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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Why Our Government Buildings Need Better Protection


I had the pleasure of going to see the Cheery Blossom Festival in D.C. this Saturday. However, when I got back to my dorm and checked out the BBC website I found out that while I was on the National Mall a man shot himself in front of the Capitol Building and left a small package. The details of the shooting are still being investigated, but the fact remains that the police and bomb squad had to be brought in and the building (the seat of our legislature) had to be shut down for two hours.

This is just the latest breach of security in our nation’s halls of power. Last year The White House was penetrated several times, once a man with a knife was even able to get inside before being tackled by Secret Service agents. It got so bad that the director of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, had to resign on October 1, 2014. However, just last month two Secret Service agents crashed a car into the White House security barrier.

These incidents should make us feel uneasy about the security of our leaders and citizens. Last weekend the maniac shot just himself, but what if he decided to take others with him? Or what if the Congress had been in session and there were legislators milling about the Capitol grounds? When the knife attack occurred Obama was out of the White House, but what if he wasn’t? All these questions should make any American worry and ask for answers.

And I believe the answer is increased security measures at the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. Of course the Court has not been attacked yet, but with what happened at the seats of the other two branches I think we shouldn’t take any chances. Those measures would include: longer training for Secret Service agents, more frequent reviews of the Secret Service, and hiring of additional guards and policemen to be stationed at the Capitol and the Supreme Court buildings. I know all these changes will require money, but the safety of our leaders should take precedent.

To obtain the money to finance these reforms Congress should cut the military budget just a little and channel those funds to the Secret Service and the police department. I know that this sounds crazy, but Bloomberg reports that last year the size of the U.S. defense budget was $610 billion. Congress should be able to set aside a small amount of that money so it can go towards their protection. The other avenue is raising taxes, but I doubt the current Congress would be open to that.

The recent incidents at the White House and the Capitol has shown America that we still live in dangerous and uncertain times where even our halls of power aren’t safe. That is why it is necessary for us to make them more secure otherwise we might be sorry in the future.

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Why Our Government Buildings Need Better Protection