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30 Aug, 2010 20:20

New Orleans residents lost gun rights after Katrina

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, police in New Orleans confiscated thousands of guns from residents in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of anyone who wasn’t law enforcement.

Louisiana residents feel that their constitutional rights were violated and proceeded to sue the city of New Orleans with the help of the National Rifle Association.

Richard Styron and his friend Wayne Schum were crossing Lake Ponchartrain about a week after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

“I had almost six inches of water to a foot in my house, but it was still there,” Styron said.

After getting Styron’s weapons and valuables from his house, the pair proceeded to cross back across the lake.

“We had heard about all the stuff that was going on in New Orleans, all the shootings and the people that were getting hurt, some killed from what I was told,” Styron said.

Law enforcement ended up stopping their boat and taking their weapons.

"We weren’t criminals. We were law-abiding people. We were trying to take our personal stuff home and protect it, and now it was being taken away from us anyway,” Styron said.

In the days following Katrina, New Orleans was in complete chaos. Law enforcement couldn’t handle all the problems and many buildings throughout the city were looted.

“There were vans with thugs in them. They were breaking into any businesses where there was no sign of anyone around in them. They didn’t mess with us in here because I stood out front with my shotgun,” said Joann Guidos, owner of Kajun’s Pub.

Guidos stayed in her pub for about a week after Katrina, protecting her business and her patrons from looters outside. When she finally decided to evacuate, law enforcement stopped her and took all her guns.

Gordon Hutchinson, author of “The Great New Orleans Gun Grab,” says it was a constitutional nightmare.

“The armed populace keeps the government in check. The government should not be in charge of the populous. The populace should run the government, and whenever the government has the guns and the populace doesn’t have the guns, the government does what it wants,” he said.

By telling their stories of gun confiscation, the residents of New Orleans are trying to make sure the rights of others aren’t violated.

Radio host Alex Jones argued that the through history slaves are disarmed, and now the US is disarming its people. Jones explained that the military and other police forces raided multiple neighborhoods, steeling guns from homes, many of which have never been returned.

What’s scary here is first time the federal government was able to take control of a US city during an emergency; they wouldn’t bring food and water to people at the Super Dome, in fact they blockade in many cases. Their main mission was set the precedent to get the American people’s guns. This is just horrifying,” said Jones.

The anti-Second Amendment efforts of the US government, argued Jones, have actually continued to grow over the last five years since Katrina.

More guns means less crime,” argued Jones. “Look at Mexico. Mexico has a complete gun ban for citizens being armed. They have the highest crime rate in the world because criminal gangs and the corrupt government have the monopoly of force and they’re just feeding on the population en mass.”

Jones explained that the people are given a right to own guns under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

The Second Amendment is to protect us from looking criminal government,” said Jones.

The US government, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was using the Katrina disaster as a drill, forcing the crisis to get worse in order to test a federal takeover of a US city, he argued.

Jones argued that the Second Amendment must be defended as a deterrent to totalitarianism and the continuation of a police-state in the US, where the government controls and dominates every aspect of American life.

We are becoming 1984,” said Jones.