“Until that day, I had never given [it] any serious thought. We didn’t even study it in law school.”
That's what my old friend from high school told me in the fall of 2007.
I was attending the New Orleans Conference (the old Blanchard Conference for you old-timer gold bugs) and had met up with my friend Bill for happy hour.
Bill is a corporate lawyer. He met his wife while attending an Ivy League law school. She's from Louisiana and is an attorney as well. After he graduated, he followed his heart and moved from Maryland to New Orleans. He's been there for 20 years with his wife and two children.
Now, what I'm about to tell you I cannot verify or confirm its accuracy. But I have every reason to believe Bill's story.
Naturally, the topic of Katrina came up while we were enjoying our cocktails. Bill was more than happy to tell me his personal account.
Here's Bill's story as best as I can recount from 2007:
We stuck it out until the very end. We had everything packed and ready to go. Once the levies broke, we hopped in our car and bugged out. And in just the nick of time too. Had we waited 20 minutes we would've been stuck. We were lucky.
Our neighborhood is on higher ground, so I wasn't really worried about our house flooding. But we didn't have time to put down sandbags or anything, so we just prayed that our house would be intact when we returned.
We went up north in Louisiana where my in-laws live and we stayed there for over three weeks.
But after three weeks I decided to check on the house and secure it. I left my wife and kids with my in-laws because even after nearly a month after the hurricane we kept hearing that the city wasn't safe.
(Here's where it gets really interesting.)
I was driving into New Orleans on Highway 10 when traffic came to a stop. A lot of people were trying to make their way into the city, but there was a police-national guard checkpoint. They weren't allowing anybody who wasn't a resident into New Orleans.
Once I got to the checkpoint, I had to prove I lived in the city. I gave them my driver's license and told them where I lived and that I wanted to check on my house and that I planned to stay.
That's when they told me in very matter of fact terms that I was entering the city at my own risk.
Mr. Bishop, you're going into the city at your own risk. If something happens, you can call the police. We might get to you… but chances are we won't get to you. Do you understand this?
I told them I understood. Then they offered me a gun.
I declined because I had my own guns.
I got to my house and to my surprise there was no damage whatsoever. No hurricane damage. No criminal damage.
There were a lot of residents in their homes on my block. And all of them were armed.
At night is when it became scary. Because my neighborhood sits higher than the rest of New Orleans, I could see and hear everything from my top bedroom window or rooftop. Literally as the sun went down, the mobs came out and took control of the streets. We could see them off in the distance. It felt like Haiti.
But I sat at my bedroom window with my guns. And my neighbors did the same thing – sat at their windows with their guns. Not a single home was broken into on my block.
Until that day, I had never given the Second Amendment any serious thought. We didn't even study it in law school. I took it for granted.
But now I realize just how important it is.
Follow Brian Hicks on Twitter @BrianHicksAngel