We all have our faults, and similarly so do cities. I wish I could say the worst of New Orleans’ faults was the many potholes and unkept streets that play havoc on your car’s suspension, or the cracked and bumpy sidewalks that have stubbed many toes and resulted in a few sprained ankles. Unfortunately life in New Orleans can be far more dangerous.
Last Saturday night (or more accurately, on Sunday morning at 2:45am) two gunmen fired guns multiple times into the usual ceaseless stream of people along Bourbon Street. 10 people were shot, 6 of them were from out of State. The investigation is on going and at the moment little is known about why this was done or who did it. But the truth of the matter is that this is not an uncommon occurence here. The main reason, I believe, that this story has hit the media is because tourists were shot in a tourist-filled part of the city.
In response to this recent shooting the Mayor has asked the Governor to authorise an additional 100 State troopers to police the city. He has also appealed to federal authorities asking for FBI and ATF agents and US Marshalls to assist in ‘combatting street crime’. At the time of the attack there were 27 active officers in the local district, nine of which were on Bourbon Street. Personally, I don’t believe a lack of policing can be blamed, or that a greater number of officers on the streets is an answer to the problem. I think the issue that needs to be addressed is gun control.
But this blog was not intended to be a forum for political debate so I shall close here.
New Orleans is not perfect. She is wounded, broken, in a constant state of recovery. I cannot say that I love her for her faults (although the cracked sidewalks sometimes offer a certain element of charm), and to claim to love her in spite of them would be to naively ignore glaring problems. But I love her still.