The Washington Post probably ran this article because they thought conservatives would be upset about blacks owning and carrying guns. In fact, from the very beginning of Dr. John Lott’s research in More Guns, Less Crime, he has argued that the very people who are the most likely victims of violent crime — poor blacks who live in high-crime urban areas — are the ones who benefit the most from owning guns for protection.
. . . Like other major cities, New Orleans has suffered an exodus of police officers in recent years. The force of roughly 900 officers, down nearly 400 since 2018 and hundreds short of the budgeted 1,600 members, has struggled to keep up with surging reports of violent crime, including shootings, robberies and carjackings. On some nights, fewer than half a dozen officers patrol this expansive part of Mid-City because of staffing shortages, according to local reports. Last summer, one wearied officer walked off the job mid-shift, one of the many openings that the city has struggled to fill.
“Fifteen minutes to never, that’s their response time. And most of the time, it feels like never,” Stewart said, reflecting the frustrations of residents who complain that their 911 calls often go unanswered. . . .
Stewart already had a concealed-carry permit but didn’t have the gun in the car. He escaped by opening the door and punching the gas, knocking down his young assailants as he drove away — a lucky break that he worried would not happen again. For him, it was a moment of clarity: It wasn’t enough to simply own a gun or have that weapon in an accessible place. He needed to learn how to use it.
Shortly after, he went to a local gun range to practice shooting. “I was like the only Black man there,” Stewart recalled. One day, a man in a jacket covered with Confederate flag patches approached him. Stewart braced for a confrontation, but instead the man offered advice on his form. “I realized that this was kind of breaking racial barriers. This White guy talking to a Black guy about guns,” he recalled. . . .
Now, at least one Saturday a month inside the small chapel here, Stewart presides over a separate ministry that increasingly takes up more of his time. He teaches beleaguered New Orleans residents how to obtain a concealed-weapons permit and use a gun.
“I know people will say, ‘Why is this happening in a church?’” Stewart said. “But if you read the Bible, Jesus told the disciples to protect themselves. … And to me, as a pastor, I am to look after people. And that’s what I am doing. Helping people who want to protect themselves.” . . .Holly Bailey, “Carrying a Bible and a gun, a pastor tends to an unsettled New Orleans,” Washington Post, May 12, 2023.