It has been nearly 16 months since an effigy of Gov. Andy Beshear was suspended from a tree on the Capitol grounds and demonstrators — some of whom were armed — stormed past security signs to the front door of the Governor’s Mansion following a Patriot Day/Second Amendment rights rally-gone-wrong, but the ramifications of that incident are still being felt today.
“Crossing over barriers, standing on the other side of the glass from where I raise my kids and hanging me in an effigy, that’s an action intended to use fear to get their way,” the governor said afterward.
Earlier this week, Beshear announced that the road between the Capitol and the annex building will be closed to motorist traffic per recommendations from both state and local officials. Security bollards, which are posts used to create a protective barrier, will be installed and only pedestrian traffic will be permitted.
“It has been reviewed as a security concern and as a threat for being far too close to both the Capitol and the annex,” Beshear said, adding that work is expected to begin soon.
The closure of the road comes on the heels of security fencing being added to the perimeter of the Governor’s Mansion last fall. The 5-foot-high black fence was selected to “maintain the integrity” of mansion’s exterior and was paid for by the Kentucky Executive Mansion Foundation Inc., a nonprofit that assists with restoration, maintenance and preservation of state-owned buildings and places of historical importance.
Prior to the fencing being installed, the Governor’s Mansion — which was built 107 years ago — was the only remaining executive mansion in the country without a security fence.
While it is sad to see a portion of the Capitol grounds closed to traffic, we understand the reasons why it must be done. We also appreciate that the state is being proactive in order to keep those who work and reside nearby — including the governor and his family — as protected as possible from outside threats.
Because the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol taught us that it is better to be safe than sorry and we would rather live in a world with fences and unattractive security bollards than endure a breach like we saw that day.