Ohio's urban residents should take a lesson from New Orleans

By Chad D. Baus

When debating the issue of Second Amendment rights with gun ban extremists, one of the questions that is always presented is "why do you need a gun to protect yourself? That's what the police are for!". Women who are being stalked by violent criminals and elderly persons living in bad neighborhoods alike are told that they should not take responsibility for their own protection. Inner city residents are brainwashed with the notion that guns are the problem, rather than the criminals who are allowed to run rampant in their communities.

Second Amendment advocates usually respond by noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the police cannot be held responsible for offering protection, and in fact, quite recently in The Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, has ruled that police have no duty to enforce restraining orders. They point to countless examples of where police have arrived too late. If the conversation goes on long enough, gun rights advocates eventually raise a warning for the potential for even more dire circumstances which could make it impossible for first-responders to offer assistance, or in which the government itself is no longer acting on behalf of the citizenry, but rather against it.

The social lessons that will be learned from the fallout of Hurricane Katrina are going to be vast in scope. Although this tragedy has only begun to be understood, it is now clear to every American that even in our great land there exists the potential for a time in which law-abiding human beings may only have themselves to count on for protection.

The New York Times is reporting that part of the reason for the inability of local officials to hold their city together until federal assistance could be mustered is that hundreds of New Orleans police officers have walked away from their jobs and two have committed suicide.

From the story:

    Some officers officially told their superiors they were leaving, police officials said. Others worked for a while and then stopped showing up.

    The absences come during a period of extraordinary stress for the New Orleans Police Department. For nearly a week, many of its 1,500 members have had to work around the clock, trying to cope with flooding, an overwhelming crush of refugees, looters and occasional snipers.

    P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police, said most of his officers were staying at their posts. But in an unusual note of sympathy for a top police official, he said it was understandable that many were frustrated. He said morale was "not very good" after nearly a week of deprivation and danger.

    "If I put you out on the street and made you get into gun battles all day with no place to urinate and no place to defecate, I don't think you would be too happy either," Mr. Compass said in an interview. "Our vehicles can't get any gas. The water in the street is contaminated. My officers are walking around in wet shoes."

Assistant Superintendent of Police W. J. Riley told the press some of the officers who left the force "couldn't handle the pressure" and are "certainly not the people we need in this department." The story later describes an incident whereby two New Orleans police officers had shed their uniforms, stolen their squad car and fled the city. Indeed, I myself am still angry from having watched MSNBC footage of police officers apparently looting a department store in uniform just 24 hours after the winds had calmed.

If even some first-responders cannot be counted on times of extreme need, who else should we look to for protection from evil but ourselves? Clearly this is a lesson that deserves special attention from residents of major urban areas.

The American Spectator is reporting that the City of New Orleans was ripe for collapse, having been exhibiting for some time the same types of symptoms as are being seen in Ohio's urban areas.

From Executive Editor George Neumayr:

    By mid-August of this year, 192 murders had been committed in New Orleans, "nearly 10 times the national average," reported the Associated Press. Gunfire is so common in New Orleans -- and criminals so fierce -- that when university researchers conducted an experiment last year in which they had cops fire 700 blank rounds in a neighborhood on a random afternoon "no one called to report the gunfire," reported AP.

    Its dangerous geography, combined with a dangerous culture, made it susceptible to an unfolding catastrophe. Currents of chaos and lawlessness were running through the city long before this week, and they were bound to come to the surface under the pressure of natural disaster and explode in a scene of looting and mayhem.

    Criminals have ruled New Orleans for some time, convincing many members of the middle class, long before the hurricane, that the city was unlivable. In 1994, New Orleans was the murder capital of America. It had 421 murders that year. Criminologists predicted 300 murders this year, a projection that now looks quite conservative.

    Criminals dominate their neighborhoods to the point that people don't even call in crimes. The district attorney's office, tacitly admitting that the city's law-abiding citizens live in fear, has taken the "unusual" step of establishing a local witness protection program to encourage the reporting of crime, reports AP.

    According to the New Orleans Police Foundation, most murderers get off -- only 1 in 4 are convicted -- and 42 percent of cases involving serious crimes since 2002 have been dropped by prosecutors.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for more.

Neumayr goes on to point out that the city's residency requirement for police officers has contributed to the problem:

    If the New Orleans Police Department has appeared feeble during the chaos -- and in some cases complicit in it -- policies like the residency requirement explain the breakdown. (Perhaps another factor that has rendered the NOPD feckless in the face of a rising murder rate is the criticism of its handling of a minority Mardi Gras.) Americans who have seen cops join in the looting ask: Why are police officers behaving like criminals? Well, because PC police departments like the NOPD hire them. Aggressive, let's-just-meet-the-quota-style affirmative action has become the door through which criminals enter the police academy.

    More than the physical foundations of New Orleans will need to be rebuilt over the next few years. Its politically correct culture in which pathologies are allowed to fester in the name of "progress" forms much of the debris that must be cleared away if civilization is to return to New Orleans. A city which boasts as one of its businesses memorial "death t-shirts" -- clothing made popular by the frequency of gangland slayings in New Orleans that say things like, "Born a Pimp, Died a Playa" -- was headed for collapse even without a hurricane, and had become, as the exodus of cops illustrates, unlivable.

    Conservative black leaders have been mau-maued into silence whenever they tell the truth about this barbarism and call for dramatic reform. But they are the ones who must lead the city now, and the phonies at organizations like the NAACP who despite all their rhetoric haven't done a thing to help the black underclass should step aside. Hurricane Katrina has made vivid the civilizational collapse they have long tried to conceal.

Again, the social lessons that can be taken from this tragedy are wider in scope than what is appropriate for this website. But it should be absolutely clear to everyone in Ohio that the same problems of political correctness that have plagued New Orleans and which have contributed to the rapid breakdown of civilization exists in Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo, Youngstown, etc.

Just as they have in New Orleans, when plagued with rising violent crime rates, Ohio's city governments continue to misplace their focus on limiting the rights of law-abiding citizens. As such, whether it be tornadoes, blizzard or blackouts, the potential for New Orleans-style chaos is being made more possible in the Buckeye State, and citizens who ignore that potential are just as irresponsible as were those citizens in the Big Easy who chose not to respond to the evacuation order.

To ensure that you are still around when the convoys roll in, take a lesson from the situation in New Orleans by planning ahead. Realize now that the defense of your home and family is every bit as important as stockpiling rations. Water and food cannot be consumed by the dead. Only you can protect you.

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