This week our NBC affiliate reported on a story which should make us all feel safer. From whatever shreds of sanity still lurk in the darker corners of our society.
Armed citizens form group to keep eye on French Quarter
They call themselves the French Quarter Minutemen and are made up of all volunteers who possess concealed handgun permits.
The founder told WDSU they are not vigilantes, but additional eyes and ears in an area of the city very sacred to them.
"We all share a common love for the French Quarter and we want its beautiful history to be preserved," said Aaron Jordan.
The police would not comment for the report.
My first thought upon reading this was, "Where are these guys from?" and my first guess, suburban Jefferson Parish, is given credence by the address on the "Minutemen"'s Facebook page, a rental box at the UPS store on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie.
I will be the first to agree that the Quarter sure ain't what it was when I lived there. I don't know which is worse, the final surrender to commercialization under the DisneyLandrieu administration or the exponential escalation of arrogance and, yes, violence among the local criminals and the gutterpunks (more on them here). I avoid the place like the plague. If I want to hear drunks talk too loudly about themselves, I'll go to the neighbors' house.
But meditating on all the Vieux Carre's numerous problems, not a one suggests a solution of armed, self-appointed Playskool Police rolling in from the white flight suburbs. These, um, gentlemen, however well-intentioned they might be, only add another element of instability and danger to an already volatile, though terribly fun, place.
I am tempted to organize a vigilance committee of hoods and gutterpunks, line up for some concealed carry permits and start patrolling their neighborhood gathering places.
Can't trust those mallwalkers.