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Your views: In Meredith Emersons memory, dont give in to fear
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Shakespeare wrote, "To thine own self be true..." and in my humble estimation, Meredith Emerson was.

Being true to one’s self takes enormous courage and sometimes defies accepted conduct. In this lies what some will call hubris or ignorance. But what is missed in such a knee-jerk reaction is the fortitude in facing God and submitting to what He uniquely equipped one to do and experience. Not only to survive but to live. To carve out a place in the natural balance of joy and peril into which one finds the best possible fit.

Those of us who live in perpetual mistrust of people have difficulty understanding someone like Meredith. We whisper prayers for her and lament her refusal to accept the world as it is, choosing to believe in an ideal version in support of her aspirations. We do this as if it is a good thing we are different. It isn’t.

While there is nothing wrong with the prayers, there is something terribly wrong with the premise. That is, accepting the world requires one should also fear it and act accordingly. I expect Meredith did not accept this viewpoint.

But had I known Meredith, would I have tried to convince her not to hike alone? Would I have urged her to observe the buddy system? Of course. But that is what made her different from me. I need my actions to be stamped with the approval of society lest I be considered reckless.

But this stamp doesn’t come free; its price is often our individuality. Moreover, Meredith’s actions were not reckless. She knew how to defend herself, how to survive in the woods and was prepared. This was not a fool’s errand; it was a young woman living her life genuinely and prudently.

Predators like Meredith’s attacker are everywhere, as she undoubtedly knew. However, they are everywhere like lightning is: looming, threatening and frightening, but seldom striking. In the case of the predator, cowardice overpowers his sick tendencies until a victim is caught off guard. In the case of a lightning strike, it’s merely the result of chaos and probability.

But in practice and precaution, there is a parallel. Where lightning will strike next, no science can predict. Likewise, Meredith could have just as easily met this piece of human garbage in a department store parking lot.

Meredith Emerson was not a victim of self, but of a violent coward. And his kind will not be prayed nor governed away. The question is, will you honor Meredith’s example and live genuinely, the risks notwithstanding? Or will you tremble in a corner waiting for life to become safe? Dying isn’t the worst that can happen to us, not living is.

Brent Smith


Bill would increase gun owners’ freedoms

The Second Amendment Protection Act of 2008, HB 915, has been pre-filed with the Georgia General Assembly. This bill, sponsored by state Rep. Timothy Bearden, will try to make some sense of Georgia’s sometimes confusing gun laws.

Many people do not realize that Georgia has more places off-limits to carrying a firearm than any other state in the nation that permits the carry of a firearm. California has fewer places off-limits than Georgia, which means that a Californian can carry in more places in anti-gun California than a Georgian can in supposedly gun-friendly Georgia.

The Second Amendment Protection Act of 2008, among other things, will bring Georgia’s laws into alignment with the will of the majority of Georgians.

Mark McCullough


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