Three and a half years after Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard is pulling the last of its troops out of New Orleans this weekend, leaving behind a city still desperate and dangerous.
Residents long distrustful of the city’s police force are worried they will have to fend for themselves.
“I don’t know if crime will go up after these guys leave. But I know a lot more of us will be packing our own pieces now to make sure we’re protected,” said Calvin Stewart, owner of a restaurant and store.
Well, unless the cops come knocking on your door to confiscate them again.
Police Superintendent Warren Riley says “we’re ready to handle things.” We all hope he means handle crime and security and not handle regular citizens out of their legal firearms. (Be sure to read Gordon Hutchinson’s The Great New Orleans Gun Grab if you haven’t already.)
To be honest, I don’t think I knew there were still any NG units in New Orleans. Apparently it was down to only a few dozen. But three and a half years later?
In less than four years our military stabilized the region and re-established law, order, and democracy for its citizens.
Yes, that’s sarcasm. Barely.