I still remember watching the news footage from New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina. The Big Easy got hammered, but then the dikes broke and there were even more problems.
Among the issues was the lawlessness being reported throughout the city. An already violent city became even more violent as people battled for whatever reasons they could come up with.
Yet through it all, the one image that has remained burned in my mind was an older woman speaking with police. They wanted to evacuate her but she didn’t want to go. After all, she had plenty of food, as she pointed out, and she even had a handgun for self-defense. That was when law enforcement essentially body-slammed her and took the revolver she was using to protect herself from the ravening hordes supposedly roaming the streets.
In the aftermath, many states started passing laws to specifically prevent gun confiscation in the aftermath of a disaster.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) signed a coronavirus emergency order last week allowing her to ban the sale and transportation of firearms.
She signed a follow-up proclamation on March 16, 2020, further emphasizing her emergency powers to “suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation, of alcoholic beverages.”The declaration declaring the mayor’s power to restrict gun sales and transportation says she is “empowered, if necessary, to suspend or limit the sale of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles.”
In other words, if she can’t confiscate firearms in the current emergency, she can damn well try and make it so no one can buy a firearm.
That’s a huge problem.
Look, so long as people are engaged in the trade voluntarily and lawfully allowed to own a firearm and the firearm in question isn’t stolen property, then the city of New Orleans has no grounds to interfere with that trade. Especially not in a very tense time when people are legitimately worried. Many folks, such as myself, aren’t as concerned about the virus as they are by those who are panicking.
While that panic isn’t massive right now, what will happen if this becomes a prolonged thing? Will people get more stupid? Will that stupidity turn violent?
There are a lot of people out there who don’t own firearms who haven’t expressed any interest in a firearm right now might change their mind in a week or so. The problem then might be Cantrell deciding that no, you don’t get to have a gun because it makes her feel uncomfortable or something.
By then, it might well be too late. Any deaths from that fall on Cantrell’s shoulders.
Not that I expect her to acknowledge her role in them, mind you.
Besides all that, though, is the fact that the Second Amendment reads “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” There’s no addendum to the Bill of Rights saying, “Unless people start getting sick. Then you should totally ignore everything here and just do whatever.” The Second Amendment doesn’t stop protecting our God-given rights just because of a virus.
It’s time Cantrell gets reminded of that fact.