I'm visiting Washington, D.C.
The last time I was here was waaaay back in 1988. I remember walking up the Capitol steps and looking out toward the Washington Monument.
Today there are ugly metal crowd barriers blocking the steps. And a security person perched up on top of the steps, looking down at you. Watching for suicide bombers, I suppose.
What happened to the Land of the Free? The Home of the Brave?
When did we become the Land of the Secure? The Home of the Wary? Security tightened after the Oklahoma City bombing, and then again after 9/11. It seems to me our reaction to terrorists should be "walk softly and carry a big stick." Big, visible changes like cancelling white house tours, blocking off roads, and security bollards everywhere must give would-be terrorists a warm-fuzzy feeling: "look what we accomplished!"
Of course, it's easy for me to say the politicians should suck it up and be brave in the face of potential terrorism; I don't live or work in a famous place that's a big potential target for terrorist attack. But I'd bet the risk of a Senator dying from a suicide bomb attack on the Capitol, even if there was just 1970's style security, is a lot less than the risk they'll die in a car accident travelling to or from D.C.