you can about school shootings, looking to the shooters as - sick as it sounds - role models or something.
    But I'd still argue that isn't terrorism if they're not explicitly connected. If the Columbine kids planted some kind of seed in others to shoot up a school, it was likely unintentional and passive. For any further shooting to be a terrorist act, all these shooters would have had to be in contact, in some kind of underground network.

    This wasn't a random act by the VT shooter. From a CNN article: "Cho left a long and vitriolic note in his dorm room, law enforcement sources told ABC News. It contained an explanation of his actions and states, "You caused me to do this," ABC News reported.
    It also railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus, according to the Chicago Tribune."

    But that's not necessarily terrorist because, as others have said, unless he has cohorts who follow up his attack repeatedly, the spree ends with his death.

    I suspect we'll hear some things about "I never thought this would happen to me, here, in my life. Now I'll always be edgy." from students, and rightfully so. So in that way, it's created terror, sort of in the same way there's terror in Philadelphia. I was there a few weeks ago walking down the street around midnight past a fairly sketchy locale, and I don't think I've ever walked so fast in my life. I was actually locked out of the parking garage I put my car in, and started freaking out until the attendant let me in.

    But while that, and the atmosphere on the VT campus, or other campuses, might add up to terror...I don't think this was a terrorist act. There's a difference between the motivation and the end act. His aim was to kill and, sadly, he accomplished that to great ends. I'll agree with Pastor here...there's no movement, unless someone makes a discovery to verify that.
  8. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    Not necessarily. It doesn't need to achieve a political end. It could be to achieve any end.

    Let's say that that the Columbine shooters generated a network of other shooters. They set it up in such a way that each month a shooting would take place. The first is Colorado. Up next is Michigan, followed by Tennessee, etc. In each situation the targets of the attack is "the school bully."

    That would be terrorizing. The aim would be to strike fear in "the school bullies" across America.

    The KKK is a terrorist organization. Their aim is to terrorize minorities and those that consider them equal.

    I think in order for something to be classified as terrorism, it also needs to be prolonged. Thus the DC sniper was a terrorist despite the lack of an organization.
  9. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    So conspiracy is needed in order to qualify as terrorism?
  10. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    In a way, yes. There needs to be a bigger picture. There needs to be repetition.
  11. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Fair enough. I was just looking for clarification.
  12. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    This is all part of the reason for this thread.

    I don't think that America -- as a nation -- has ever defined the term.

    And a very high percentage of us were willing -- at least at one time -- to go to war with the term without ever defining it.

    As per the discussion, don't some terrorist organizations -- the KKK, for example -- encourage "lone wolf" actions such as this?

    In other words, if this guy were a sympathizer of the KKK's who had never attended a meeting but had decided to do this, what then?

    (And I realize I'm introducing a lot of hypotheticals, but I'm not sure where I stand on this and am trying to flesh it out).
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