It was the one place in America where police went door to door and confiscated legal weapons from owners who possessed them legitimately, and it was caught on video.
Now, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has used the police actions after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, documented on video by the National Rifle Association, as a reason to suggest Vice President Joe Biden is wrong, and an AR-15 rifle might be a better defense than a shotgun.
Biden several times has suggested in his advocacy for President Obama’s gun restrictions that people who need to defend themselves should buy a shotgun.
In a Senate hearing last week, Graham asked Attorney General Eric Holder whether he could envision a situation in which an AR-15 might be safer than a shotgun.
“Let me give an example,” Graham began. “That you have a lawless environment where you have a natural disaster or some catastrophic event, and those things, unfortunately, do happen. And law and order breaks down because the police can’t travel, there’s no communication. And there are armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods.
“Can you envision a situation where if your home happens to be in the cross-hairs of this group that a better self-defense weapon may be a semiautomatic AR-15 versus a double-barrel shotgun?” Graham asked.
Holder dismissed the question, calling it a scenario from a “hypothetical” world.
Graham said facing such a threat, he would prefer an AR-15, and he disagreed with Holder’s suggestion that the scenario is removed from reality.
“Well, I’m afraid that world does exist. I think it existed in New Orleans, to some extent up in Long Island, it could exist tomorrow if there’s a cyber attack against the country and the power grid goes down and the dams are released and chemical plants are discharges,” he said.
Holder said, “I don’t think New Orleans would have been better served. … ”
Graham interjected: “What I’m saying is if my family was in the cross-hairs of gangs that were roaming around New Orleans or any other location, that the deterrent effect of an AR-15 to protect my family is better than a double-barrel shotgun, but the vice president and I have a disagreement on that.”
WND reported last month on the events in New Orleans following Katrina’s assault.
There, thousands of weapons – legally obtained and owned – were grabbed from citizens after New Orleans Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass III announced: “Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.”
To make sure the message was loud and clear, the city’s Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley told ABC News: “No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons.”
Then they did exactly that.
One man at a post-Katrina meeting assembled in conjunction with the National Rifle Association said: “The bottom line is this. Once they did it, they set a precedent. And what we’ve got to be sure [of] is that the precedent stops here.”
In a series of videos, the NRA documented the weapons grab by police in New Orleans with videos that show them physically taking weapons from individuals, including one woman who was stunned when officers threw her against her kitchen wall because she had a small handgun for self-defense.
The not-to-be-forgotten images, Part 1:
The police actions – many of the victims describe the gun confiscation as out-and-out theft – left New Orleans’ residents, who had been prepared to stand their ground and defend themselves from thugs and looters running amok, completely defenseless.
Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, told WND such plans “start smacking of a non-The United States of America” and more of “some Third World country.”
The government, he said, appears to want ever more control over people’s lives, which “is crippling the ability of people to defend themselves … in situations like a Hurricane Katrina where the police were nowhere around and people were taking up arms to protect their property.”
He noted that since the U.S. Supreme Court has determined police do not have a constitutional obligation to protect people from crime, self-reliance often can be the key to survival.
Gun confiscation schemes, then, mean “we’re going to have a citizenry that is helpless in the face of lawless people.” And that, said Thompson, is unconstitutional.
Herb Titus, a nationally known constitutional attorney and law professor, told WND government’s claim always is that such draconian powers will only be used “in an emergency situation.”
But there are so many “emergencies,” he said, that “all of our rights are in jeopardy.”
“It’s typical of the government to do this, typical of this age. You see the government believes it can make the decision for you better than you can make it for yourself. There’s a lot of this from the Obama administration,” he said.
Government “as our master, rather than servant,” he said.