The Great New Orleans Gun Grab by Gordon Hutchinson and Todd Masson should be a must-read for all gun owners, not only because of the troubling issues it portrays but because it can help get people into the right mind-set for the aftermath of a natural disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina.
I knew a lot of what went down in the streets of the flooded city in late summer 2005, but my eyes were bugged as I read this book. Really, events should shock and outrage all Americans, not just gun owners. Anyone who owns a home and anyone who believes in personal liberty should be deeply disturbed by what government officials did (and did not do) during a huge disaster that should not have been completely unexpected.
After the hurricane hit and the levees were breached and overtopped, the city was cast into general chaos. Many people had been unwilling or unable to leave, and without power or assistance they were left to fend for themselves. Some, realizing how things were going to unfold, had a change of heart and decided to make a run for it.
A couple of families banded together, and two women were quite disturbed that one of the men had brought some firearms with him. As they loaded the van they would use for their run for safety, a band of looters approached down the street. The man gave his 12-year-old son, familiar with guns, a rifle.
“Stand here,” he ordered, placing him at the rear of the van. “Guard us.”
He left the boy, the rifle held at port arms across his chest, a young conscript in the Katrina War. He went to the front and out into the Street, checking the situation. He then went back inside.
The van pulled into the street, and three looters ran up, sloshing through the water, surrounding the front of the van, cursing, yelling for everyone to get out. The one on the passenger side stood against the door, pushing his head and upper torso through the window, almost climbing into the front seat. He twisted left to see who was in the van, saw the women in the middle seat. He then looked past them through the rear window, at the boy at the back of the van with the rifle.
His eyes bugged out, he stuttered a second, then blurted: “Is that a real gun?”
The women in the rear seat, new converts to the gun culture, snapped a quick and loud answer: “You bet your ass it’s a real gun!”
They made it out of the city safely.
The book covers a number of people, areas, and situations. LeRoy Hartley and his family rode out the storm, but the days following Katrina were tough and he had his family leave town for safety. He stayed behind with his dog Buster to protect their home from the looters that had already threated them several times.
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