Mayor Mitch Landrieu
Reuters Thursday published an article saying New Orleans’ rising murder rate has the city on the defensive just as it is gearing up for Mardi Gras and the height of the tourist season. The article repeats the statistics on murder and mayhem for 2011 and January which are very familiar to those of us who live here.
Not sure that Reuters really understands what Mardi Gras in New Orleans means to America and the World. It’s the ultimate free public party in America. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the one stop party shop of the year,and it will be right back next year.
Generally the event itself is rather safe, though we’ve had a few parade route shootings over time and a few French Quarter gun pulls as well. However more than a million folks attend the entire Metro event over the season, and 99.999% report having a dream of a time.
So any rooms not booked due to an increasing murder rate will be booked by the next enthusiast. If they decide not to come, the next enthusiast will be happy to have that room.
The city’s homicide statistics are rising as the national rates are declining, and city officials don’t really know why. It notes Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to adopt Chicago’s CeaseFire program as pilot program in February. Noting that the perpetrators and victims are generally young black men, the article quotes Tulane University criminologist Peter Scharf as saying the city has failed to come to grips with the drug war it has on its hands. “You have to deal with the vibrant dope economy and culture around these guys,” Scharf said. ” CeaseFire is fine, but that doesn’t replace the need for a plan.