SITREP: November 2005
By Dan Shea

New Orleans - There is something eerily familiar about the scene that has been unfolding in the Gulf Coast South. It looked like the Fall of Saigon as the choppers were trying to evacuate people in the face of the onslaught of the vengeful North Vietnamese Army advance. That is about where the similarities ended. The refugees were trying to get out of Saigon, but not preying on each other in the face of coming disaster.

If there was a poignant lesson from the last few weeks in New Orleans, it was how ugly the breakdown of society can be, and how being prepared can keep you alive. Call me old fashioned, but my thoughts are that in most disasters, the human spirit comes out on top - we see heroism, sacrifice, the best of humanity. In a disconcerting change from that, the saga from New Orleans was a daily dose of the worst of humanity. It was a terrible show of the dark side, with thugs preying on innocent victims and rampant looting and violence. This completely overshadowed the daily acts of heroism that were occurring, and has left a bad taste in our collective mouths. The investigations on what went wrong here will last for many months. Who is to blame? Was it the Republican President Bush? Was it the local Democratic politicians? Was it the Welfare state itself? Was it nature? Was it Hollywood? The cries of blame border on the ridiculous.

Regardless of who you might want to blame, the facts are plain. Nature slammed the Gulf Coast, and New Orleans went to Anarchy instead of Heroism. Roving bands of thugs wandered the city, and the thin blue line of law enforcement could not help the people at all. Victims were everywhere, and it is impossible for us to discover what tragedies occurred, what violence was experienced, or what crimes were committed against so many who died and are lost to the floodwaters. We will never know all the acts of barbarism, or of heroism for that matter.

During the disaster, there were Blogs and emails coming out from people who stayed in the area and had holed up. They had their weapons, their food, their water, and their medical supplies. With few exceptions, those people tried to help the innocent they ran into, and defended themselves against the thugs. The fact that these people were armed is the deciding factor in why they are alive today. Yes, this is a call to the Second Amendment. This situation is one of the reasons we have that amendment to our Constitution. There are many, many people who credit their survival to their ownership of firearms, and many of them had military style firearms. Many of our readers have hired on with security forces that are now deployed in the area, or are in the military on duty there.

While the general press will undoubtedly “Spin” the second Battle of New Orleans as ugly because of the private firearms used by criminals and predators, the real story regarding firearms is how many of the innocent were protected by privately owned, modern, military style firearms.

- Dan

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V9N2 (November 2005)
and was posted online on April 5, 2013


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