Russian roulette not a game

When a bullet left the chamber of a .22-caliber handgun and entered the skull of a 16-year-old boy, two lives were ruined, and many others changed forever.
Mar 18, 2013


One life is that of a 16-year-old who friends described as a "peace, love and happiness" kind of guy. The other life is that of an 18-year-old who, in horrifying and profane detail, describes on Facebook his disdain of others and his love of guns.

The younger teen died and his friend now faces manslaughter charges.

Not that long ago, both of these boys were toddlers playing with toys. A dozen years later, they played a dangerous game called Russian roulette, investigators say.

This modified version of the "game" — which involves putting a single bullet in a gun and spinning the cylinder, then pulling the trigger yourself or having someone else pull it for you — has taken more than one teen’s life in America.

In fact, this "game" is being "played" throughout America in teenagers’ bedrooms or parents’ basements.

In Castalia, Ohio, a young man died after a similar incident at a house party in early 2012. In Brooklyn, N.Y., an 18-year-old was left dead in his bedroom from a single gunshot wound to the head after a friend pulled the trigger and the chamber happened to contain the single bullet. And this past summer in Florida, a 17-year-old also died after spinning the cylinder and pulling the trigger as his friends watched.

The examples are endless.

It’s easy to say that, odds are, this was an isolated incident in Ottawa County. But, according to law enforcement officials, this is a game that was played on more than one occasion at this house on Leonard Road. And it could be happening anywhere.

There are better ways to get a thrill, and we need to encourage our teens and young adults to look beyond the immediate and see the potential consequences of their actions. These boys have paid a high price for this "game."

Don’t let your loved ones pay a similar price. Talk about it. Be watchful. And stop it.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.


Russian roulette is not a game. Firearms are not toys. Death is irreversible.

Three rules for life.

Auto accidents also kill way too many teenagers. Recent examples are horrifying. Ensure your teenager has access to good driver education. Know who you children are riding with.

Set a good driving example to your children when they are riding with you! Bad habits are learned quickly!

Boys will be boys (and girls aren't always saints either) and risk taking is part of their growing up - educate them on the risks either in school or better still at home.


HEY, my comment did not violate any of the tribune rules for posts!!! Why was it removed??? because you didn't like what i said???? Get a grip tribune.


thats what I thought! Tribune can't even follow it's own rules. Not sure why I waste my time with this sorry excuse for reporting.


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