Democrat State Rep. Jimmy Harris is one of the freshmen Democrats to come out of New Orleans. As such, expectations are not high for him.
He has managed to fall short of even those low expectations with one of the bills he has filed this session. He has filed HB 693 which would designate playgrounds and public parks as “gun free zones.” This is despite the fact that most public parks and playgrounds already don’t allow firearms. However, it would add an exception for those who are concealed weapons permit holders.
Harris is exploiting the mass shooting in November in New Orleans’s Bunny Friend Park where 17 people were wounded. Apparently people who were not respecting the laws against murder are going to be deterred by making the playground a gun free zone or something.
This law will do absolutely nothing to prevent or reduce crime. Despite that, the anti-gun House Committee on Criminal Justice reported it favorably.
You would think that this bill would have a much tougher time on the floor of the full House. But you never can tell with this Legislature. We’ll find out on Monday when this bill is set to be debated.
Maybe instead of trying to restrict the rights of law-abiding Louisianians and passing meaningless laws in Baton Rouge, the Orleans delegation would be trying to propose something constructive to combat crime in New Orleans. They could perhaps support a permanent State Police presence in the city. They could also support legislation to promote economic development and create opportunities for young people that don’t involve gangs, selling drugs, or crime.
But that actually involves bucking Mitch Landrieu and the rest of the Democratic Party apparatus in the city of New Orleans. That would actually make them accountable for their failures in governing New Orleans. That’s the last thing Jimmy Harris and his buddies want.
Instead we have more meaningless legislation like this and the bodies will continue piling up in New Orleans.