Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another reason for No More Free Katrinas.

LATER: Since there seems to be some continuing problems with the link, here it is:

“We had firemen and policemen from all over the country here and I told them I was armed and that this was a safe house and they didn’t do nothing. They had no problem. Then, the U.S. Marshals came walking down the street.”

She Just Wants Her Dang Guns Back

by Barbara Baird

If you were a) jacked up, b) held at gunpoint, or c) politely asked to hand over your firearm as you a) left town, b) went about your business or c) tried to help your neighbors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, you might be eligible to get your illegally confiscated gun back if you follow the rules established by the court. According to the terms of the permanent injunction against the city, issued in October 2008, the city has to “make an aggressive attempt to return any and all firearms which may have been confiscated during the period August 29 to December 31, 2005.” You can access the information at the city’s webpage. Scroll to the bottom of the page on the right hand side and click the little red box that reads “Hurricane Katrina Firearms.”

According to Assistant City Attorney Victor L. Papai, as of last October only three applicants had turned in paperwork to get their guns back. Papai does not return calls any longer regarding the tally. The city does not have their guns and it only has to comply with the court order until October 2010.

Local tavern owner JoAnn Guidos is one of those applicants. She owns Kajun’s Pub on St. Claude Avenue and boasts that her establishment “never closes” and that people feel safe there because they know that Guidos knows how to use firearms. During the aftermath of Katrina, she kept the pub open for two weeks, running generators and serving ice-cold beer and hot grilled food to the neighborhood, press and visiting law enforcement. Meanwhile, around her, shooters and looters, along with law enforcement, used St. Claude Avenue as the only highway to and from the Lower 9th Ward.

She said, “I didn’t want to evacuate because I didn’t want people to break in and destroy this place. And that’s what happened. They were breaking into houses and then, setting them on fire.” She recalled, “We had firemen and policemen from all over the country here and I told them I was armed and that this was a safe house and they didn’t do nothing. They had no problem. Then, the U.S. Marshals came walking down the street.”

On September 8, 2008, Guidos and friends decided to leave New Orleans. Things had quieted down with the arrival of federal troops, but heat and humidity stayed high. So, since there was no power restored yet to her building, she decided it would be safe to lock the bar and head to Mississippi. While loading the van in front of the bar, she carried her Browning 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun and wore a .38 in her belt. Five U.S. Marshals came driving down St. Claude and stopped half a block away from the pub. They got out of their vehicle and came running toward Guidos and crew with M-16s, yelling “Put the guns down!” Guidos said, “They went right after me. They said to put my hands on the car and then, asked if I had any other guns.” She gave them her other guns and asked for a receipt. They never showed any ID, and they never gave her a receipt.

The scenario gets complicated because one of Guidos’ employees, unbeknownst to her at the time, is a convicted felon and she had loaned him a .25 semi-auto to wear. When the Feds ran the ID checks, they discovered this fact and cuffed the employee and took him away. However, Guidos said the employee only had one of her guns on him, and reiterated, she carried two of them and had packed two of them in the van. The charges against her employee were dismissed in July 2006, in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana.

On November 12, 2008, Guidos filed paperwork to get her five guns back and hand-delivered it to a sergeant at a police station on Earhart in New Orleans. By January 2009, when she had not heard anything, she contacted Holliday. He contacted Papai, who told Holliday that he [Papai] already had contacted Guidos by phone and by letter. Holliday then sent Guidos a copy of the letter that Papai claimed to have sent her, dated Oct. 24, 2008 – supposedly written to her three weeks before she turned in her claims. Guidos said, “I found it rather odd that the letter they sent to me in response to my forms was written a month before I turned in my forms.” She says he never called her.

Futhermore, she believes she is caught between two systems: the local police department and the federal law enforcement system. She continued, “This is the question I put to Dan and nobody can give me an answer: Where are my damn guns?

“My weapons were taken by the U.S. Marshals, and supposedly they were in federal custody and I was verbally told that the Feds transferred the weapons to New Orleans, but I cannot find out who transferred them and who received them. … There’s paperwork there somewhere that someone signed for. If I can get a copy of the transfer order, than I can at least either get my weapons back and/or the value back of the weapons [value approx. $3,000].”

When asked about Guidos’ predicament, Holliday responded: “I don't have any information regarding Guidos. Because her situation involved a gun seized as evidence it does not fall under our consent judgment, even now that the charges were dismissed.”

Lessons Learned

He added, “I am glad that the City of New Orleans ultimately decided to rethink their position and agree to the permanent injunction. It was such a clear cut violation of the Constitutional rights of the citizens of New Orleans, citizens of this country, that it didn't make any sense for the parties to waste precious time and resources. The good thing is that, at the end of the day, we now have a permanent injunction in place that prevents the City of New Orleans from seizing firearms in this manner and protects the citizens of the City of New Orleans in the unfortunate event that a hurricane hits the city in the future.”

Holliday continued, “Additionally, it sets a precedent and is a warning to other governmental entities regarding the unlawful seizure of firearms in general and specifically in times of an emergency. However, there are still hundreds of firearms in the city's possession that can be claimed. There is still more time for people to claim their firearms. If anyone in your audience reads this article and had a firearm seized following hurricane Katrina (or knows somebody that did), I strongly advise them to check out the City of New Orleans' website and to make and submit an application.”

Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, said, “The joint effort between the NRA and the SAF was so strong that it made it impossible not to win the case.” He noted that, according to a SAF survey, public opinion regarding approval of firearms ownership rose about six percent and stayed higher as Americans realized what happened in New Orleans.

Baton Rouge writer Gordon Hutchinson, author of The Great New Orleans Gun Grab, Descent into Anarchy, reacted to the news about the lack of applicants, and said, “I’m not surprised New Orleans hasn’t had any takers. … Most of the citizens who lost decent guns to the uniformed goons in the anarchy after the hurricane figured they’d never see their guns again – and they were right. The cops that stole guns didn’t turn in the quality stuff. That went in personal arsenals. The trash was turned in and inventoried.”

Guidos concluded, “I’m looking at it like it’s a lost case. Even if I did get an attorney to find out if they have the weapons and if they were transferred, then what? How long will it take and at what expense to me for $3,000 worth of weapons?

“I’m extremely disappointed in the whole lawsuit business here. We don’t want to bring it up all the time, because we just want to put it behind us, because this is America and isn’t supposed to happen. … It’s real easy to comply when you ain’t got nothin’.”

Guidos said she’s changed a few things since Katrina: “Number one – I have more guns now. I have all my paperwork in order on my weapons. And I’ll stay inside my building and I’ll be damned if anyone is going to take my guns from me again. I’m not going to let it happen again.

Barbara Baird is the publisher of Women's Outdoor News, president of the Women's Outdoor Media Association and a NRA-certified handgun instructor.


Steve K said...

Unrelated, but Rep (R-WI) Paul Ryan is calling for intellectually honest political debate.


This guy wants to stage the fight against Collectivists in the US House.

sofa said...

submission is central to how the jailer sees his inmates.

Dwayne Chandler said...

Again, I iterate, my agreement with "no more free Katrinas."
Having said that, sorry to take this off topic, but my supervisor wants to talk with me in private this afternoon.
I'm certain it's about my politics and maybe even my postings on this site.
I will post the proceedings
if it plays out the way I think.

Most sincerely, not anonymously, Dwayne Chandler.

Taylor H said...

Another reason on a very looong list.

Anonymous said...

broken link

Anonymous said...

Your link is showing a 404 Error. I tried the Google Cache and it came up. It seems to have disappeared everywhere else. Even the original website (Human Events) search feature doesn't bring it up. Maybe the author (Barbara Baird) changed her mind.

Anonymous said...

Link isn't working

Rev. Paul said...

The link works, but that page has been removed by their site.

Peter said...

It appears the article has been taken down.

Longbow said...

How can you question those good guys who just want to do the right thing? If the Federal Marshals stole those weapons, it must have been the right thing to do.

They must have firmly believed that leaving an honest citizen helpless and indefensible in a war zone was right and proper!

Don't you think we should just give the good guys the benefit of the doubt?

If the nice law man demands to stand on your neck for your own safety, then you should just submit and comply! He's with the State! The State knows what is best for you!

The State is Daddy-God! If the nice law man works for Daddy-God then that makes him.... uhhhhmmm you know!

I mean, what the hell do you think you are, a free man with natural rights or something?

Jack Bross said...

Human Events has removed the article.

Anonymous said...

Bad link. Article reproduced on FreeRepublic: She Just Wants Her Dang Guns Back

Ahab said...

When I clicked on the link, I got this:

"We're sorry, but this page is no longer available at HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE.

If you reached this page from another web site,
please be sure to let them know that we recently changed our links."

If you've got the title of the article at Human Events, please insert, and then I can go there and look it up in their archives.

FSHB said...

Guess they don't like you linking - but they can't clear the cache:


John Robert Mallernee said...

Thank you, "FSHB", for posting that URL.


I'd just about given up hope of being able to read the article.

But, THERE it is!!!

Ahab said...

Finally got to the article and attempted to leave this comment unsuccessfully.

"It appears both the local AND federal government agents were involved in disarming New Orleans citizens of their defensive firearms. Word is out. There will be no more Waco's and there will be no more Katrina's. We will not be disarmed, especially since those charged with our safety are the ones committing murder against us, ex., the Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) who murdered unarmed citizens at the bridge in New Orleans. Because of this you can be assured that in any future natural disaster where LEOs of either stripe, local or federal, attempt to take away the only defense a citizen has against the predators that swoop in on the heels of these dire situations, they will be met with armed resistance.

Law enforcement, local, state and federal, have proven they can't be trusted to see to our safety; therefore, we will see to it ourselves. We didn't want it to be this way. We wanted to see our LEOs defend us. When it counts, they don't, acting in a manner worse than the predators because in them we have placed our trust. Well, we can't trust any more. It's not in our interests to blindly trust the government when they've proven themselves untrustworthy.

Granted, New Orleans is a "worse case scenario" but this illustrates in a way no other can, that when the people fear the government there is tyranny, and when the government fears the people, there is liberty and freedom. Know this, we will not submit again!"

Since it was a Google cache, it couldn't be accepted by Human Events; but, I'll try again.

Ahab said...

An update on the article at Human Events Online.

HE has pulled the article entirely. It isn't even cached in their archives. Did a search on the title of the piece, and then on the author, Barbara Baird, to no avail.

Apparently their disclaimer at the end of the piece where they say, "Please remember the opinions expressed by our readers are in no way those of Human Events, nor are they condoned by us, and we reserve the right to remove abusive posts." is quite apt.

Human Events has committed a "no-no" by exercising a right of censorship. There are no comments at the end of the piece, and there is no longer the article itself. That's censorship any way you cut it.

Anonymous said...

Another Katrina atrocity of justice.


Anonymous said...

So can somebody explain why, when somebody points a gun at you and tells you to disarm, you do so?

Dewayne -- get an old laptop (I am using a 386 laptop right now) and load it with Ubuntu linux. 386 laptops can be had for a couple of hundred bucks and Ubuntu is free. Plus its a hell of a lot more secure than Windows.

It will replace your work machine and your supervisor won't be able to hassle you.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinkin that filing a report of firearms STOLEN at gunpoint, with serial numbers, will eventually lead to recovery, along with causing real discomfort for the unlawful current possessors.

Anonymous said...

And just when did we amend the Constitution to allow government to deprive the people of their Rights,without do process of law?

Can you say tyranny?

Federale said...

Why didn't she file her claim with the USMS? The local PD would not have the guns

Walter said...

Speaking as a former fed, the arrogance of many, if not most of them is ominous. They are the "true believers" in the power and authority of the federal government. Mike's portrayal of them in the Absolved is pretty much right on target. These are the ones we may have to face down in the coming months.

Anonymous said...

Love it, need more citizens to see this.

Mravinsky said...

I wonder at what point it is okay for armed resistance.

I mean, if they come to take away your means of defense, doesn't that mean that they have left you no option but to resist?

Brutus said...

Most of those weapons are sitting in some local or fed agents closet.

Stolen ... and unregistered.

We had a Sheriff who served our county from 1983 to 1991 who literally gave away hundreds of weapons to his deputies, friends, and family. When it was finally investigated, only 83 were returned ...




Elian Gonzales said...

Mravinsky -

No one is willing to say anything definitive for guidance, which is understandable. My own thoughts would be, if anyone comes to your door and demands / requests / begs for your weapons, you may as well go ahead and fire for effect. Whether the 'demander' is a standard thug, a uniformed thug or some other kind of thug, recent history shows that your cooperation will not save you, only leave you defenseless. They will still try to imprison you, a la Olofson and the utterly corrupt 'justice system' or murder you, as in Ruby Ridge and Waco. To paraphrase Solzhenitsyn, if they come to your door, count yourself as already dead, and remove as many of the oppressors as possible before you fall.
For you will fall regardless of your words or deeds. It only remains to be seen whether you fall in valor and honor, or groveling at the feet of your killers.

Dedicated_Dad said...

Again, most of my brethren seem to be missing what I see as "The POINT!" here...

The fact that the .gov, the po-po, or any other group of **YOUR** EMPLOYEES have no legal responsibility to protect you is a matter of well-settled law.


You're in the middle of a war zone - the ULTIMATE SHTF event. You've done everything right and are well prepared. You and your teammates are all well aware of the violence, looting and devastation occurring all around you, but you are as yet untouched due to your preparations and diligence.

Suddenly an armed gang appears - determined (at an absolute minimum) to take your weapons and leave you defenseless. They're determined to do this because "you don't BELONG HERE!" Their goal is to force you out - and if you resist they **WILL** kill you.

What are you going to do?

Why is that decision different based on the clothing being worn by said gang?

No brainer, IMHO.

DMS said...

I agree with Elian's sentiments. However, I would add that if you're calm, collected, and project a demeanor that says your rights are not and never were in question, the importuning public servant may be so nonplussed that he wanders off muttering in search of easier prey. Sometimes a blandly confident refusal to cooperate can de-escalate a potential conflict. I would never claim this will work all the time, but I've seen this it work often enough to have some confidence in it. If it doesn't work, well, then you've done everything you could and the defensive use of force is more than justified.

Anonymous said...

In case you hadnt seen it sir.



Anonymous said...

To hammer home the "no free Katrinas" message home, how about naming and shaming all those involved, down to home addresses if possible.

No statute of limitations so far as I see it.

Anonymous said...

DMS said...

I agree with Elian's sentiments. However, I would add that if you're calm, collected, and project a demeanor that says your rights are not and never were in question, the importuning public servant may be so nonplussed that he wanders off muttering in search of easier prey. Sometimes a blandly confident refusal to cooperate can de-escalate a potential conflict. I would never claim this will work all the time, but I've seen this it work often enough to have some confidence in it. If it doesn't work, well, then you've done everything you could and the defensive use of force is more than justified.

April 13, 2010 7:37 PM
This is very good advice IMHO. I was working in and around NO during and after Katrina.....Power Perceived CAN be Power Achieved. Life and death offers no clear cut path---that is left to us/you.

Thanks for your knowledge and experience, Sir.