In the wake of the tragic Arizona shooting that took place on January 8, 2011, there seems to a rush by lawmakers insisting on more protection for themselves. This in itself, shows the huge disconnect between lawmakers and their constituents. This also illustrates how many in Congress consider themselves “special people” that should be afforded special protection from the common folks.
The huge chasm Congress has placed between themselves and constituents reveal the true problem in Washington, DC. The elite-mentality that Congresspeople extrude continues to alienate and divide Americans, as Congress continues to ignore the will of most Americans. The continued rhetoric from Congress that “the people just don’t understand” perpetuates this elitist attitude towards Americans.
This is not a condition restricted to any particular side of the political spectrum. It comes from the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Barak Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, John McCain, etc.. When Americans are told repeatedly “it’s for your own good” and continue to ignore the people, while instituting expensive and overly bureaucratic remedies for the problems created with their expensive and overly bureaucratic remedies of some other perceived problem, then the electorate becomes irrelevant. The feeling in the air is that people have lost their voice in government, when in fact, our government in America is “for the people, by the people”.
To further the example of lawmakers demonstrating their superiority complex over their constituents, the calls for additional security spending measures and increased gun laws have increased since the Arizona shooting.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), one of the few pro-gun control Republicans in the House, wants to make it illegal for someone to knowingly carry a gun within 1,000 feet of certain high-ranking federal officials, including members of Congress.
Rep. Jesse Jackson wants that money restored, plus 10 percent, in order to augment security in the Capitol and in districts, where he said some lawmakers may need to hire security for constituent events and install surveillance cameras in their district offices.
Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., renewed his call for the installation of an impenetrable, see-through security shield around the viewing gallery overlooking the House floor. Burton points out that, while guns and some bombs would be picked up by metal detectors, a saboteur could get into the Capitol concealing plastic explosives.
Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta said he thought local law enforcement officials could be called in to help with security when members have public events…
Rep. David Scott, also an Atlanta Democrat, said he thought members of Congress should have a dedicated security person on their staff…
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is calling on US Capitol Police to enhance security for all members of Congress.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) is expected to introduce legislation next month to bolster the agency’s budget and staff…
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) said he intends to ask local authorities to provide additional security…
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) made the comments on Fox News Sunday, where he also called for special treatment for members by the Transportation Security Administration…
However, as Congress and the Federal Government have consistently shown, the continued piling up of new laws and regulations is generally the result of fixing a perceived problem they created in the first place with their continued onerous and numerous laws and regulations that the American taxpayers are forced to pay for.
These special people are rightfully afforded potection at all Federal buildings, including courthouses in the U.S. In typical character with typical inefficient government bureaucracy, those security measures have even become problematic.
A November watchdog report raised concerns about security at federal court facilities, detailing the poor training, questionable contracts and broken security equipment used by many contract security guards employed by the Marshals service.
The fact is, when an American takes on the job of becoming an elected offical, they have accepted the increased risks of becoming a public figure, including security. So the botton-line is, if you cannot accept the risk, then get out of the house. Congressman are no more special than any other Americans and until that attitude is eliminated, their irrelevance will continue to decrease, and in turn, they will not receive the respect that a lawmaker should be afforded.