Report from Louisiana: Is Violence the New Norm?

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Report from Louisiana: Is Violence the New Norm?

By: Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT — Is it
just the 247 news cycle or has the world gone crazy? It
seems like every news source I look at lately is filled with reports of vio­lence
and peo­ple get­ting shot.

Here in Shreve­port, every sin­gle day (and NO! I’m not
exag­ger­at­ing!), some­one gets shot. My hus­band
now calls it “Shoot­port.” One local shoot­ing even made national news
this week­end when one of our U.S. Mail car­ri­ers, Anto­nio Williams, was shot
and killed
while deliv­er­ing mail.
The AP picked up the story, I guess because who shoots a mail­man, for
cry­ing out loud?

Thank­fully an arrest has been made in that case but nobody
seems clear yet on motive. Early reports
were that Williams maced a dog and so this guy shot him, but the victim’s
daugh­ter posted on social media that the story was not true. Another rumor is that Williams was try­ing to
break up a domes­tic dis­pute, but why in the world he wouldn’t have just stepped
back and called police, I don’t know.

In short, we have no idea yet why this long­time post­man, and
nice fam­ily man, was mur­dered. It’s
awful.

Absolutely nobody is sur­prised around here when we hear
about another shooting.

I’m not sure what the prob­lem is in Shreve­port. We have a new, very young, mayor, but these
prob­lems existed before he took office. We aren’t cer­tain what he’s doing about
it, how­ever. The mayor’s lat­est actions in gen­eral have been to advo­cate for a
repeal of the “saggy
pants ordi­nance
” and to offer an apol­ogy
to Sam Cooke’s daugh­ter
for the mis­treat­ment Mr. Cooke faced in the city in
the 1960s.

Mean­while, our infra­struc­ture is lit­er­ally crum­bling, there
are no jobs or indus­try here, and peo­ple are killing each other on a daily
basis.

Not so good for tourism, is it?

But is this hap­pen­ing every­where? Is it just here? I don’t know.
We travel around some dur­ing the sum­mer when I’m out of school and you
know when you travel other places always look so much bet­ter than where you
are. I’m not sure how much of this is just perception.

I do think it’s true that Louisiana is not par­tic­u­larly a
business-​friendly state and that the tax struc­ture is a big part of the
problem.

But again, this is not a new prob­lem. Do we just not want to fix this? Is the
sta­tus quo really good enough? Shoot­ing
the mail­man is the new norm?

The older I get the more I begin to under­stand my par­ents and
my grand­par­ents when they longed for sim­pler days.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreve­port and is the author of Cane River Bohemia. Fol­low her on Insta­gram @patbecker25 and Twit­ter @paustin110.

By:  Pat Austin 

SHREVEPORT —   Is it just the 24/7 news cycle or has the world gone crazy?    It seems like every news source I look at lately is filled with reports of violence and people getting shot. 

Here in Shreveport, every single day (and NO! I’m not exaggerating!), someone gets shot.  My husband now calls it “Shootport.”   One local shooting even made national news this weekend when one of our U.S. Mail carriers, Antonio Williams, was shot and killed while delivering mail.  The AP picked up the story, I guess because who shoots a mailman, for crying out loud? 

Thankfully an arrest has been made in that case but nobody seems clear yet on motive.  Early reports were that Williams maced a dog and so this guy shot him, but the victim’s daughter posted on social media that the story was not true.  Another rumor is that Williams was trying to break up a domestic dispute, but why in the world he wouldn’t have just stepped back and called police, I don’t know. 

In short, we have no idea yet why this longtime postman, and nice family man, was murdered.  It’s awful. 

Absolutely nobody is surprised around here when we hear about another shooting. 

I’m not sure what the problem is in Shreveport.  We have a new, very young, mayor, but these problems existed before he took office. We aren’t certain what he’s doing about it, however. The mayor’s latest actions in general have been to advocate for a repeal of the “saggy pants ordinance” and to offer an apology to Sam Cooke’s daughter for the mistreatment Mr. Cooke faced in the city in the 1960s.

Meanwhile, our infrastructure is literally crumbling, there are no jobs or industry here, and people are killing each other on a daily basis.

Not so good for tourism, is it?

But is this happening everywhere?  Is it just here?  I don’t know.  We travel around some during the summer when I’m out of school and you know when you travel other places always look so much better than where you are. I’m not sure how much of this is just perception.

I do think it’s true that Louisiana is not particularly a business-friendly state and that the tax structure is a big part of the problem.

But again, this is not a new problem.  Do we just not want to fix this? Is the status quo really good enough?  Shooting the mailman is the new norm? 

The older I get the more I begin to understand my parents and my grandparents when they longed for simpler days.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia.  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.