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“Is New Orleans still safe?”

May 15, 2013

That question, a USAToday headline yesterday (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/usanow/2013/05/13/new-orleans-parade-shooting/2155233/), followed a seemingly random shooting that injured 19 people, including two children, at a second-line parade on Mother’s Day. By today, a suspect was named, (http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/13/justice/louisiana-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews) and the possibility the incident was gang-related was noted.

This was the third shooting on a holiday in New Orleans just this year: five people were injured near a Martin Luther King Day observance in January, and four in a Mardi Gras attack in February. Police spokespersons assured the public there would soon be an arrest

The beloved city is still a draw for visitors, but an accumulation of such incidents – with the coverage of each reiterating the details of earlier ones – will leave its mark.

In the words of Mayor Landrieu, “It’s a culture of violence that has enveloped this city for a long period of time … and it’s one of the things that we as a community have got to stop.”

We’re rooting for you, New Orleans – but it won’t be easy, even for the Big Easy.

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