This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (http://rbmartiniv.smugmug.com).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Let the Good Times Roll!"


Last year, Bobby Jindal, Gov. of LA, signed six gun bills into law. He wrote, “We’re not just signing a few bills.... we’re also celebrating the Sportsman’s Paradise and American values...” One of the six bills that Jindal signed allows the state’s citizens to apply for concealed carry handgun permits that will last their entire lifetimes. Louisiana also has an “open carry” law, which permits citizens to walk around and openly carry their guns with no need for a permit. It wasn't one of the new laws, but just so you know, a permit is not required to purchase a handgun in Louisiana. 

Then, in May of this year, Jindal singed another five gun bills into law. One of these bills modified the state's stolen firearms code to reduce the penalty for possessing a stolen weapon if you simply say you didn’t know it was stolen. But the worst of all was the law allowing loaded weapons to be carried into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. You can imagine what was bound to happen once that bill became law (I will get to that in a moment).

On June 18, 2014, about a month after Gov. Jindal signed the law allowing people to carry loaded weapons in bars, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention published statistics that revealed:
  • Guns kill more people per capita in Louisiana than in any other state.
  • High rates of gun deaths in Louisiana and other states correlate with weak gun protection laws and high gun ownership.

In other words, states with lax gun control laws have more gun deaths than do states with stricter gun control laws. Why is this correlation so hard for some people to understand?

Now, allowing drunks to carry loaded weapons is a really bad idea. Any person, even the Governor of Louisiana, should have known that something bad was bound to happen. Well, that bad something happened this past weekend in New Orleans (NOL). The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that at approximately 2:45AM on June 29, 2014 (you know nothing good is going to happen at that time of day), two men, after leaving a bar, got into a gunfight with each other on the French Quarters’ famous Bourbon Street. I can't help but picture the scene near the end of the movie, “High Noon,” when the Sheriff, Gary Cooper, and the bad guy, Lee Van Cleef, face-off against each other in the middle of the street. But they hadn’t been drinking, it was a respectable hour of the day, and all of the town folks were hiding behind closed doors. On Bourbon Street it was two drunks and a lot of people still out partying at an ungodly hour. Of course, drinking until almost 3:00 in the morning is bound to throw off one’s aim. As a result, the many bystanders were sent diving into open and still-bustling bars and nightclubs for cover.

After the smoke cleared on Bourbon Street, nine of the bystanders (they must have been the slowest of the group) lay wounded in the street. The two shooters were nowhere to be found. Of the nine injured, two are listed in critical condition.

When asked to comment on the Bourbon St. shooting (the NRA would rather the media not use the word "shooting" because it implies that a gun was used. Duh, that's why they are called shootings!), Louisiana’s Lt. Gov., Jay Dardenne, said, “I don’t believe this one incident will keep people from coming to the city of New Orleans.” Dardenne went on to say that New Orleans' worst crimes were usually outside the French Quarter, but “This is obviously a glaring exception.” No shit, Sherlock! The crimes outside the French Quarter must be some really hellacious ones because the French Quarter is definitely not a “low crime” area. The Lt. Governor must not have seen the NOL Crime Map for the week 6/24/14 to 7/1/14 (one week). I’ve stuck in a copy below this paragraph.
 
Where the action is!
You can’t actually see the French Quarter on the map because it's covered with those little icons representing locations where crimes were committed during the week (please note that the map’s legend indicates that I did not select any "victimless" crimes to be displayed). The map looks like someone fenced all of the criminals up insinde the French Quarter to keep crime from spilling out into the rest of the city.

Here is another map showing areas where NOL murders (NOT just homicides) are “clustered.”

Most likely places to get murdered in NOL
Once called “America’s Murder Capital,” New Orleans has seen the murder rate decrease from 63.6 murders per 100,000 people in 2008 down to 42 murders per 100,000 people in 2013. Chicago’s murder rate in 2013 was only 15.2 murders per 100,000. That makes Chicago safer than New Orleans when considering the odds of getting murdered (NOTE: Chicago had more murders than NOL but Chicago has a lot more people; about 9.5 million in the Chicago metro area vs. 1.2 million in the NOL metro area).

Louisiana has more gun violence per capita than any other state in the nation. Based on data from the Center for American Progress, the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, and various news outlets (with state gun laws compiled by the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action) the ten states having the most gun violence are Louisiana, Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, New Mexico, Missouri, Arkansas, and Georgia (in that order). Did you notice the number of Southern states? Seven if you count Missouri, six if you don't. Do you know why? Yes, because it is hot in those states (Alaska must be an outlier)! Not to mention that they have very lax gun laws and a whole bunch of guns per capita. In fact, none of the ten states require permits to purchase handguns. It's a recipe for violence.

So, if anyone is considering a little vacation in NOL, please don't venture from the “safety” of the French Quarter. Oh, and while celebrating in the French Quarter you may want to consider wearing ballistic (bullet-proof) clothing.


2 comments :

Bill said...

Nothing like throwing a little gasoline on the fire.

Excellent summary.

Robert & Carol Ann Martin said...

Thanks, Bill. My wife says I'm passive-aggresive.