Michael Overall: One difference between Bartlesville and Newtown, Conn.
BY MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
12/18/12 at 6:49 AM
National media are not sending reporters. Community leaders are not organizing candlelight vigils. And President Obama is not coming to speak.
But Bartlesville should be noted for what did happen, not what didn't.
Friday morning, just a few hours before the entire world heard about Newtown, Conn., Bartlesville police quietly arrested a high school student who was allegedly planning a massacre of his own.
Another student reportedly tipped off school administrators.
After the Columbine rampage in 1999, the U.S. Secret Service conducted an extensive study of more than 40 different school shootings, looking for a pattern or a common denominator that would help officials prevent this kind of tragedy.
Profiling wouldn't work, the Secret Service concluded, because the alleged gunmen simply didn't have enough in common. Some were quiet and withdrawn, others outgoing and popular.
But one fact stood out.
"School-based attacks are rarely impulsive acts," the study said. "Rather, they are typically thought out and planned in advance.
"Almost every attacker had engaged in behavior before the shooting that seriously concerned at least one adult - and for many had concerned three or more adults.
"In addition, prior to most of the incidents, other students knew the attack was to occur but did not alert an adult."
We don't yet know what, if any, danger signs people might have noticed in Newtown.
And we'll never know what, if anything, would've happened in Bartlesville.
But somebody spoke up. Somebody sounded the alarm.
And that might have made all the difference in the world.
Original Print Headline: B'ville avoids Newtown tragedy