New Orleans is my favorite destination in America. Bad food in the Big Easy is good food anywhere else. It's like New Years eve in Times Square at least six nights a week in the Quarter. New Orleans and the surrounding parishes have a real problem with violent crime. Just last month the New Orleans Police shot and killed Wendell Allen a 20-year-old unarmed man during a marijuana raid inside a Gentilly home. Why? Police had a search warrant and found five whole ounces of pot!
Wendell was a former high school football hero and oh, BTW he's black. Unlike Trayvon Martin he wasn't killed by some over the top community watch activist, no he died because our elected policy makers continue to spend our precious tax dollars arresting, booking, prosecuting, jailing, sentencing, incarcerating and paroling dangerous criminals like Wendell Allen. Oh wait, he's dead, Bill Bennett the former drug czar was right after all - marijuana can be deadly - especially when you are targeted by the police for possession.
An equally unfortunate and unforeseen consequence of the government's effort to wage war over the market in illegal drugs is the catalytic effect of causing the violent activity associated with drugs. For the skeptics among us, I simply reference history and our ignominious war on alcohol that gave rise to organized gangsters and to what end? The consequences of enforcement were far worse and more dangerous than the perceived problem in the first place.
In our zeal to put violent criminals out of business we've corrupted our law enforcement community with lure of asset forfeitures, giving rise to financial incentives to bust people after they sell the drugs so they can seize cash and property. Before asset forfeiture laws, standard procedure had been to simply destroy the drugs! This is perverted capitalism in an Orwellian form. Our founding fathers would collectively vomit if they saw what we've created in the very name of protecting our sacred individual civil liberty, freedom and personal actions.
This vicious vortex of crime and violence in the abominable war on drugs, devours more than several billion dollars a year, kills tens of thousands of people, contributes significantly to the number of illegal guns in this country, richly benefits both the drug cartels and domestic gangs and does nothing to decrease drug use -- indeed it rather glamorizes it!
Law Enforcement has an important and difficult job to do. We created them to protect us from harms committed by others, not to protect us from ourselves! When the police abuse the law, infrindge upon the rights and freedoms of our fellow citizens as occurs all too often in St. Tammany Parish by thugs not dressed in white hoods, but the uniforms of the Sheriffs Department it's time to throw the scoundrals out and restore liberty and the rule of law. See: Sherrie Manton IFoA v. Sheriff Rodney "Jack" Strain, Jr. et al.
My organization, the Independent Firearm Owners Association is coming to New Orleans this week to help find a way out of our multiple problems created by the war on drugs (primarily marijuana), the need for gangs to use firearms to enforce their territory, the ugly response caused by our misguided policies and the inevitable tragedies in enforcing these counter-productive, costly efforts.
Our political culture encourages us to stage confrontational fights but solutions exist where fair minded men and women examine the facts, weigh costs and benefits, calculate the expenditures and balance the priorities. We welcome and encourage all citizens to join with us in these efforts to form a more perfect union, under the control of the people, not the government.