MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE: Proud patriot looks ahead

Editor’s note: The following is the second of a six-part series.COLUMBIA CITY — Sometimes ignoring advice can lead to interesting results. Columbia City Attorney Terry L. Smith received a piece of advice when he was early in his law practice that he obeyed at first, but has since quit following, with interesting results.“When I began my practice, one of the Gates told me, ‘never talk to a reporter and never express an opinion.’ And I did that at first,” Smith said.However, over the past decade Smith has begun ignoring that advice, and has embarked on a venture as a writer. He submits letters to several newspapers around the state, including The Post & Mail. He also does a great deal of philosophical writing. Although Smith is personally proud of most of his writing, he wonders how it will be looked at later.“Some day someone will read all of that and say, ‘what an idiot he was,’” Smith said with a laugh.Letter-writing is not the only outlet for Smith and his views. He helped found the Whitley County Patriots, and has been impressed with the work so far.“That began about two or three years ago,” he said. Being a part of the Patriots has given Smith an outlet for his politically conservative views. He said now is the time to stand up, and he believes the country’s future depends on it.“Someone has to speak out against the corruption going on around us,” Smith said. The long-time lawyer said he believes there is an attack on personal liberties especially with the current gun-control debate. “Yes, I am carrying,” he said. “To me, law enforcement is reactive. If I depended completely on them, they might be investigating my murder. This gives me a chance to protect myself.”At times, Smith is optimistic about the nation’s future, at other times, he is not.“Rush Limbaugh thinks there is still hope. I am not as sure. I think we might be looking at a total loss of liberty,” Smith said. “But when we organized the Patriots I became optimistic that maybe things could change for the better.”Smith also enjoys philosophical reading. He said that after he was finished with the military, he read everything Ayn Rand wrote.“I have read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ three times at least,” he said. “I used to end my letters to the editor with ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ or something like that.”For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Dec. 26 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.