Skip to comments.After Katrina, stories of gun battles
Posted on 09/21/2005 10:49:49 AM PDT by 300magnum
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - After the storm came the carjackers and burglars. Then came the gun battles and the chemical explosions that shook the restored Victorians in New Orleans' Algiers Point neighborhood.
"The hurricane was a breeze compared with the crime and terror that followed," said Gregg Harris, a psychotherapist who lives in the battered area.
As life returned to this close-knit neighborhood three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, residents said they hoped their experience could convince political leaders to get serious about the violence and poor services that have long been an unfortunate hallmark of their city.
"I think now it's a wake-up call," Harris said.
After the storm, the neighborhood association had to act as law enforcement and emergency response unit as city services collapsed and the police force was unable to protect them.
Citizens organized armed patrols and checked on the elderly. They slept on their porches with loaded shotguns and bolted awake when intruders stumbled on the aluminum cans they had scattered on the sidewalk.
Gunshots rang out for days, sometimes terrifyingly close.
For Harris, the first warning sign came on Tuesday, the day after the storm, when two young men hit his partner, Vinnie Pervel, over the head and drove off with his Ford van.
"A police car drove up behind me and saw it happening but he didn't do anything," said Pervel, who heads the 1,500-household neighborhood association.
Then residents heard that police vehicles were being carjacked and looters were taking guns and ammunition from nearby stores.
"We thought, 'Perhaps this is going to get really ugly,"' said Gareth Stubbs, a marine surveyor who lives across Pelican Street from Harris and Pervel.
A Texas woman who runs a Web site called Polimom.com served as a link between those who stayed and those who had left. With her help, they stockpiled an arsenal of shotguns, derringer pistols and an old AK-47.
They were put to use the next day.
"Some looters came up and pulled a gun on the wrong group of men," said Harris, who said he did not fire a gun himself and declined to say who else was involved in the battle.
"Two men were shot right there," Harris said, pointing down the street as he watered his rose bushes. "One was shot in the back, the other in the leg, and the third I was told made it a block and a half before he died in the street. I did not go down to see the body."
The next day a nearby stockpile of chemicals exploded, shaking the houses and sending a fireball 300 feet into the sky. The fire burned for another three days, Harris said.
"For five days we didn't need FEMA, the Red Cross or the National Guard," Harris said. "The neighborhood took care of itself."
I wonder how many gun battles there will be in Texas after Rita.
OLD WEST PING.
The lesson here is that the first thing you need in your home disaster preparedness kit is a firearm and ammunition because you will be on your own after a disaster.
I think the Texicans are heavily armed and fairly dangerous if/when provoked.
There's a lot to be said for '.44 Law.'
This is wonderful example of why firearms are so handy. When the authorities drop the ball, you may discover that Cain is sometimes your neighbor. Anyway, good to see that people looked after themselves, and stuck together.
MOST DEFINATELY! Preferably every family member trained and armed if possible. Violence is the only thing the scumbags in our society respect. In fact, get together with your neighbors and try to organize a response team if somehting hits your area. That way, you know someone is watching your back if you are not there.
that depends on two things (assuming the storm hits as hard as katrina)
1. how many scumbags thugs there are in the damaged area
2. How informed these scumbag thugs are in regards to their "victims'" arsenals.
i don't think the now deceased looters in NO were expecting what they got.
Firearms are indeed extremely useful equipment for free citizens.
As long as the rules (or lack thereof) apply to both sides, I'm ok with it.
"I wonder how many gun battles there will be in Texas after Rita."
The Texans will keep law and order reguardless.
Just because they own firearms doesnt mean they are animals.
Actually, E.D.Hill, on Fox & Friends, reminded those fleeing Rita, that many Texans have guns and will shoot back to protect themselves, grinning and winking as she said it. Then nodded her head.
Yeah. I live in Orlando. We had two hurricanes last year--got hit pretty hard. It never even occurred to me throughout the entire thing that looters, rapists, or violent criminals might be a problem.
Ever been to SE Houston?
They love to play Cowboys and Looters.
When it comes down to it, you are on your own, and must provide your own security. Here in earthquake country, plenty of ammo is a given. Curious how defensive arms never seem to get mentioned in "official" earthquake kit lists.
Oh, that's right, just dial 911........./sarc
I heard that more deaths in Katrina resulted from violence than drowning.
Ah, continuing to learn ... hold back some aluminum cans from the recycle bin as part of the emergency kit.