This young Australian woman, her face ripped up by a bullet from a handgun, was one of the lucky ones after yet another gunfight at the OK Corral, otherwise known as New Orleans' Bourbon Street.
A young woman from much closer -- Hammond, La. -- will be going home in a coffin. She died today. Here's the breaking news from the New Orleans Advocate:
A 21-year-old woman who had been in critical condition since being struck during Sunday night’s mass shooting on Bourbon Street has died, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office said.
Brittany Thomas, 21, was pronounced dead at 2:44 p.m., said John Gagliano, the coroner’s chief investigator.
Thomas was among 10 people hit when two gunmen who remain at-large opened fire on each other about 2:45 a.m. Sunday at Bourbon and Orleans streets.
Only three victims remain hospitalized at Interim LSU Hospital. They were in stable condition Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Police have not yet identified the gunmen but said they are looking for Justin Odom, 20, as a person of interest in the case. He has not been named a suspect.
UNSURPRISINGLY, local officials are in major freak-out mode. Even a Louisiana politician -- or police chief -- easily can envision the city's tourism-based economy dying in the street, riddled with slugs from a young thug's handgun. The publicity has been particularly great in Australia.
But don't worry, be gun happy. The Second Amendment will save us, if only we turn it into a Wyatt Earp free-for-all. Perhaps if more people on Bourbon had been packing . . . the death toll could be a lot higher.
The United States has gone mad -- gun mad . . . gun-violence mad -- and New Orleans is one of the biggest nut wagons in the loony bin. I'm used to telling friends traveling to New Orleans what parts of town they're least likely to get killed in, but after three major shootings on Bourbon Street in three years, the French Quarter might be dropped from the list.
And if you drop the French Quarter from the list . . . I understand New England is quite lovely this time of year.
Because The City That Care Forgot is, more accurately, The City That Forgot to Get Its S*** Together.