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.
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, but 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?