Third Party & Independents Archives

Gun Permits in Demand in New Orleans

The video footage of armed police officers as de facto robbers pillaging ravished Wal-Marts in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina is a constant reminder that we can never place our security in the hands of those wearing the badge.

The catastrophe that was Hurricane Katrina was so grand that it was hard to digest everything that went wrong, but one thing we must remember is how inept the local police force turned out to be. Criminals thrived without challenge and the surviving residents were forced to suffer in their own prisons created by the floods.

The New Orleans Police Department has seen its numbers dwindle from 1,700 to 1,400 since the storm - and while recruiting is up with new classes going through the academy, the department is still experiencing a net loss of officers according to WDSU.

The city's residents are not oblivious to this and are no longer putting their faith in law enforcement (Miami Herald):

Sixty-four-year-old Vivian Westerman rode out Hurricane Katrina in her 19th-century house. So terrible was the experience that she wanted two things before the 2006 season arrived: a backup power source and a gun. ''I got a 6,000-watt generator and the cutest little Smith & Wesson, snub-nose .38 you ever saw,'' she boasted. ``I've never been more confident.''

People across New Orleans are arming themselves -- not only against the possibility of another storm bringing anarchy, but against the violence that has engulfed the metropolitan area in the 19 months since Katrina, making New Orleans the nation's murder capital.



According to the article, the number of gun permits being issued to residents has doubled pre-storm figures even though the population of New Orleans has been cut in half. It's evident the remaining residents fear for their safety and with good reason.

There were 162 killings in 2006 and already this year we've seen 37. According to Tulane University New Orleans has the highest homicide rate in the country with 96 slayings per 100,000 people.

I am encouraged by the willingness of the city's residents to take a stand against the surging violence while the government is at a standstill. The police are saying they've been making the necessary arrests but according to them the district attorney is failing to prosecute. On the other side the lawyers are saying law enforcement agencies aren't delivering good cases for them to bring to trial.

So rather than waiting for the ball to get rolling the people of New Orleans have decided to get proactive. The results of the many new permits being issued have yet to be seen.

The above article notes that according to police "only" two defensive killings of criminals by civilians occurred in New Orleans in 2006, but the wording is misleading.

The "two" figure is quite significant. Two thugs were brought down while two civilians weren't. Who knows what would have happened had those residents not been armed, but we do what has happened because they were.

But just as important as the defensive-killing figure is the often (as in this case) unreported statistic of successful crime-thwarting by gun packers who don’t pull the trigger.

Gun-control advocates are always conjuring scenarios of blood-soaked streets when civilians are allowed to own and carry firearms, but in the real world guns are mostly used as a deterrent, such as when a criminal sees one pointed at him and decides he doesn't want to be shot.

The looters caught on camera smashing windows and breaking into households might think otherwise next time when they approach a dwelling whose owner has a trusty shotgun waiting for him - whether there's a police presence or not.

Posted by Scottie at March 26, 2007 7:43 PM
Comments
Comment #213834

scottie

left out the part about nagin and the n.o. police confiscating the guns of law abiding n.o. residents right after katrina. leaving them completely defensless against the the roaming bands criminals.

“the district attorney is failing to prosecute.”

thats because he’s to busy ignoring a court order to return the confiscated weapons, as a result of a lawsuit filed by the nra.

exellent piece though.

Posted by: dbs at March 26, 2007 8:10 PM
Comment #213888

I’d just as soon we put forward efforts into getting police forces back to snuff out there. I’ve got nothing against home defense, but people taking the law into their own hands in an urban area is not a good idea. Just ask the residents of Baghdad. You need people who officially have to answer to somebody else, who can’t just take action without regard to the law.

Lousiana quit being frontier well over a century ago. It’s time to bring modern law and order back to New Orleans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2007 12:27 AM
Comment #213979

stephen

“I’ve got nothing against home defense”

thats what we’re talking about here. this is nothing more than people taking responsability for thier own saftey.

“people taking the law into their own hands in an urban area is not a good idea.”

these people are not going out and playing police officer. only doing what i mentioned above. there was a court case a while back where the plaintiff sued the local police dept. for not protecting them. the court sided with the PD saying they are not liable for protecting the citizens. and we all know they are almost never there in time to save the victim. don’t remember the name of the case, maybe someone out is familiar with it.

” It’s time to bring modern law and order back to New Orleans.”

absolutely !


“You need people who officially have to answer to somebody else, who can’t just take action without regard to the law.”

all who use deadly force are responible for thier actions. i believe the burden of proof would be that average prudent person believed they in danger of death or serious bodily injury.

Posted by: dbs at March 27, 2007 4:24 PM
Comment #213988

It appears there is a gun conspiracy here at Watchblog. Is the NRA a major contributor? I’m waiting for the shotgun ads to appear.

Posted by: gergle at March 27, 2007 5:14 PM
Comment #214013

“It appears there is a gun conspiracy here at Watchblog. Is the NRA a major contributor? I’m waiting for the shotgun ads to appear”

Maybe an individual rights conspiracy.

Posted by: tomd at March 27, 2007 7:34 PM
Comment #214023

gergle-

LMAO! I noticed the top three threads were all gun related and thought … WTF?

Posted by: jrb at March 27, 2007 8:00 PM
Comment #214113

This is the biggest load of crap I think I have ever seen. We are supposed to support our troops no matter what, when they rape, discriminate, torture (all of which happened at Abu Gharib and elsewhere). But when our police officers do anything at all wrong we demonize them all for the actions of a very few. Moreover, maybe the outstanding blundering of the federal and state government had something to do with the effectiveness of the local police. But go ahead and blame the police.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at March 28, 2007 4:01 AM
Comment #214127

The police must follow the law like anybody else. This illusion that somehow we get the bad guys easer if the cops break the law and violate rights is a fallacy. At the same time, as tempting as the notion of taking the law into your own hands is, it’s not the path for a civilized society. For the law to be the law for everybody, we have to abide by a common systems.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 28, 2007 9:24 AM
Comment #214145

“We are supposed to support our troops no matter what, when they rape, discriminate, torture (all of which happened at Abu Gharib and elsewhere)”

Who told you that? I will proudly claim to be the biggest troop supporter on this blog and I’ve never supported anyone who rapes, discriminates, or tortures, in or out of uniform. Of course our definition of torture might differ.

“But when our police officers do anything at all wrong we demonize them all for the actions of a very few.”

Maybe you see it that way. I see each individual as a person, responsible for their own actions, reguardless of their job. I don’t blame the police department for the actions of an individual cop any more than I blame Pizza Hut for the actions of one of their drivers. The same applies to the military.

“Moreover, maybe the outstanding blundering of the federal and state government had something to do with the effectiveness of the local police.”

Probably, along with all the other things going on with the storm. I doubt the individual cop on the street thought very much about the blundering of the Fed or State, but more on his own survival and maybe trying to restore a little order. Seems all the more reason to allow citizens the means to defend themselves.

Posted by: tomd at March 28, 2007 12:10 PM
Comment #214328

To Stephen Daugherty

Do you think it is taking the law into your own hands if you are protecting yourself or your family? Washington DC is about as urban as it gets and yet Senator Web of VA stated he had the right to protect himself, especially since he does not have the same protection that the executive branch is provided.

He has the same protection as the rest of the citizens of DC. Is there one standard for those who live in DC and another for the politicians who make the laws?

Thought number two; the state of LA and especially the city of NO has a terrible record of corruption. You would trust or even better ask others to trust the police of NO?

Thought number three; it is not the responsibility of any police force to protect citizens. Do police forces protect each and every american citizen as the secret service protects the president? The last time I looked in my driveway I saw no police cruiser there for the purpose of protecting me and mine.

The police will tell you, your responsibility is to protect yourself and their job is to investigate after the crime has been comitted.

To the author of this article, good job.

BP

Posted by: BP at March 29, 2007 4:13 PM
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