I traveled to Charleston to participate in Jefferson County Day at the state capital on Monday. An worthwhile trip as usual, it is always exciting to enter the capital building in all its grandeur.
I was a bit saddened to hear one of the other individuals who traveled from the Eastern Panhandle express dismay at the fact that the vehicles were not searched before being allowed to pull up to the steps to unload. She was also very concerned that we were not run through a metal detector or other device to search our persons and baggage when we entered the building.
To this I say, thank heavens West Virginia has not given in to the paranoia that everyone is out to get them. The capital building, as one State Police officer on duty said, is "the people's capital."
That is not to say that precautions are not necessary and security should fall by the wayside. The presence of officers within the building left me feeling positive that if something happened they would be well-staffed to handle it. The officers I observed, especially after hearing these concerns voiced earlier, were constantly vigilant in watching everything going on around them. They did so without making visitors to the building seem as if they were under visual attack and without insinuating that they were some type of threat.
Kudos to those who continue to allow the people to freely visit that beautiful building without feeling as if their every move constitutes some perceived threat.
No matter where we go these days, whether it be an airport, federal building or even our own local courthouse, we constantly see the results of a need for heightened security. Airports are understandable as are other venues of mass transportation. Precautions are often a good thing.
But when our lives are so governed by being scared of what someone else may do to us when they enter a building, then we lose freedom and enjoyment of life. The fact that someone actually focused on the fact that we could walk freely into our state capital and the feeling that we should not be able to do that without facing high security, again, is sad. Let us enjoy the public buildings and venues that are the property of the people. Don't live life in fear every moment of what may happen; in so doing, you lose the enjoyment in life as well.