Shortly after 7 pm on Friday, a 42 year-old central Texas man identified by authorities as Omar J. Gonzalez jumped the White House fence and managed to enter the front door of the President’s residence. Justifiably, a great deal of concern has been expressed by lawmakers and security experts over the incident. Media outlets across the country have posted stories about the incident using headlines such as this one from ABC News saying “Fence-Jumper Makes It Into the White House”. I’m just wondering if we changed that headline to read “Fence-Jumper Makes it Into America”, would it get a different reaction?
The first version of the headline reports that a man, apparently of Hispanic descent (no mention has been made of his citizenship or immigration status) who jumped the fence and illegally entered the White House, and the second version could be about a man of Hispanic descent who jumped the border fence and entered the country illegally. Why does a single incidence of a fence breach generate so much excitement and concern when it takes place at the White House when the same thing happens hundreds of times a day along our border and no one seems to be concerned? Why did the Secret Service arrest Omar Gonzalez and remove him from the White House when those who enter the country illegally are surrendering to the Border Patrol and being welcomed with open arms?
Absolutely, I understand the need to keep the President and his family safe from those who would cause them harm, but the double standard here is unmistakable. Almost two years ago, in an effort to illustrate the double standard presented by Gun-Free Zones used to ‘protect’ children’s’ schools while the President and his family are given armed guards, I posted a White House Petition to eliminate Secret Service protection for the President and his family and replacing it with a Gun Free Zone. That petition did get enough signatures to warrant a response from the White House, and it also generated a considerable amount of discussion on the internet, and even made a segment on the Fox News show “The Five”. Although most people understood the point I was trying to make, I was surprised how many completely missed it.
Although it hasn’t been discussed in the articles I have read on the incident, there is certainly reason to be concerned that the intruder wasn’t just some moron that needed a good excuse to screw up the rest of his life. With the current situation in the world, and the recent reports from Australia of terrorist plots against members of Parliament and their Prime Minister, the obvious concern is that the man was involved in an act of terrorism. The White House and its residents are not the only possible terrorist targets in America; the rest of us face the same danger.
Yes, the President and his family need to be secure in their home, but our families should be secure in our homes as well. Securing our homes includes knowing who is able to enter the country, as well as having the ability to use guns to protect our families regardless of where they might be. Guns supposedly won’t make our kids safe at school, yet they are used to protect the President’s kids while they attend school. As others have already pointed out, we are told that a fence won’t make the border more secure, yet a fence is used to keep the White House more secure.
It isn’t just about keeping families safe. The media was quick to point out that the President and his family were not in the White House at the time, but the Secret Service was still on duty to keep the home secure. The White House itself also deserves to be protected as a symbol of our nation, but it is only a symbol; the nation it represents deserves to be protected as well. Is it acceptable for the President to live in a fortress protected by the best armed security force in the world while the rest of us are left to defend our families against those who come across our borders unimpeded and against those who would deny us the freedom to own the tools we need to provide that defense?
I do not begrudge the President, any President, the security necessary to keep him and his family safe; in fact, I insist on it. I want our national leaders to be free to do their jobs without being exposed to danger from those who would do them harm. I want the same freedom for me and my family, and it would be really appreciated if the President would stop doing everything in his power to deny me that freedom. Stop inviting criminals, drug cartels and terrorists into the country illegally, and stop trying to deprive me of the guns I use to defend my home and my family.