EDITORIAL: It's obvious a different security approach will be needed on Inauguration Day

Protesters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, near the Ohio Clock. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
  • The presidential inauguration of Joe Biden is set for Wednesday, Jan. 20.
  • Far-right extremists are promising a "Million Militia March" for that day in Washington.
  • Security for the inauguration must be overwhelming, especially in light of the recent Capitol riot.

"Never again."

That must be the mantra that rings in the ears of those charged with providing security for the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

That event will take place exactly two weeks after one of the great national embarrassments in United States history — the frightening riot that overwhelmed the Capitol, fomented by the reckless remarks of our current president.

Then and now photos: More arrests in Capitol riot as more video reveals brutality

There is really no doubt that security at the Capitol last week was woefully inept. Some folks in charge have, rightfully, lost their jobs. In the months to come, an in-depth review of the mistakes that allowed the insurrection to take place will be done. There will assuredly be plenty of blame to go around and more folks will likely become unemployed. Some might even face criminal charges.

Unfortunately, the inauguration is not months into the future. It’s just days away.

Dire warnings: According to the New York Times, security experts are warning that some far-right extremist groups have now shifted their focus to Inauguration Day. Online, there have been repeated discussions about an Inauguration Day assault even more violent than the one unleashed on the Capitol, which led to the deaths of at least five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

The Times is reporting that, as of Sunday, nearly 400 people had joined a private online group dedicated to what is being billed as the “Million Militia March,” an event scheduled to take place in Washington on Jan. 20.

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“We took the building once,” one person posted. “We can take it again.”

That simply can’t be allowed to happen.

Washington mayor has right idea: That’s why we support the mayor of Washington, Muriel Bowser, who has asked for markedly increased security for the inauguration. In a call to action, Bowser said the 2021 inauguration will require a “different approach” compared to past inaugurations.

Bowser strongly urged the United States Department of Homeland Security to adjust its approach to the inauguration in several specific ways. She said the District of Columbia was requesting for a “pre-disaster declaration” to allow for federal assistance.

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She also is urging the Homeland Security Department to coordinate with the Justice Department, the Department of Defense, the Supreme Court and the Congress to establish a federal force deployment plan for all federal property.

In light of what occurred at the Capitol, those seem like reasonable requests.

Bipartisan support for security: Fortunately, there also seems to be bipartisan agreement that nothing can be left to chance when it comes to inauguration security.

Bowser, a Democrat, has had her sentiments echoed by Senator Roy Blunt, the Missouri Republican who is charged with overseeing the planning of the inaugural celebration.

Of course, that makes sense. Blunt and his fellow congressmen personally saw the devastation inflicted by the domestic terrorists on Jan. 6. The safety of those legislators was very much jeopardized.

Still lots of angry people out there: The vast majority of the folks who took part in the Jan. 6 riot are still at large, and most of them are undoubtedly still very angry. Some of them are obviously willing to vent that anger through violence.

That’s why there must be an overwhelming display of security on Jan. 20. It’s unfortunate that a day of celebration must be conducted in such a manner, but our domestic terrorists have really left us no choice.

Jan. 6 can never be allowed to happen again.