Netizens React to US Shootings by Korean-American

Scene from the shootings at Oikos University

As the US comes to terms with the horrific shootings of 7 people at Oikos University by Korean-born Soo-nam Goh, Korean netizens were quick to disassociate themselves from the killer. While pointing out that he is American, they condemned the Korean press for manipulating national sentiment. Others accused fellow Koreans of hypocrisy, as it was only last week that Koreans jumped on the bandwagon in support of Jim Yong Kim, nominated by President Obama to become the next president of the World Bank.

From Seoul Economy:

The second Seung-Hee Cho shooting incident in the USA… 7 shot dead

There was a shooting incident reminiscent of ‘Seung-hui Cho’ at a theological college in California, USA.

The San Francesco Chronicles reported that 7 people were shot dead at the incident on the 2nd of April at the Oikos University, a theological college located in Oakland, California, which is known to have many Korean students.

Most of those shot were allegedly Korean and the suspect was Soo-nam Goh (also referred to as One L. Goh, 43 years old), a Korean-American.

He shoot the nursing school students during their lecture around 10.30 in the morning of the incident, killing 5 of them in the lecture theatre, while 2 out of 5 sent to the nearby Highland Hospital died upon arrival at the hospital.

There had been another shooting incident in 2007 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where the student named Cho, of Korean origin, shot 33 dead and injured another 25 people.

Goh was witnessed to have quietly entered the lecture theatre, said to the students ‘line up, I will kill you all’ and approached straightaway to a girl sitting in the front row. He then aimed and fired his 45-caliber revolver at her chest.

Afterwards he randomly fired at other students and ran away from the scene.

The SWAT force was dispatched to the college upon a report, then blocked the roads near the college and evacuated the students. The suspect was caught without any resistance around 11.30am at a shopping mall in Alameda, 5 miles (8 km) away from the college.

Goh was arrested and examined, but police sources reported that no criminal motive was found yet.

Soo-nam Goh, suspected of having shot dead 7 people at Oikos University

His neighbours were in shock at this incident, saying that he was usually calm and good-natured, took a great care of his family and got along well with his neighbours.

Some students who testified during the police investigation said that he had been attending the nursing school until he was expelled 3 months ago, and that he didn’t get along well with the other students.

His mother and brother passed away last year, while his father allegedly moved away recently from Oakland.

The Oikos University is a private college established 10 years ago by a Korean-American priest named Kim, with many Korean students enrolled especially in the Schools of Theology and Music.

Comments from Nate:

박준영:

If it was legal to carry and use guns in our country, tens and hundreds of people would die in a day, be it a marketplace, school, downtown or countryside.

윤승리:

Looking at the last Virginia incident and this one too, I feel bitter that people who don’t know well about Korea might only view it ugly…

장태성:

Why on earth, and with what right, did he steal the young lives… May the dead rest in peace…

유창석:

The US is a multi-ethnic country, so anybody with an American citizenship is American (not Korean), regardless of their ethnicity. But the Korean mass media got ahead and called him Korean, like they did after the Virginia incident, making the Americans who did not regard him Korean to speak ill of Korean people. Be their origins Korean, Chinese or Japanses, they are all Americans once they are living in the US, and they don’t even pay taxes to the Korean government. So please don’t make weird statements about their Korean ethnicity in your articles, no matter what they do – kill, shoot or swindle people. …Or just post it on Korean papers published in America. These articles really annoy me.

김태희:

He spent his whole life, 40 years, in America with an American mind-set, so it’s an American person shooting other American people. Why do we have to be sorry about it as if we were to be blamed? Americans in Korea say “Oh~ this is unimaginable in Las Vegas~”. As for this incident, [we say] “it is unimaginable in South Korea.” Let’s not feel blue on a Tuesday morning with an unnecessary feeling of guilt.

조태성:

I wouldn’t know about others, but I think it’s really fortunate that Korean government doesn’t legalise use of guns. It’s terrible just to imagine what would have happened if they had legalised it.

김동근:

Among the comments there are some people who draw the line saying that he is American, having lived in America, despite his Korean origin. But then I don’t understand why they delight at news on Korean American cadet graduating first class from military cadet college, or on employment of Korean American in the head technician of the White House, saying ‘proud Korean.’  My deepest condolences to the innocent victims.

이동원:

I saw the American Yahoo site that said ‘fucking yellow monkeys, go back to your country’. Tut. What an embarrassment. This feels similar to our comments about the ethnic Koreans living in China and foreign workers in Korea.

서무진:

What is the problem with our country? Shooting people and writing Korean graffiti on cultural heritage…It makes me sigh to see such incidents as someone living in the US.We’re probably not in a place to criticise China or South East Asia…

김성찬:

It’s regrettable that someone of Korean origin was responsible for this incident, but he’s American anyway and there is also a problem with the legal use of guns in the US. So please don’t ever kneel down and cry your heart out in front of the US embassy with a cross, hymn books and the Stars and Stripes again… I was thrown over with embarrassment at such a sight when the Virginia incident happened. The Americans saw it as their domestic problem and allegedly said what was all the fuss on our side…

김현구:

Oh of course, that gunman bastard is not Korean while the World Bank governor is a proud Korean.

김예슬:

He is an American citizen, but see how he asks for an interpreter, with his poor English -_-

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  • Seoul less

    as a KA myself, it’s sad to hear news like these … thank god there are more influential korean americans out there that children can learn from unlike this dude

    • Tiffany

      i haven’t heard one american person or news station blame south korea for this one fool’s actions. if someone called them a monkey it is problem a white southerner who hates everyone who is not white and southern

  • achan

    and thank god for none of those stupid 34k – 1d comments

  • Brett Sanbon

    I talked with some friends about this. Koreans think (correct me if im wrong) that the K. Americans or Koreans that were born overseas are still Korean. In that regard, they are still guests to that foreign land.

    I think that the whole “pure blooded race” thing is is what makes Koreans everywhere responsible to Korea, in the eyes of the homegrown.

    I guess I will never really understand this mindset… kinda like fan death.

    • choi.j.youngchan

      lol on fan death!
      i’m still waiting for clinical test result on that one!

      well, i think you sir kindly exaggerate but i dont disagree with you at all – america does have a fairly robust idea of citizenship (whether you feel “belonging” as one is open for debate, as some ethnic minorities may feel otherwise and certainly native Indians for sure – in England there’s more variations), whereas in korea it was the idea of vague communal identity of blood and language that was emphasised more, but now they may feel far less than hospitable towards north koreans or choson-jok. so you may see that idea thin out soon.

      apparently after the virginia-tech shooting, the Korean ambassador tried to apologise which quite puzzled the local law enforcement….

  • firebert5

    Being born and living in America may give you citizenship to America but it does not follow that you will necessarily have an average American mindset. Many who are born to immigrant parents grow up with their parents’ mindset whatever that mindset may be. Still others may develop their own. To say that being an American citizen automatically gives you the same state of mind as other Americans is flawed at best.

    • Brett Sanbon

      I dont kniw who you are replying to or what you are talking about but according to US law, people born in America are Americans. Extreme nationalism is at play far too much in Korean society.

      Anyways Americans arent blaming Korea. Dont listen to people on Yahoo. They are the worst of the worst in on the American interwebs

      • choi.j.youngchan

        yeah reading yahoo comments are not good for your mental health for sure…. it’s where web-sewage flows

    • lonetrey

      Personally…. I feel like firebert5 is half correct.

      Being the second generation, I feel like my mindset is greatly shaped by the previous generation, unfortunately.

      I’ll let you all interpret that how you will.

  • JSakamoto

    To Koreans: you really spend way too much time obsessing what the rest of the world, especially the west, thinks of you but I guess that’s what happens when you’re always being bullied by Japan and China and have an inferiority complex. Don’t get me wrong I’m rooting for you people as a fellow asian but that inferiority comlex has got to go. One korean doesn’t represent all koreans.

    • acorn

      well put well put.

      i will convey your thought to koreans. please do the same for fellow japanese as well, that one korean don’t represent all koreans. i see that depressingly too often in both countries…. good lesson to bear in mind for those prone to “jumping the gun” too quickly.

      oops bad pun.

      • JSakamoto

        I will, as well as to Chinese people too. I think that although we have small differences we are more similar than different. If anything I think japanese are even worse than koreans in this aspect.

        • acorn

          well, thanks! i try not to take 4chan crowd to be representative of regular japanese people as much as some korean people like to think they are – people get carried away too much with what idiots say in the sewage pool. i am sure there’s a lot of hidden good-wills between the two countries :D

          sometimes politicians try to score quick points by publicising past or current issues but im sure it could be solved by discussions – guilty-by-association is a hard habit to drop but could be done…

          • Chinese in SG

            Let’s have a bear hug with each other. Spread the love, not the hate.

            *Huggles everyone*

    • Guest

      I agree, but it’s in our blood to feel guilty for what other fat piece of shit Korean does overseas.

  • Kai

    It’s interesting how closely the comments by 박준영 and 조태성 mirror similar comments by Chinese netizens in China, their cynical belief that enough people have cause to resort to them for there to be widespread chaos, in contrast to the often American belief that guns are a right that ensure security in society.

  • Backus

    This is a gun control issue and nothing more…There are dirty, rotten, evil, perverted, and malicious assholes in every country. It is frightening and depressing to see how this news has been dominated by comments regarding nationalism. The human heart has no flag…and how many of us will be sitting in a lecture, trying to learn a way to make a decent living by helping people, when some asshole sells a gun to an idiot and its all over…
    There is nothing left for this atheist to do but pray.

  • DK420

    They are both Korean immigrants and not born in the US!

  • Sunkyo

    People who make a big fuss about his being ethnic Korean are missing a point here. This is the tragic consequence of easy gun access and absence of strict gun control. Korean people as a whole do not deserve to be criticized for what Cho and Goh have done. These are just two individuals out of many past shooters in America whose poor mental health led them to this horrendous shooting rampage….

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