Stop Protecting Us from Stupid People

Three people slid off the backside of Stone Mountain in GA last week. For those of you that are familiar with the mountain, it’s a slick granite monolith that rises 825 feet from the surrounding terrain. In the deep south it’s the closest thing we have to Half Dome at Yosemite. It’s an easy walk to the top up the pedestrian area, but on the backside in the restricted areas, it gets pretty slick and steep. Apparently, the people walked into the restricted area past the posted signs warning them about the danger.

This leaves me wondering what the powers-that-be at Stone Mountain will do next. Will they install fences or more signs? Will they end walking up the mountain or force people to rope in and stay hooked to a cable? I’m hoping they don’t do anything. After all, signs are already clearly posted.

This kind of event happens at outdoor areas all over the world. I was at Grandfather Mountain in NC a few years ago when a woman stood up, lost her footing, and fell off the mountain to her death. Grandfather Mountain didn’t make any changes to the area. It was already as safe as could be and still be the uncaged outdoors. She wasn’t stupid either. She didn’t go past the warning signs or play on the cliffside. She was in an area I was standing in a few minutes previously that was considered pretty safe.

I think about Stone Mountain though and stupid people, and I hope the staff there doesn’t take precautions that change the experience. I sincerely hope they don’t try to protect us from the stupid people. I think about the great number of visitors versus the number of fatalities or injuries and the ratio is infinitessimally small. We shouldn’t change everything for the responsible folks because of the minority of idiots in the world. They’ll weed themselves out eventually.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at Thanks for reading!



One thought on “Stop Protecting Us from Stupid People

  1. This is a great point. Life is hazardous and we all take risks when we go outdoors (or even if we stay inside!). Some people are foolish and pay the price while others are foolish and don’t. And some people are careful and wise and well prepared and still end up in trouble. We can’t (and shouldn’t) wrap the world in bubble wrap though – it’s important to remember that living, all by itself, is 100% fatal.

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