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March 26, 2007

LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE, in New Orleans:

Sixty-four-year-old Vivian Westerman rode out Hurricane Katrina in her 19th-century house. So terrible was the experience that she wanted two things before the 2006 season arrived: a backup power source and a gun. "I got a 6,000-watt generator and the cutest little Smith & Wesson, snub-nose .38 you ever saw," she boasted. "I've never been more confident." People across New Orleans are arming themselves - not only against the possibility of another storm bringing anarchy, but against the violence that has engulfed the metropolitan area in the 19 months since Katrina, making New Orleans the nation's murder capital.

The number of permits issued to carry concealed weapons is running twice as high as it was before Katrina - this, in a city with only about half its pre-storm population of around 450,000. Attendance at firearms classes and hours logged at shooting ranges also are up, according to the gun industry. . . . In New Orleans, police have accused the district attorney of failing to prosecute many suspects. Prosecutors have accused the police of not bringing them solid cases.

Some people are losing faith in the system to protect them.

I think some people in other locations learned from New Orleans' experience, too. But so far, this bill hasn't moved. (Via Dave Hardy).

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