This weekend, Bourbon Street in New Orleans became the scene of a bloodbath as two gunmen decided to have a shootout. The shootout left a Baton Rouge man dead and 9 others wounded. The suspects remain at large as of writing.
Was this shooting connected to the Bayou Classic, which was being held this weekend at the Superdome? We don’t know. The two suspects are believed to be from out of town.
This is the second shooting in two years on Bourbon Street. But it’s not the only recent violent milestone that the city has surpassed this year. In August, the city had its deadliest stretch of violence in 6 years.
How bad are things in New Orleans? They’re so bad that Sidney Torres is suggesting that there should be metal detectors at the entrance to Bourbon Street.
Hours after a Bourbon Street mass shooting killed one man and wounded nine other people, New Orleans businessman Sidney Torres called on city officials to deploy metal detectors at entrance points to the French Quarter’s most famous street during special events. Sunday’s violence erupted during Bayou Classic weekend.
“For special events and times, we need to treat Bourbon Street like the Superdome with 70,000 people in it,” Torres said. “People know that when they go to the Dome, they will be safe because everyone is scanned by a wand for guns. Lives are being lost, and one of our most critically important cultural gems is being threatened.”
Torres, creator of the French Quarter Task Force patrol and crime-reporting application for mobile devices, called for restricted access to Bourbon Street between Canal and St. Ann streets between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. during special events or special times of the year. Staffed security checkpoints with metal detectors and cameras would be erected at every entrance point along that eight-block stretch, Torres said.
New Orleans remains a violent, deadly city even after passing new gun control legislation this year. Indeed, 6 people were shot in Central City the first weekend after the gun control ordinance passed. Maybe a new approach to crime is needed in the city.
Maybe instead of worrying about Confederate monuments and Donald Trump, the city of New Orleans and Mayor Mitch Landrieu should focus on fighting crime. After all, tourism is the city’s biggest money maker and people are less likely to come to a violent city.