Column: Thoughts on security

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Solving problems regarding White House security breaches and the issues plaguing the Secret Service are valid priorities. As expected, however, officials have blamed the failures on “insufficient funding” and inadequate physical security.  We will soon hear hue and cry from government leaders for additional funding and pledges of stricter safeguards that will continue to erode American civil liberties in the name of “security”.

Tax increases, bloated runaway government budgets and staggering national debt did not temper the former Secret Service director’s comments about her budget as she lamented funding reductions while “accepting responsibility”. 

A point omitted at the congressional hearing was the fact that, according to Bloomberg, getting hired as a Secret Service agent is tougher than getting into Harvard – the acceptance rate is less than 1 percent.  Harvard College admits 5.9 percent of applicants. So the agents themselves are evidently the cream of the crop and funding concerns have nothing to do with the reported blunders.

These security issues must be addressed. But we should be concerned that representatives from both parties are reciting rhetoric implying that these blunders will trigger even more spending and even more liberty effacing measures. 

Some are advocating “shoot first” policy zones as if the White House was located on an open prairie. A visit to D.C. demonstrates that our Capitol is disappearing behind castle-like walls. Concrete barriers and armed guards litter every street corner. The White House is completely cordoned off. Let’s try locking the front door and arming the alarm before more money and effort is spent excluding the all-ready-excluded public. Take a look next visit; armed guards outnumber tourists most days. 

Our Capitol is supposed to represent the center of freedom for the world.  It is becoming, however, oppressive and fear bound. Fear is the most powerful tool in the terrorists’ arsenal, and fear is gradually eroding our freedom. The current administration deals with legitimate threats by imposing greater restrictions on law-abiding citizens.  The only real control we have is to guard against our own government using fear to expand federal power.  Legitimate governments exist to serve their citizens — and we — the citizens have to draw a line between “security” and our increasing loss of freedom.    


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