From the June 2008 Idaho Observer:

My return to Post-Katrina New Orleans

By Joe Tittiger

With no fanfare, I arrived in New Orleans May 28, 2008, to visit a 91-year-old friend Mrs. Clothilde Mack.

Despite FEMA’s having stopped rescue workers from getting in to help her, she survived 11 days in her attic after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August of 2005. You may remember her story, and how Greg Szymanski, former RBN radio host orchestrated getting Clothilde (pronounced "Clotille" back into her New Orleans home two years ago after FEMA dumped her in Tennessee and forgot about her. I was the guy who drove Szymanski’s motorhome from Idaho to Tennessee to bust Clothilde out of the nursing home and then drive her home to New Orleans’ 9th Ward (The IO, January, 2006).

One of the first things I did, after arriving at Clothilde’s was to read the Times Picayune. It was rife with stories about unsolved murders, drug busts, a recent home invasion and levels of corruption that remind me of the time that I spent living in Mexico. It looked to me as if I had entered a war zone, as if I were reading today’s edition of the Baghdad Times and not the Picayune. The writing was slick, better than most big city news papers, but that did not alter the fact that it gave the impression that the police were helpless to fight crime; that crime was something that came from outer space and that its causes were beyond comprehension and resolution.

Well, I beg to differ. What the paper failed to mention was the fact that the Louisiana legislature has created the crime problem on at least two fronts: First of all, like the rest of the country, it passed unconstitutional laws. They have outlawed drugs, and created a war zone that would not exist without the prohibition. As a result you see what looks like Chicago during alcohol prohibition during the 1930s.

Secondly, Louisiana is a State that illegally violates the 2nd Amendment prohibition that the right to bear arms "shall not be infringed." Weapon carry laws in Louisiana infringe upon the rights of those that cannot, or do not wish to comply with the state’s arbitrary requirements—turning a right into a privilege and honest gun carrying citizens into criminals. It also imposes the largest burden upon the minority community due to the cost of the permit and the requirements that one have an unblemished criminal record in order to get approved.

Thus far, on this fine New Orleans day, my outlook on crime was purely academic. It was when I offered to walk the two blocks to a take-out restaurant that my outlook was to become more empirically grounded:

Almost to my destination, a tall imposing figure walked up to me and snatched all the money—and the list of what I was to get—out of my top shirt pocket. I immediately grabbed some of it back and was about to administer my own brand of justice, when a voice across the street warned this low life; "Watch out! He has some gas!" at which time this brave criminal proceeded down the street at a high rate of speed.

Looking across the street I was amazed to see at least 10 young men, none of whom had attempted to assist me, and at least one who thought it his duty to warn the criminal. I went up to each personally and told him that he ought to be ashamed of his behavior. One informed me that it was not his duty to help me and furthermore it was my fault because I did not pummel the criminal myself. Another informed me that it was my fault because I had the money in open view in my top pocket (I was tempted to grab his beer, which was in open view, to prove the fallacy of his point, but reason prevailed).

Even more strange than these alien attitudes was that both of them seemed as if they were eager to assault me because I dared question their convoluted logic, but somewhere deep in their little reptilian brains I think they remembered that this victim was at least minimally armed. The display of strange behavior was not quite over however. As I crossed the street back towards the restaurant that I had originally come to patronize, another of these reptiles disguised as a human, that had also witnessed me being robbed and did nothing to help, ran after me wanting me to give him the remaining money that I had, the money that I had managed to snatch back from the thief. Welcome to the Strange Twilight Zone that is today’s New Orleans.

I relayed my story to the restaurant owner, and to my friends back home, all of whom I had falsely thought to be sane. To a man they all urged me to call the police. I then asked them all, if they had ever in their lives, personally, seen the police ever solve a crime, or, for that matter, ever even investigate a crime?

Not surprisingly, none of them could say that they had. So why would I, who had just been violated by a thief and violated by a crowd of reptiles submit myself to further violation by the police who would treat me as if I were a criminal by demanding to see "my papers (please)" and who knows what else? In my subconscious I was beginning to identify with "Subway Vigilante" Bernard Goetz.

How did our society get to this Alice in Wonderland/Mad Hatter, state of affairs? When did ours become a society where criminals commit crimes in broad daylight and in plain view of witnesses who do nothing; a society where the police do nothing to solve crimes but excel at eating donuts, writing tickets and making traffic stops that require eight officers wearing SWAT gear?

The general population, dumbed down by government schools and the popular media have but one solution; to parrot the useless mantra; "Why don’t you call the police?" when it is apparent to any sane observer that it is government that has created the problem in the first place. Instead of sanity they call for more drug laws and even more victim disarmament. It scares me that this is the same population that we assume to be astute enough to vote for the next president of our Republic.

Tellingly, you do not see this level of crime in the urban areas of Western states that do not interfere with open carry; Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, and Idaho. Nor in the urban areas of States that do not interfere with weapons carry at all; Vermont and Alaska. You DO see high levels of crime in the cities of States that restrict your right to self defense; Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and New Orleans.

So which camp are you in? Are you one of the criminals? Do you have a reptilian brain? Are you a Mad Hatter that runs to government to solve the problems that it created in the first place? Or are you for the most part sane and see that the solution lies in your own hands? If so, I think that you are in the minority, but I am encouraged by the thought that I am not alone, that there are at least two of us in the world now. Arm yourself but don’t make the mistake that I did, by relaxing at the wrong time and losing sight of your situational awareness.