Crime, panic and handguns in Baton Rouge
According to a NY Times article today, residents of Baton Rouge are starting to feel the real crunch of evacuees, and starting to react to some of the ... ahem, 'differences' between New Orleans residents and surburban Baton Rouge residents. In short: they've convinced themselves that crime sprees are now on their doorsteps.
"These people will not assimilate here," Mr. Searle said. "They put up with the crime in New Orleans, and now it's staring them in the face, but up here that's not going to be tolerated. People are going to handle it individually if they have to. This is the South. We will take care of it."Another suburban resident says:
And so while she wishes all the evacuees well, she said she feared an influx of people from the housing projects of New Orleans, places, she has heard, where people walk around in T-shirts that read, "Kill the cops."The real situation?
"Or so the story has it," she said. "Those aren't neighborhoods I go to."
Many relief workers and volunteers say the worries over crime reflect more wholesale stereotyping of people fleeing a catastrophe than anything based in fact, but safety is a major issue. At the height of the post-storm panic last week, people waited in line for three and a half hours at Jim's Firearms, a giant gun and sporting goods store. Many were people from New Orleans with their own safety issues. But many were local residents jumpy about the newcomers from New Orleans and stocking up on Glock and Smith & Wesson handguns.
Right, because fear, intolerance and handguns all mixed up is exactly what's going to make the situation there better.