Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Folks are just dying to go to New Orleans

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.

1 comment:

Dez Crawford said...

I am so very sad that one young woman died. Beyond sad that this happened at all.

This is what happens when anybody and everybody can get their hands on, and openly carry, any kind of gun they want, anywhere they want, anytime they want, drunk or sober, to settle imaginary disputes, to shoot at whatever they want, to play Wild West, to make up for an undersized pecker, to even a score, to "protect themselves" and shoot back inaccurately and raise the death and injury toll even higher...

Meanwhile, Colorado has legalized marijuana, raised millions in taxes for schools and has seen violent crime TANK in the last few months. (I'd say a drop of over 10% is a statistically significant plunge in the violent crime rate in only the first couple of months of legalization. "Tank" is not hyperbolic).

Like you, I am accustomed to telling people where to go and what to avoid when visiting New Orleans, whether to go at night or in the daytime. Now I wonder. This is getting ridiculous, and every time there is a shooting, the gun nuts, the yahoos, the cowboy-wannabes ... the ... Saltine-Americans ... of course, call for ... yet more guns.

Horror. No other word. A place where it used to be fairly safe to get a little drunk and MAYBE get your wallet plucked or get mugged if you went down a dark alley alone at 4am. A place I still call home, but no longer wish to live.

Great piece, James.