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 firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.