Hurricane Katrina Wasn’t As Bad As This

According to WWL, the local CBS affiliate here in New Orleans, New Orleans has already experienced 112 murders this year. At this time last year the number was 78, so our rate is rising exponentially.

Murders in NOLA

As I looked at the map they released earlier this week I noticed that none have occurred in my neighborhood, but it’s sad and scary to think about how many people are facing tragic losses in this little city.

When I left New York I considered it “home,” but now I feel at home in New Orleans. I’m just not sure it’s a good idea to live in a place that is so riddled with crime. We’re talking about murders now, and the numbers are astronomical, butΒ robberies and non-fatal attacks are on the rise as well. It makes me wonder about the state of the city.

You can’t spend a day among people in New Orleans without hearing about how awful Hurricane Katrina was. I didn’t live here at the time, but my family did. The city, which is widely known for its resilience, was able to rebuild, heal and grow. The hurricane was devastating, but it ended.

Crime never stops, and it’s much worse than anywhere else I’ve lived. When a hurricane is coming we can prepare for that, but no one is adequately prepared to lose a family member or a friend to violence. I wasn’t prepared when a gun was pointed in my face a couple of months ago.

New Orleans has the opportunity to thrive, but people like me will be forced to find a new place to grow if the crime rates continue to rise. I love this city, but I value my life and my safety more.

When I chatted with Senator Bernie Sanders last week before his rally, we discussed gun control. (I talked about it here,) but stricter gun laws won’t fix the problem. Instant background checks isn’t the answer either, though I support that.

I wish I had an easy answer, but I don’t. No one does, but I think it’s important to pay attention to who’s being appointed and who we’re electing, particularly at a local level because that’s where change is most likely to happen.

What is crime like where you live? Do you fear for your safety in your community?

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    mstaffordh
    August 5, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Hi, sweetie. First of all, I love your blog. Honey, I live near Louisville, KY which is considered pretty tame. But Louisville has already had about 50 murders this year. And so many drive by shootings. I don’t think it’s just New Orleans; I think it’s everywhere. I don’t know if it’s drugs or what but it’s really scary. And everyone says ‘this won’t happen in my neighborhood’. I’m sure the people this is affecting said that in the past too. I don’t know what the answer is.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2015 at 9:54 am

      It’s definitely everywhere. It’s just happening more in New Orleans per capita than in almost every other city.

      I didn’t say it doesn’t happen in my neighborhood. I said it hasn’t this year, but I’m aware that it can happen anywhere at anytime.

      It’s just a harsh reality that needs to be faced.

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  • Reply
    Tammy
    August 5, 2015 at 9:04 am

    I’m not sure how many Memphis has had this year, but I passed by the scene of one on my way home from work yesterday. Unfortunately, I have to go through some not-so-nice areas to get from my house in the suburbs to downtown. My husband would love for me to get a carry permit, but I’m scared of guns, and I wonder is adding someone else with a gun to the mix, really the answer? Sadly, the “Black Lives Matter” people only protest when there is a white person involved, when they should be protesting every day because black-on-black crime is the most common kind in this city. Perhaps, the slogan should be “All Lives Matter” because they do.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2015 at 9:55 am

      I definitely believe we shouldn’t carry a gun if we’re not comfortable (if we’re scared) of it. That’s asking for more trouble, especially if someone sees it and decides to shoot instead.

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  • Reply
    Lind
    August 5, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    What do you mean by “….people like me”? I’m confused by that.

    Beyond that, gun violence is becoming so prevalent that no place seems safe anymore. Churches, elementary schools, colleges, movie theaters. It’s horrendous.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 6, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      I moved here in 2012, and I fell in love with the city of New Orleans. The city has so much to offer, but the murder rate is among the highest in the nation. People like me, who have lived in other bigger, safer cities and don’t have a lifetime of roots planted here, will likely leave if something doesn’t change.

      Sure, crime is happening everywhere, but it’s rampant here.

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  • Reply
    Christina@LoveYourselfHealthy
    August 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    We (me, my husband, and 2 small kids) moved to Nola in 2013 from the Birmingham, AL, area. We live in Mid-City, near City Park, and I have felt relatively safe in our little bubble; however, the skyrocketing murder and general crime rate are starting to make me a little nervous. The extremely understaffed police force makes me even more nervous. We have no desire to live in Metairie or on the North Shore, so we are *starting* to consider moving closer to my husband’s parents in Texas, or back to Birmingham. We do have more reasons to consider moving away from Nola, but the crime rate is moving higher and higher on the list.

    You have to wonder where the priorities are when more attention is given to certain monuments around the city than to the out-of-control crime problem. It’s sad, and you’re completely right when you say that people like you, and me, who don’t have roots here are going leave.

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  • Reply
    Joye
    August 8, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I live in North St Louis County. St Louis city is known for it’s high crime rates, violence, gang activity and also as a dumping ground for convicts. We live in the county where crime rates are lower, but we’re also only minutes from Ferguson which is well known nation wide. I don’t fear for my safety in my home, but I definitely take precautions when I’m alone. I don’t go out alone at night, I don’t wander into unknown territory without my husband, I drive with the doors locked, I have safe points saved into my gps, etc. And personally, I don’t find Ferguson to be all that frightening of a place, I used to go there all the time for the local shopping and restaurants, but the last time I went through there it was still a bit of a mess. :/

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