This is Viewpoints for Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014 

Blaming the victim

The latest pedestrian fatality on Riverside Drive has once again brought attention to Macon’s highest in the state pedestrian death rate. We even outrank Atlanta. Here is a link to the latest study: www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/dangerous-by-design-2014/dangerous-by-design-2014.pdf

The study not only explains with statistical information and methodology, but it offers safer street design solutions as well. Perhaps our Macon Area Transportation Study members, law enforcement and media could learn from the study’s results and utilize the information to make our streets safer.

In Thursday’s Telegraph, reporter Liz Fabian quoted a Bibb County Sheriff’s Office “news release” that the victim was “not using a crosswalk.” The implication being that he was at fault. Thank goodness he wasn’t wearing dark clothing or he would have been blamed for that as well.

Under Georgia law, the victim was entitled to legally cross the road anywhere he chose between the intersections of Riverside Drive and Ingleside Avenue and Riverside/College Street. There is no ‘jaywalking’ law in Georgia. From where the gentleman was hit, it is 3,000 feet to the crosswalk at Riverside/Ingleside Avenue and about 1,500 feet in the other direction to the crosswalk at Riverside/College Street. Is it reasonable to expect a pedestrian to walk that far to a crosswalk, when much of that area along Riverside Drive doesn’t even have sidewalks? I think not.

I have corresponded with the Telegraph’s Fabian, Oby Brown and Andy Drury and Jami Gaudet, a former spokesperson for the police department, about the media and law enforcement’s propensity to blame the victim as the cause of the accident. Continuing to blame the victim muddles the information the above linked website offers toward enacting the study’s recommended solutions. Many in our community cannot afford a car and many have to depend on their God given feet to transport them for life’s necessities. If we have the ability to build safer roads for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers, then why haven’t we and why aren’t we?

-- Lee Martin

Macon

If your roof leaks

I recall a scene from a Charlie Chaplin black and white silent movie. Chaplin is seated on a rickety table trying to read the paper in a ramshackle house in the middle of a torrential rainstorm. There are pots all over the place collecting water from the leaking roof. Chaplin keeps getting up to empty an overflowing pot. Of course when he tosses a full pot of water out the door, it blows back in his face because the wind is blowing so hard. Chaplin might have succeeded in keeping dry if he had put in a little effort to patch the roof on a sunny day. The parable: If Washington had spent the money to patch our borders 30 years ago, President Obama would not have to beg Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to feed and house the thousands of illegal alien minors currently flooding our border states.

-- Hill Kaplan

Macon

Threatened

Let me begin by saying I am an animal lover, especially dogs. I can’t remember a time in my life when I have not had a pet. Reference the article on the front page of the July 10 Local & State section of The Telegraph, titled “WR man accused of striking dog with shovel.” It alleges that Bobby Edwards “beat” a dog with a shovel. I do not know the exact details of what happened in this situation, only what the article reports, but I cannot believe Edwards may be made to pay a $1,000 fine and possibly face jail time. What in the world? Who is to say that the dog did not receive more injury after it left Edwards’ yard? At any rate, I have always been led to believe that if an animal is in your yard and you feel threatened, you have the right to protect yourself. Granted, this dog was an old dog, but how was Edwards to know? After yelling at the dog, it started barking at him so I’m sure Edwards felt threatened.

Not everyone is a dog/animal lover and many people are afraid of them. I do have sympathy for Erin Roberts as I too know what it feels like to have a dog that has been a member of the family for 14 years and having to have her put to sleep, but I also know that if one comes in my yard and I feel threatened, I’ll be using more than a shovel.

-- Cindy Rowland

Byron

War against the innocent

Why do many women believe there is war against them by people who believe in the sanctity of human life that begins at conception? Destroying the embryo and fetus wages war on babies in the womb. Why do those who demand equality, diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness, include all but those precious children God has created?

The war on those living from conception results primarily upon immoral sexual lifestyles that is devastating society. The God America calls upon to “bless America” created sexual pleasure and enjoyment by uniting husbands and wives to become one in marriage. This oneness produces continual love and joy. Precious children are born and are to be loved by their mothers and fathers and taught to love and treat others as they want to be treated and loved. This becomes possible only when we strive to give God total ownership of our hearts and lives. This begins with the gospel of Christ. I Corinthians 15:1-3

God’s truth must be proclaimed and lived even though we are becoming less a Christian country. We may not accept other people’s beliefs but we can love them. Hear what Bill Ferguson said recently, “America is still a great country but I think most of us feel our best days are behind us.”

I truly believe our only hope is returning to the Judeo-Christian God America was founded upon. Christianity also must be revived. I remember Charles Richardson’s recent column dealing with cultural decline quoting II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Humanities wars have always been and will always be a violation of God’s laws and truth. Let us quit warring against the innocent.

-- Rev. Richard Aultman

Byron

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