You Got to Be Kidding Me!

‘Combat Planners’?

Posted in Guns by Stacy McMahon on April 5, 2007

There’s an interesting story on today — New Orleans’ 2007 murder rate is already out of control, and some unlikely residents are giving up on the police and gearing up to defend themselves.

Stephanie Pedro, 27, is no Paul Kersey, the New York architect-turned-vigilante Charles Bronson played in the the Death Wish movies. But the unrelenting crime wave that has gripped New Orleans in recent months has prompted the young urban planner to consider measures that she once considered extreme.

“When I walk my dog, I have a 20-dollar bill in one pocket and mace in the other,” says Pedro, referring to “mugger money” she carries to hand over in hopes that an assailant will beat a quick retreat, and spray in case things turn uglier. “I’ve taken that initiative, but I think I need to go further,” she says, citing a string of assaults in her quiet neighborhood near the French Quarter. “I would like to have a visible gun on my hip.”

It goes on to say that carrying arms for self defense is becoming popular and socially acceptable in that city, which might be related to the following attitude among law enforcement.

Predictably, such chatter has law enforcement officials concerned. “Not just for our safety or theirs,” says New Orleans Police Department sergeant Donovan Livaccari. “But people should know where their rights begin and where they end. I think a lot of people are unaware that, in Louisiana, you can have a weapon in your car, but once you leave your car, you’re subject to a whole different set of circumstances. Also, where you’re allowed to use deadly force; by law, you’re not allowed to use deadly force to protect property.”

As stretched as the NOPD clearly is, you’d think they might concentrate on stopping crime and criminals, rather than worrying about whether they can prevent citizens from defending themselves. But much like Rosie O’Donnell’s bodyguards, police officers are allowed to carry weapons and don’t need to think about what life is like for those who aren’t. Here’s a hint, sometimes it’s like this:

Meanwhile, the storm of violence plaguing New Orleans has residents like Pedro wrestling with potentially life-altering decisions about safety. “I never had to think about getting a gun before,” she says. “But if people are coming into your house, what do you do?”


One Response

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  1. Clint said, on April 5, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    I’d like a gun. Unfortunately, I’ve heard that it is a felony to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. While Virginia may allow me to have one, the feds could come in and selectively prosecute me at anytime.

    Pretty f’in unconstitutional, if you ask me.

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