The July 24 shooting death of a Bedford County teen continues to create a high level of disbelief.
It is very hard to understand why a group of teens would play with a handgun and harder to fathom why they would play Russian roulette with the gun, which was loaded, according to state police at Bedford.
No matter the outcome of the criminal justice system (in juvenile or adult court) three families are forever changed - the families of Neal Hammond, the boy who died; Cole McConoughey, the boy currently charged as an adult for allegedly loading the gun; and a third teen who allegedly brought the .38-caliber handgun to McConoughey's house for a sleepover.
We offer our sympathies to Neal Hammond's family for their loss.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1,752 people, infants to age 19, died from unintentional firearms incidents between 1999 and 2009. Most of firearms-related deaths and injuries involve handguns, according to the Safe Kids USA website.
Firearms ownership carries with it great responsibility, especially with children in the same home.
According to Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, firearms should be locked up and unloaded, and firearms and ammunition should be stored separately.
The most important advice from the hospital's website is this: "Teach children the difference between guns and other weapons they see on TV, movies, or video games and real guns. They should understand that a gunshot can permanently injure or kill someone."
Three teenagers learned this lesson the hard way - one is dead and two are living with the consequences.