Aug
16

Second Amendment Assaulted During the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by Randy Rowley

By

The following is an e-mail alert from Peaceable Texas for Firearm Rights:
Peaceable Texas for Firearm Rights
1122 Colorado Ste. 2330
Austin, TX 78701
512-476-2299
Fax 476-9504
Dear Peaceable Texas:
Guns are being confiscated from citizens in and around New Orleans as this is being sent. An AP report quotes Deputy Chief Warren Riley with saying, “No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons.”
This is absolutely a violation of the Constitution. The very reason for having guns in times of civil disorder is for the citizens to protect themselves, their property, their families, and to establish civil order. Stories of armed citizens banding together to quell looting and crime have already surfaced, but instead of working with these citizen militias, the authorities have decided to render them defenseless.
What follows are a collection of news reports, articles, and emails about this unfolding event. Your Senators and representative need to hear a howl of protest that private gun confiscations ARE NOT the way to restore civil order. Moreover, laws need to be changed to make sure this cannot happen again, and further, heads should roll for those who decided to impose this upon the citizens of Louisiana. Some of these video links may not be around for long. While watching these, ask yourself: is my right to occupy my home contingent upon the normal function of my local government? Do I lose the right to live on my land just because there’s no electric power. Do I lose the right to possess firearms just because my government cannot (or will not) control the criminal element? Indeed, isn’t that when you will most need them?
The politicians responsible for this policy decision, from the state, local, and federal levels, need to hear from you that door to door searches of homes for guns is completely unacceptable. It is amazing to see the federal and state officials make the *wrong* decision at every turn of events. First, they let criminals loot, rape, murder and pillage with no response to protect persons or property, and when citizens, take steps to do so, the response is to disarm them and forcibly relocate them, leaving their property unprotected and at risk of further theft and destructions. What is being doe to track which guns belong to who, for their eventual return?
Stories abound about the animalistic conditions inside the Superdome where people were searched and relieved of weapons upon entering the building. What happened? What always happens when no one is armed: The weak and lonely become prey to the strong and the roving groups of thugs. At least one 14 year old girl and 10 year old boy were both gang raped and murdered in the Superdome–the place local authorities held out as a safe-haven for all.
Paul Velte
Here is a video of an armed elderly woman being forced from her home, disarmed, and sent to the Superdome “for processing” to a new location where she can “be safe.” http://www.ktvu.com/video/4946889/detail.html
Here is a video of an attorney who says he will not be “evicted.” http://tinyurl.com/7fuzw
Here is an excellent article on the legality of these actions: http://www.reason.com/hod/dk091005.shtml
The Gun Owners of America (GOA) issued the following statement:

Gun Confiscations in New Orleans

GOA has received reports that the confiscation of legally-owned firearms has commenced in New Orleans. In addition to denouncing this in the press, GOA will also be looking to draft legislation at both the state and federal level to preclude authorities from imposing ANY firearms restrictions during emergency response activities.
This is expected to be a lengthy and arduous process. If you haven’t joined GOA yet, please consider going to http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm and doing so to help in this endeavor.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) issued the following statement:
Disaster Can’t Destroy Gun Rights
Monday, September 12, 2005
National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre slammed New Orleans authorities Monday for seizing legal firearms from lawful residents.
“What we’ve seen in Louisiana – the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster – is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves, ” LaPierre said.
“When law enforcement isn’t available, Americans turn to the one right that protects all the others – the right to keep and bear arms,” LaPierre said. “This attempt to repeal the Second Amendment should be condemned.”
The New York Times reported last Thursday that no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to have guns, quoting the superintendent of police that “only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.”
A Louisiana state statute allows the chief law enforcement officer to “regulate possession” of firearms during declared emergencies. “But regulate doesn’t mean confiscate,” said Chris W. Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist.
“Authorities are using that statute to do what the looters and criminals could not: disarm the law-abiding citizens of New Orleans trying to protect their homes and families,” Cox said.
“The NRA will not stand idly by while guns are confiscated from law-abiding people who’re trying to defend themselves,” he said.
“We’re exploring every legal option available to protect the rights of lawful people in New Orleans,” Cox said, “and we’re taking steps to overturn such laws in every state where they exist.”
“Local authorities in New Orleans are turning nature’s assault on human life into man’s assault on human rights,” LaPierre said. “Four million NRA members intend to stop this unconstitutional power grab.”
The only thing that I have seen contended is the rapes at the Superdome.
I understand that the Mayor’s order was lawful but I don’t like it one bit, and, if I had been living in New Orleans, I wouldn’t have obeyed it. Our homes are legally owned private property. They are not the property of the state. They are our strongholds and one of our primary defenses from those who would do us harm. It has been established through 200+ years of law that using force in our homes, to protect ourselves, our families, and our possessions from intruders is lawful. Many of those who made a choice to stay in New Orleans did so in order to exercise their right to protect their property along with their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. These citizens simply didn’t want to leave and then return weeks later and find that their homes had been vandalized, looted, and/or burned.
The Second Amendment does not include language that citizens have the right to keep in bear arms “except in times of emergency.” In fact, I’m totally convinced that it was for such emergencies that the framers of the Bill of Rights intended citizens to primarily exercise this right. If England, or another country, invaded America again the framers wanted the citizens to be in a position where they could assist in the repulse of the invaders. Don’t forget that many of those who fought in the revolutionary war were armed militia.
I understand that the flood waters were unhealthy at best, and probably toxic. But for citizens whose homes were never touched by flood waters I do not understand why they had to be evacuated in the interest of public health.
Those with the attitude that “We don’t need guns to protect ourselves because that’s what the police are for” should have had their eyes opened during the aftermath of Katrina. Many reports estimate that as many as half of the New Orleans Police Officers abandoned their posts and a large number joined in the looting of the city while still in uniform! The following link http://www.zippyvideos.com/8911023771013466/countdown-looting-in-walmart/ is a news story of looting at a New Orleans Wal-Mart. People were leisurely pushing their shopping carts through the isles – just like any other day. Except there were no cashiers. Where were the police in all this. They were on isle three. The reporter asked the two police officers what they were doing. One replied that they were looking for looters, as she continued to “shop.” The reporter stated “I think that you’ve found them!” The simple fact is we cannot rely on the state or police to protect us, even during the best of times. We must rely on ourselves and band with our fellow citizens who also refuse to be victims.
What we have seen in New Orleans should make every gun owner break out in a cold sweat. We must band together and ensure that this never happens again. As noted above the two best ways to do this are to protest to our elected officials, both state and federal, and to join and financially support organizations that have the clout to influence legislation, mainly the NRA and the GOA. Don’t take the attitude that this could never happen in Austin. There is nothing that would make our communist city council more happy then to confiscate every gun, except maybe passing an ordinance that everyone must hug a tree every day! Austin is not in a position to be endangered by a hurricane but we have, and will continue to be, hit by tornados. We are also a primary target in the event of a nuclear war or terroristic attack because we are the seat of state government. We should not bury our heads in the sand with the attitude that as long as violations of gun owner rights don’t immediately affect us then everything is ok. Inaction will not only affect your ability to bear arms – it will also affect your ability to defend yourself and your family.
Below is a sample letter for law makers. Feel free to copy and distribute it.
,
I, like every other decent citizen of these United States, was horrified with what our fellow citizens had to endure in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit. The videos and stories of people losing loved ones, being torn from their families, losing everything that they own, and then being victimized by criminals were heartbreaking.
I agree that steps had to be taken to prevent the outbreak of disease. I understand that Mayor Nagin’s order for the citizens to be evacuated was lawful. However, I wish to protest the confiscation of lawfully owned guns during the forced evacuations. P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police stated “No one is allowed to be armed. We’re going to take all the guns.”
Our homes are legally owned private property. They are not the property of the state. They are our strongholds and one of our primary defenses from those who would do us harm. It has been established through 200+ years of law that using force in our homes, to protect ourselves, our families, and our possessions from intruders is lawful. Many of those who made a choice to stay in New Orleans did so in order to exercise the right to protect their property along with their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. These citizens simply didn’t want to leave and then return weeks later and find that their homes had been vandalized, looted, or burned.
The Second Amendment does not include language that citizens have the right to keep in bear arms “except in times of emergency.” Rather it was for such emergencies that the framers of the Bill of Rights intended citizens to primarily exercise this right. Their rationale was that if England, or another country, invaded America again the citizens needed to be in a position where they could assist in the repulse of the invaders. Don’t forget that many of those who fought in the revolutionary war were armed militia.
I understand that the flood waters were unhealthy at best, and probably toxic. But for citizens whose homes were never touched by flood waters I do not understand why they had to be evacuated, and their guns confiscated, in the interest of public health.
Those with the attitude that “We don’t need guns to protect ourselves because that’s what the police are for” should have had their eyes opened during the aftermath of Katrina. Many reports estimate that as many as half of the New Orleans Police Officers abandoned their posts and a large number joined in the looting of the city while still in uniform! The simple fact is we cannot rely on the state or police to protect us, even during the best of times.
Another primary intent for the Second Amendment was so that citizens could protect themselves. By disarming all citizens of New Orleans the police issued an illegal order that was contradicted by the Louisiana and United States Bill of Rights, and prevented citizens from protecting themselves.
I can only conclude that this “gun grab” was due to the fact that the officials in charge were members of the Democrat party, which is well known for its disdain of private gun ownership. They jumped at the first chance they had to confiscate legally owned guns.
I am confident that you will join other elected officials in putting forth legislation to ensure that the Bill of Rights will never be circumvented again.
Sincerely,
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