Skip to comments.Communities that opened arms are now bearing arms
Posted on 09/07/2005 9:58:56 AM PDT by kiriath_jearim
Communities that opened arms are now bearing arms
Residents flock to gun stores on false rumors that crime is rising
By LISA FALKENBERG
LAFAYETTE, LA. - Rumors of rapes, robberies and other crimes spiking with the influx of New Orleans hurricane evacuees have incited a run on guns at stores across Cajun Country.
Gun dealers from Lake Charles to Baton Rouge say they can't keep up with demand for small revolvers, semiautomatics, shotguns and stun guns, many being purchased by women and first-time gun owners, despite police denials that the crime rate has jumped.
"We have now officially sold more handguns than we normally sell in a year in the last three days," said Will Hall, lead salesman at Lafayette Shooters.
Manager Doug Brown estimates the store has sold 300 guns over the past three days, with people traveling as far as 100 miles to buy them. He said the spike was prompted by rumors of increased crime in town, recent TV images of New Orleans looting and the Big Easy's reputation for crime.
"A lot of people sit there glued to CNN and see nothing but negative images, and they're seeing all the crowds of people showing up here, and it's kind of fueling a frenzy," Brown said. "It's not a good situation."
In Lafayette, there were reports that 14 people were raped and two killed in the Cajundome, that others were mugged in the Wal-Mart parking lot and that Lafayette Shooters had been robbed.
"It is out of control. There's rumors all over the place," said Lafayette police Lt. Bill McGovern. But, he added, "Everything's fine here. The population has just about doubled in the past 72 hours, so they're just nervous with all the new people in town."
McGovern said that he hasn't seen a spike in crime and that, overall, the New Orleans visitors have been an orderly bunch.
But many locals aren't taking chances.
Chris and Christa Credeur of the small town of Henderson, La., said they know all the displaced people aren't criminals, but they want to protect their family from the few who are.
"We've helped out many families since this has happened and donated money, funds, furniture and everything. But there's some of them that actually scare us," said Chris Credeur, who was buying a gun for his wife's purse.
Guy Johnston was purchasing his first gun.
The 27-year-old Tulane junior said he grew up in New Orleans and has become frustrated with the increasing crime there. Even before the hurricane, he said, he was robbed three times.
"I've avoided getting a gun for a long time and I'm not totally excited about it, but I really do feel like it's unavoidable now," Johnston said.
Jim McClain, owner of Jim's Firearms in Baton Rouge, said he has seen his share of first-time gun buyers, too.
He said Louisiana law requires gun buyers to pass background checks, but that safety classes aren't required unless the buyer seeks a concealed weapon permit.
Brandon LeBlanc of Barney's Police and Hunting Supplies said stores outside Lafayette and in Lake Charles have responded to the increased demand by increasing basic firearms training.
"We're not letting anybody out of here without a basic familiarization," LeBlanc said.
Whatever happened to all the prisoners the PD turned loose from the jail, anyone know?
An armed society is a polite society.
Watch for the governor to condemn gun stores for "price gouging", and to invoke price controls on all small arms. Come on--keep watching. I know he'll do it sooner or later...
Good for them, with over 500 armed NO cops missing, they need to be armed to protect themselves from cops and crooks.
Do tell. Are we talking about Iraq? ;-)
The bad news is that vicious criminals have been evacuated and exported from New Orleans, so naturally, there will be victims. The good news is that other communities, with the assistance of courageous, honest and competent police officers, and district attorneys, will prosecute, convict, and imprison them for lengthy periods of time. Unlike New Orleans.
Please people, don't be alarmed, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has said that these people are harmless and peaceful. /sarc off
TX has the death penalty. Does LA?
When guns are outlaws the outlaws will have all the guns.
Jesse Jackson IS A BAD JOKE.
Sure goes against the "touchy-feely American are willing to help" bravo sierra from the mainstream press.
Some very fine and noble--but naive--Americans are going to find out just what kinds of people really stayed in NOLA!:o(.
Unless one has had dealings with such--they are going to wonder if those are really humans...?
"TX has the death penalty. Does LA?"
I don't know. But I believe LA enacted a "shoot the carjacker" law a couple of years ago.
A buddy of mine is sure this is the start of a "race war." I've tried to convince him otherwise, but everytime he watches the news, listen to Revs. Jackson and Sharpton, and hear Rappers spout off about whites... well. I sincerely hope this thing calms down, but the media sure isn't helping.
Hope they all join the NRA too!
How do gun stores get resupplied so quickly? Overnight express? Dealer trades?
I don't know if LA has a death penalty. But with corrupt Democrats in power, it's a moot point.
You need to tell him to chill and realize those people do not speak for average Americans.
I hate the media.
Good move. All law-abiding citizens should be armed. The law enforcement authorities will eventually respond to a 911 call, but it might be too late.
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