Jim Shella has a story about the new security measures at the State House. More cameras, limited access to the parking lot, doors lock a half hour earlier during the week, public access is limited to four hours per day on the weekends, and metal detectors are coming.
I understand the concerns, but I oppose the measures. The costs of security are incremental but the potential consequences of inadequate security could be tragic. That’s why security has a way of ratcheting up. There’s really no way to know when you have too much.
To me, part of living in a free and open society means that we have to trust our fellow citizens enough to allow ourselves access to our public spaces; particularly our democratic centers. I don’t think it’s healthy for the body politic to indulge itself in its fears. I believe have to be brave enough to risk tragedy. The alternative is a slow death of a million cuts in which we subject ourselves to ever more suspicion and security, magnifying our fears beyond their legitimate level and sowing distrust among citizens.