statue.jpgAptly-named Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat from Queens, has been bitching and moaning about the Statue of Liberty for years now. The Statue was closed to visitors after 9/11, following fears that terrorists, monsters, intelligent apes representing the folly of man, aliens, supervillains, or rogue political cartoonists would target it for attacks. In 2004, the pedestal, housing the museum, was reopened. The crown, though, remains closed to this day.

The problem isn't terrorism, though. It's fire safety. The National Park Service doesn't want to allow visitors into our nation's favorite giant chunk of symbolism because the only way to get to the crown is via a narrow spiral staircase. One trash fire at the base of the stairs would turn the statue into a bitterly ironic death trap.

"Yes, it is and was about terrorism," Mr. Barna said. "But yes, it is and it was about ensuring the safety of our visitors. That crown access route violates every fire code in the city of New York and the state of New York and the state of New Jersey. If that was a building in downtown New York, you would not allow public access and the Fire Department would not allow public access."

Weiner will be introducing a bill to Congress next week requiring the park service to reopen the crown. So when a group of lovable immigrants filming the opening montage of their sitcom perish in a blaze, you'll know who the blame. Those soft-on-fire liberals.

In related news, the nation's largest concrete otter remains open to visitors, nanny state be damned.

Congress to Ask Why Miss Liberty's Crown Is Still Closed to Visitors [NYT]


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