9 Shot As New Orleans Starts Mardi Gras
February 16th, 2007
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - With tourists streaming into town for Mardi Gras celebrations, a spasm of gun violence left two people dead and seven wounded - more bad news for a city struggling to rebuild itself and its tourism industry.
Is it FEMA’s fault? Mike Brown’s? George Bush’s? The Department of Homeland Security’s? The Governor of Louisiana’s? The Mayor’s?
The level of violence in New Orleans is nothing new; it was a violent place before Katrina, and it is a violent place after Katrina. Mayor Ray Nagin did less than called for to prepare for the coming hurricane last August, and he hasn’t changed behavior during the rebuilding and repackaging of his city since.
After Katrina a debate raged about whether it made any sense to rebuild a city on the Gulf of Mexico that lies below sea level, but sympathy for its residents and nostalgia for the city itself carried the day. But if Mr. Nagin doesn’t quickly get control of the criminal element in NOLA, it will be a colossal waste of money and resources.