New Orleans decided to make a change for the New Year. It decided to become more violent.
So far in 2017, gun violence is up with murders and shootings both up by a lot. The shootings are concentrated largely in the 7th Ward, St. Roch, and New Orleans East.
In the first 18 days, 47 people have been shot in New Orleans — nine have been killed by gunfire. Someone has been shot about every 9 hours.
According to crime analyst Jeff Asher, New Orleans has seen increase of 21 more shootings and 3 more murders relative to this point in 2017 year and 17 more relative to the three year average through Jan. 17.
The victims are overwhelmingly male — 42 of the 46 people shot (91%) were male.
Most of the people who are both being killed and doing the killing are poor black men. But there isn’t much coverage of it because it’s not tourists and white people who are being shot. The New Orleans city government and Mayor Mitch Landrieu apparently don’t treat crime and murder as a concern unless white tourists get shot in the French Quarter.
Also, Mardi Gras is coming up in about six weeks or so. If the past is any indication, killing sprees wind up creeping out of the poor neighborhoods and wind up in the French Quarter and the Uptown parade route. The national media will be paying attention to the city.
If there’s a violent incident during Mardi Gras this year, it could forseeably have a negative impact on tourism for the city. That would be a disaster for the entire state.
It’s time for the Landrieu administration to finally start taking violent crime seriously.