COMMENTARY: A Sense Of Security

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

Those in attendance at the Cannon County Commission meeting Saturday at the Cannon County Courthouse certainly had no reason not to feel a sense of security.

In the audience were the sheriff, a former sheriff, several deputies, several former deputies, and a majority of Cannon County's constables.

That doesn't include the former sheriff and current police sergeant who serve on the commission.

I don't really know whether the high level of law enforcement presence had anything to do with the recent shootings at an event held by a congresswoman in Arizona, but I'm glad they were there.

One really doesn't know what might happen at public gatherings involving government officials these days. In addition to the tragedy in Arizona, there have been instances of shootings in recent months at school board and city councils meetings across the country.

In most cases, public officials are able to go out in public without having to worry about their safety or those who attend whatever function is taking place. I recall that last year, when now-Governor Bill Haslam, and gubernatorial candidates Zach Wamp, Mike McWherter and Kim McMillian visited Cannon County, it did not appear they were accompanied by any security personnel, and local law enforcement was not present at their events.

The same is true for an outdoor event  at the courthouse in September featuring Diane Black, Mae Beavers and Mark Pody. Some law enforcement was in attendance, but it was more along the lines of an observatory capacity.

At the time I didn't think anything about it, because it did not enter my mind that something tragic might occur.

However, as much as we might want to believe that bad things won't happen, it's now apparent that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as Ben Franklin said. We have law enforcement in place to protect and serve. It is better for them to protect us proactively, than to serve us reactively.