Surviving the nation’s most dangerous city
New Orleans is one of America’s most dangerous city (when ranked by per-capita murders). And this past week we have been camped smack in the middle of it, just a few blocks off the French Quarter and all it’s Bourbon Street glory, at a $100 per night RV Resort… under a huge billboard and right beside a major highway. I imagine most people come here, to New Orleans, and simply play the odds that everything will be okay but I do not live that way. Instead, I take responsibility for the well being of myself and my loved ones – not relying on the fiction of police coming to our rescue in a split second – and carry a gun for protection.
This normally doesn’t pose a problem as most states I regular I can legally carry in just about any place I care to go. The same applies to Louisiana with one major exception; bars. Again, normally this would not be all that big of an issue, except that it seems the only form of entertainment in this city is to drink and bars are off limits for law abiding gun carriers (criminals will still carry in bars of course). Restaurants that serve the exact same drinks and serve them to your table are okay for guns. Restaurants with bars are okay as well, as long as I don’t sit at the bar. Heck, even drinking a cocktail on the street in a plastic cup is legal to do while carrying, just not at or in a bar because some moronic politicians think I will snap and start peppering the crowd if I sat in the bar with a gun on my belt (funny how I’ve never snapped before).
So when company fly out to spend a week with Kerri and I in the most dangerous city in America (where I refuse to leave the ‘gat’ at home) it’s not all that easy to get the point across to those uneducated in the realities of a modern day gun carrier that I simply can’t go in there. That statement is normally met with, “well then, don’t bring it… everything will be fine” as if they can see the future or make any such promise. When you are many times more likely of a car accident (NOLA has nearly 10X the national murder rate), do you unbuckle your seat belt and start texting-while-driving just because your passengers say it will be okay? Riiiiiight!
This week started with a whole lot of that, and after a few raised voices and lines drawn in the sand, the point was made that “leaving it at home” wasn’t going to happen. Eventually some plans were altered ever so slightly – to visit more restaurants instead of bars – where they can still drink and I can have my iced-tea and keep on “wearing my seat belt”. I gave up a single night to go gun-free so we can all have a drink in a bar together. That night has not yet come, so whether or not I come out alive has not yet been determined.
I know, that without Kerri wanting to come to this city, I’d have driven right around it and never thought twice about it as I do with most major metro areas. Sure, I would have missed Bourbon Street (smells like piss and vomit with thousands of drunk frat boys and homeless laying around) or the cool music scene (as if the dozen druggy street performers per block qualify as a music scene) or the great food (which has so far been extremely mediocre for the most part) but I would have had a much more peaceful and safe week then what is currently transpiring.
With all that said, New Orleans is not like any other city I’ve been too. It does have something to it. I’ve liked it mostly, and I have not yet pin pointed why. It as if Walt Disney took some meth and PMS pills, chased by a few shots of cheap whiskey while hanging upside-down, and then designed this wild ride we know as New Orleans – all below sea level. Will I come here again? Without a doubt or a moment’s hesitation – oh hell no – but I’m happy I got to spend time with love ones in a place that they love so much, and make it out alive. It has been an experience, but I am looking forward to getting out as soon as possible.