Oklahoma Teen Arrested In School Shooting Plot: Gun Law Debate Accelerates

Bartlesville, Okla. — On Friday, police arrested an 18-year-old student in Oklahoma for allegedly plotting an attack at a high school.

Bartlesville High School student, Sammie Eaglebear Chavez, is now being held in custody on charges that he plotted to bomb and shoot students at the campus auditorium on the same day that 26 people were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

[Note: Gunman Adam Lanza also shot his mother, teacher Nancy Lanza, later turning the gun on himself, making 28 casualties.]

USA Today reports that police arrested 18-year-old Chavez at around 4:30 am on Friday after they were alerted to the alleged plot by Layne Jones, assistant principal at Bartlesville High School on Thursday.

According to Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, a “probable cause” arrest affidavit was filed on Friday in the district court based on evidence given by a student who was in the school cafeteria on December 12 who said that Chavez:

“[…] tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut.”

Reportedly, Chavez intended to detonate bombs by the auditorium doors when police arrived.

The Associated Press said that the school district has since said that students “were never in danger.”

Chavez is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

A banner on the highway near Newton, Connecticut, reads "We love you Sandy Hook Elementary" after 28 people were shot dead by Adam Lanza on Friday, December 14

While an alleged potential tragedy has been averted in Oklahoma, the fall out from Friday’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn. continues.

Dan Gross, president of the “Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence”, released a statement on Friday in response to the outrage, as his organization also launched a national anti-gun petition “We Are Better Than This.”

Mr. Gross’ public statement read:

“Like all Americans, our hearts are broken by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to all those directly affected. Across the country, we will be giving extra strong hugs to our kids when they come home safely from school. But in the name of those who didn’t and in the name of the eight children and teens that die from guns every day in our nation, we cannot let it end there. We have to take terrible moments like this and use it as a catalyst to demand the sensible change in our nation that is too long overdue. We are better than this.”

The Associated Press noted that Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 “Virginia Tech Massacre” expressed similar sentiments saying, “There has to be a way to change the culture of violence in our society.”

Across the divide, Larry Pratt, executive director of “Gun Owners of America” released a statement on Friday, December 14, declaring armed teachers would have stopped the school shooting in Newtown.

Gawker reports that Mr. Pratt’s statement said:

“Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered.”

“This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to insure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.”

Mr. Pratt’s statement — perhaps echoed by many arms bearing supporters across America and around the world — came one day after lawmakers in Michigan State House passed a radical bill rewriting Michigan’s concealed weapon law.

Michigan Live reports that political and media attention is focusing on the Michigan bill’s provisions “allowing hidden handguns in places where they are now forbidden, such as schools, churches and large entertainment venues.”

It remain to be seen how far President Obama’s promise of “meaningful action” in the wake of the Sandy Brook Elementary School tragedy will progress as America’s polarized anti and pro-gun lobbies jostle for ascendance.