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Thread: Contractors in the Big Easy under fire

  1. #1
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    Didn't someone say something about taking everyone's guns??? I guess the criminals didn't get the memo. It is a real shame that a young hard working soon to be father lost his life and the child will never know their father.



    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n3218613.shtml

    NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 29, 2007



    '

    (CBS)Two years after Katrina, the "New Orleans sound" is a familiar melody of music, rebuilding and crime.

    Gun sales remain brisk in a city with a deadly distinction: It has the highest per capita murder rate in the nation with 137 killings, so far this year, and counting.

    Even those trying to rebuild New Orleans are under fire, reports CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts. In the past month, three contractors have been murdered.

    "I like to think I'm not paranoid, but I'm scared," says Brian LeBlanc.

    These days, LeBlanc works with a hammer in hand and an assault rifle at the ready.

    What prompts him to have to bring gun to work?

    "That's an act of desperation, no meanness intended," he says. "That's all self-defense."

    Self-defense is forcing contractor Pablo Mejia to arm himself and his workers. His son, Pablo Mejia Jr., was at a house installing a lock when he was kicked, robbed and shot in the head.

    "By us arming ourselves and arming our people, we are going to create a war in New Orleans. And that is what we don't want," says Mejia.

    But Mejia says he has no other choice.

    His son was a third-generation New Orleans resident. Soon, his widow, Luisa, will deliver a fourth generation, a little girl to be named Marianna.

    Luisa Mejia says the murders are destroying the very people the city needs most.

    "My husband was working, trying to make an honest living, supporting his family, trying to rebuild the city," she says.

    Contractors like Mejia work in some of the hardest-hit areas and meanest streets of New Orleans. Many are newly arrived Latino workers who are often here illegally. Police say they have become prime targets.

    Street thugs call the Hispanic contractors "Walking ATMs." New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley says it's because the contractors often carry large amounts of cash. But Riley insists, "We are making progress."

    The police academy is about to graduate its largest class ever, and the Justice Department has made $30 million available to rebuild the city's criminal justice system.

    "If New Orleans is going to get better, this is the time for it to get better," Riley says.

    Is it better yet?

    "We're working on it," he says.

    But that is little comfort for Luisa Mejia. She's moving now. Thieves took her husband and their dreams.

    "They destroyed my life and my daughter’s life," she says.


  2. #2
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    SFDoc wrote:
    These days, LeBlanc works with a hammer in hand and an assault rifle at the ready.
    Oh? How did this gentleman get access to a selective-fire carbine? I can't imagine that a contractor's salary would give him enough disposable income for a several-thousand-dollar automatic rifle plus the Class 3 tax stamp to go along with it. Not to mention that he can't really use it for self defense, being automatic and all.

    Uh, wait... does the media mean to say he has an "assault weapon", an arbitrary designation given to scary-looking guns? Nah, can't be...

  3. #3
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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    SFDoc wrote:
    These days, LeBlanc works with a hammer in hand and an assault rifle at the ready.
    Oh? How did this gentleman get access to a selective-fire carbine? I can't imagine that a contractor's salary would give him enough disposable income for a several-thousand-dollar automatic rifle plus the Class 3 tax stamp to go along with it. Not to mention that he can't really use it for self defense, being automatic and all.

    Uh, wait... does the media mean to say he has an "assault weapon", an arbitrary designation given to scary-looking guns? Nah, can't be...
    What I saw on the tube (wish there was a video link) to me, it looked more like a scoped out bolt action - but what do I know compared to professional news reporter.

  4. #4
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    Something that should be part of every toolbox. Hammer, screwdriver, pliers,utility rifle, .357 magnum, ammo.........

  5. #5
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    I was born in New Orleans and have live in the area for 45 years now.

    Needing to bring a gun with you to work is not something new. Every year we have either the highest or close to the highest murder rate of all US cities. This is almost a way of life in the lower income areas of the city. Before Katrina, I felt reasonably safe in most areas, and learned what neighborhoods to stay far away from. Lately, the thugs have been expanding their AO to the areas normally crime free, I believe due to the presence of the LA National Guard and LA State Police in their "hood". I purposely moved to a suburb 20 miles outside of NO to escape the madness, but to no avail. Even in the best areas, crime is becoming a major problem. For a long period, the murders were predominantly black on black. No more.

    Onerecourse is to have a very strong community resistance against this onslaught of evil, to have each and every law abiding citizen aware of their surroundings and willing to communicate what they see daily to the LEO community, and allow law abiding citizens to arm themselves without repercussions from the NOPD.

    The citizens of NO must also demand that our elected officials take the crime problem seriously, stop using their offices as a means to rape the city's coffers and line the pockets of political allies, and become accountable to the "people". Until the "people" stand up and say ENOUGH ALREADY!, nothing will change.

    The residents of the crescent city have a gem of a city, a place of world-wide recognition, and a haven of history and culture. It is a shame of epic proportions to allow this kind of community degradation .



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