Stunning. The Halloween night shooting of Kristen Burnette means that for the third time in less than two years, a 13-year-old Columbia County girl has been shot to death by a Columbia County boy. In each case, no adults were in the home at the time, and the boy was using a weapon taken from an absent adult.
In all three cases, families and friends on both sides have been devastated, and the broader community is stunned. Whatever can be done to prevent such tragedy clearly isn’t happening.
One thing that should be done: Introduce gun safety to children.
This isn’t about teaching kids how to point and shoot a gun. It’s already abundantly clear that firing a weapon is entirely too easy. What’s badly needed is something like the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle gun safety program, which teaches kids such basic information as to assume every gun is loaded - and to leave them alone if not under adult supervision.
Obviously, these cases demonstrate that teens shouldn’t be left in a home unsupervised, that inquisitive kids shouldn’t poke around in other people’s belongings, and that no one should point a gun at someone unless they intend to shoot them.
But they also demonstrate just how fragile and fleeting life can be. This must not happen again – and it’s up to adults to see that it doesn’t.