The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Sunday, September 25, 2005

NRA, NY Times & New Orleans

I just sent a copy of this off to the New York Times.

Dear Mr. Calame:

On September 8th, the New York Times opened a story on the looting that accompanied Hurricane Katrina, by reporting the following:

Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

Based in large part on this report, and other subsequent reports of weapons confiscations, the National Rifle Association filed on behalf of its members a lawsuit to stop the confiscations. The other day they were successful in winning a restraining order against the city of New Orleans, its mayor, and Superintendent of Police Edwin Compass. That order states, in part that:

2. P. Edwin Compass, III acknowledges that no authority has been delegated to him by C. Ray Nagin, Mayor of the City of New Orleans, pursuant to the powers granted unto the said Mayor by the provisions of LSA-RS 29:721, et seq. to order the seizure of lawfully-possessed firearms from law abiding citizens and that any and all statements which are allegedly attributed to him in such regard do not represent any policy, statement, ordinance, regulation, decision, custom or practice of either C. Ray Nagin or the City of New Orleans, its agencies and/or departments;

3. C. Ray Nagin and P. Edwin Compass, III affirmatively deny that seizures of lawfully possessed firearms from law abiding citizens has occurred as a result of the actions of officers, city officials, employees and/or agents of the City of New Orleans or any of its departments and further affirmatively deny that any such weapons are presently in the possession of the City of New Orleans, its agents and/or departments;

4. C. Ray Nagin and P. Edwin Compass, III further affirmatively deny that it is the custom, practice and/or policy of the City of New Orleans, either officially or unofficially, to seize and/or confiscate lawfully-possessed firearms from law abiding citizens.

In light of this order, in which Superintendent Compass either denies making the statements attributed to him in the New York Times or denies having the authority to undertake the actions attributed to him, I was surprised to find the paper did not run either a correction to its original story, an additional story calling into question the veracity of Mr. Compass generally, or simply even a story acknowledging this major civil rights victory on behalf of the citizens of New Orleans.

It seems to me either Mr. Compass is lying now (and under oath) or Messrs. Berenson and Williams were lying in their original story. Either way, it would seem some response from the NY Times was warranted.

Thank you

WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS: I am on an extended sabbatical around here - and have been for about a week or so, but you couldn't tell that from the number of blog post's I've put up. Anyway, while your here, feel free to stick around, peruse the archive, bookmark me, stick me on your blogroll, curse me out, or simple mail your own follow up letter to the good folks at the NY Times. I'll be on sabbatical for some time - until I decide what it is I want to do with this place. Till then, TTFN!


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