A second mass shooting avoided on Friday

It looks like there might be one bit of good news from yesterday, if such is even possible. Police in Oklahoma are indicating that there was a second mass shooting in a school planned there for the same day, but sharp police work thwarted it before it got off the ground.

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – A Bartlesville High School student is in custody on charges he plotted to bomb and shoot students at the campus auditorium on the same day that 28 people were shot and killed at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Police arrested 18-year-old Sammie Eaglebear Chavez at about 4:30 a.m. Friday after learning of the alleged plot Thursday.

An arrest affidavit says Chavez tried to convince other students to help him lure students into the auditorium, chain the doors shut and start shooting. The Tulsa World reports that authorities say Chavez threatened to kill students who didn’t help.

Chavez is currently being held on $1M bail.

This is a reminder of something else which I believe is important to keep in mind. Something unimaginably awful happened yesterday in Connecticut. But something every bit as awful didn’t happen in Oklahoma at the same time. And it didn’t happen because people spoke up and police did their jobs. That one statement contains two different elements, both of which are worth remembering as the media rushes to push for more gun control laws.

First of all, for any given incident where some madman runs amok with a gun, there is an entire nation of well over 300 million people – each with their own share of potential madmen – where nothing goes wrong. I could expand on that point for hundreds of words, but it seems obvious enough for any rational thinker to grasp.

Second, and perhaps more to the point, there are differences between the two states in question. Connecticut, as I pointed out earlier today, has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Oklahoma has traditionally been fairly protective of 2nd amendment rights and just last month passed a new open carry law. Both of them were clearly under the threat of horrific assault by a madman. So it’s difficult to pose the argument that the deranged are more or less likely to be found in one state or another based solely on their gun laws.

The last point this brings up, though, has to do with community. If there is any remedy to be found to these events, it’s not through legislation or restricting the tools (read: guns in these cases) used by madmen. It’s the rebuilding of a sense of community and responsibility to each other.. a shared sense of decency being passed down to each generation. When that collapses, the entire system is weakened. The government is, in reality, very limited in their ability to protect us if responsible citizens are not engaged in the duty to protect and defend ourselves. And that includes speaking up when we learn that somebody is even considering doing something like this. That worked in Oklahoma by all accounts. It somehow failed to work in Connecticut. This is a time for all of us to pull together and hopefully remember that we are stronger and safer when we stand up together and look out for one another.