Even in a town as jaded by murder as New Orleans, there are acts of violence that still shock and enrage the public. The murder of the Good Samaritan Harry “Mike” Ainsworth who was gunned down in front of his children while trying to stop an early morning carjacking is one such case. The neighborhood where the murder occurred has banded together, creating a neighborhood watch and posting police sketches of the murder on every possible surface. They demanded and received an audience with NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas, who told the assembly:
You’re not going to stand for it. We’re not going to stand for it. We’re going to demand that we become a better police department. I’m not satisfied with this police department yet, not at all, but we’re going to make this department what it has to be.
And Mayor Landrieu unveiled his latest program to fight the violence he referred to as being “unnatural and unacceptable.” Citing illegal weapons as a “major reason for the crime rate,” Landrieu proposed that New Orleans implement a crime fighting program borrowed from St. Louis that requires a minimum bond of $30,000 for illegal possession of a firearm. Landrieu’s version of the program additionally calls for these offenders to have to pay for and wear an electronic ankle bracelet.
Nice idea if it was narrowly targeted to focus on the worst offenders – but a blanket “set higher bonds” just means poor people suffer disproportionately. It doesn’t address the real problem. This program, like too many before it, is a copout solution that sounds like you are doing something. We need to seriously examine the ease with which people get guns – at least in the city. If the mayor thinks there are too many people with guns, lobby to make the gun laws more restrictive, and then prosecute and convict under those stricter laws.
People want it both ways:
- Guns, guns, guns for everybody, and no laws to limit them;
- Then we want to complain that the bad guys have too many guns.
Do the math. More guns means more guns for everybody.
Don’t get the idea that I want to ban ALL guns to everybody, I just think we need to find a way to control the unlimited flow of weapons we presently have. I’m not certain how, but if we were willing to even start down that road we might find an answer that worked. Problem is, we won’t even look in that direction.