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Thread: Has the NOPD Learned its Lesson?

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    Some of you may remember my incident with the NOPD following hurricane Gustave. http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum65/15659-1.html

    I have been told by some friends on the NOPD that I may never get a reply to my letter to Supt. Riley, as they believe it is not in his nature to acknowledge things like that. However, I am fairly certain that he did ultimately receive at least one of my several attempts to write him and deliver a packet of information about the legality of open carrying (more on that later).

    The first promising sign: the out of court settlement between NOPD and NRA seems to have borne its first fruits. In yesterday's Times Picayune, there's a story of an armedcitizen stopping a crime. From the photo caption:

    Brian Berthiaume, a guitarist with the local band Bad Off, foiled a burglary at a home in lower Broadmoor and held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived. He discovered the crime in progress while walking his dog Buckley.
    http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2...d_robbery.htmlfor the full story.

    The important quote from the story (bold mine):

    The officers confiscated Berthiaume's gun during their investigation but then gave it back.
    As recently as a few months ago, a citizen in a similar situation did not get his gun back for weeks - and the perp was released without bond faster than that.

    Second hopeful sign: last night, at the invitation of new OCDO member estrch, I went to the NOPAC meeting for the 8th District of NOPD, which covers the French Quarter and a bit of the surrounding neighborhoods. This is a monthly meeting where citizens get info from their district's upper commanders about crime in that district. Citizens also can complain about problems with NOPD. estrch had previously run into very vocal opposition from the district officers regarding his open carrying. He had argued the legality of it and wanted them to admit he was right about it. I was there with copies of various laws, the appropriate part of the state constitution, and various legal rulings - just in case I needed to enforce the argument.

    During the meeting,estrch offered a copy of a Louisiana Attorney General's opinion (78-0795) which states the right to open carry and discusses the Supreme Court rulings prohibiting police from hassling OCers. The Lt. leading the meeting waved him off, saying he didn't need to see it. His phrasing was something akin to "I can't tell you how many copies of that thing I've seen this month." (This is what makes me believe the Supt. got my info packet and sent it around to the districts).

    The Lt. sighed and said, "There's no law against it." His manner suggested that although he disagreed with it, he accepted it. He also made some of the same arguments that the police officer brought up in Melanie Hain's recent CN8 interview http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum66/18313.html, namely, when police arrive on the scene, how are they going to know who's the bad guy? He also offered some sobering advice: have you thought about what happens if you fire your weapon, miss, and the bullet goes through a wall and kills some woman sleeping in her bed? And he reminded us that there are some Gun-Free Zones in the Quarter - all things that we who carry have (or should have) thought about at some time and accept as part of the deal.

    Ultimately, he indicated that estrch had the right to OC and that he had the law on his side regarding police not confiscating his weapon without cause. My additional information was unnecessary.

    AsI said, these are hopeful and promising signs. I think that given enough exposure to responsibly armed citizens, the NOPD will come to have the attitude that several AZ members say their LEOs have - it's normal and not a threat. It seems to me that, at least for now,NOPD is somewhat embarrassed and offended by the idea that citizens feel the need to arm themselves - it's a professional insult that implies the PD can't adequately fight the crime problem.

    One of the initiatives that the Lt. announced that night is a revamping of the duty schedule in an effort to place more officers in high crime areas, increasing their visibility with the idea that their presence will put a damper on criminal activity. This seems a direct result of that embarrassment and shows how we who choose to go armed can have a positive influence in our communities.

  2. #2
    Regular Member sraacke's Avatar
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    In yesterday's Times Picayune, there's a story of an armedcitizen stopping a crime. From the photo caption:

    Brian Berthiaume, a guitarist with the local band Bad Off, foiled a burglary at a home in lower Broadmoor and held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived. He discovered the crime in progress while walking his dog Buckley.
    I read that story in the newspaper. One of the things which struck me was the fact taht he had to run back inside of his home to get his .40 cal pistol to confront the robber.

    If I'm out walking my dog I'm going to be wearing my pistol. No need to go back inside for it. What if he had been accosted walking down the sidewalk?

    "Sorry, Mr Mugger. Would you mind waiting for me to run back up the block to my house and retrieve my pistol before you rob me at knife point?"

    Congrats to him for gettign involved and stopping the guy but deduct points for not being prepared ahead of time.



    Also, congrats on attending the meeting and spreading the good word.
    President/ Founding Member
    Louisiana Open Carry Awareness League
    www.laopencarry.org

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    Thank you for your effective and literate letter. One of the few to which I would not be embarrassed to subscribe.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    I wondered about that, too (having to go back in his house to get his gun); but this neighborhood has several schools. I'm not sure if he may have been in a Gun-Free School Zone at the time.

    You do understand that crime never happens in those, right?


    (edited for clarity)

  5. #5
    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    when police arrive on the scene, how are they going to know who's the bad guy?
    How would they know the difference any other time?
    have you thought about what happens if you fire your weapon, miss, and the bullet goes through a wall and kills some woman sleeping in her bed?
    Yes. Have you thought about what happens when I get attacked, don't have my gun and get killed in the middle of the street?

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