Who is Travis Bickle? It turns out he is a hero in American society. We met him back in 1976 (but I first met him in the 90's) after he came back from Vietnam. He was 26 at that time, a frustrated, lonely and dangerous young man. However once in a while he was interested in women. Of course all these wouldn't make him a hero; perhaps it all started when he spent hundreds of bucks on handguns. Killing a robber in a convenience store wouldn't make him a hero but he was more than ready to pull the trigger by that time. As was said in Tom's Mission Impossible II, every hero needs a villain. Luck Travis, he managed to have two villains; one is Senator Charles Palantine, and the other one is a gang of pimps who lived off poor but young Iris Steensma. When Travis failed to acquire his primary target in the movie Taxi Driver, he pointed his gun to Harvey Keitel. Well, we all know the rest. Nevertheless we always wonder what if De Niro pulled his gun(s) on Palantine. If that happened, poor Travis would have became another Cho Seung-Hui. (Or the other way around?)
Mr. Cho is a 23 years old frustrated, lonely and dangerous young man. Apparently he was also interested in women but was rejected! He obviously planned his massacre, he even sent mail to NBC. (Did I mention that Travis sent Iris some money before he took action?) Perhaps Mr. Cho was too attentive to his plan, and failed to identify other villains, otherwise he would have become a hero instead of an evil. However, as I said at the beginning, hero or evil, it all started when they had guns in their hands! It is just too easy to have a gun in America.