When he was elected in 2010, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu knew that the gun violence in his city was one of the biggest issues he would have to tackle.
The city has been known as America’s murder capital for the better part of the last few decades, and Landrieu says he’s made ending that violence his top priority. This month he’s pointing to numbers that appear to show progress towards that goal. Compared to the same time span in 2012, the murder rate is down by about 25%.
Dropping that murder rate takes a comprehensive approach.
“You got to find the right mix, and it involves police and it involves a good criminal justice system, but it also involves all of the other things that make a community safe,” Landrieu told Rev. Sharpton earlier this year as they toured the city for part of the special documentary, “50 Years of Guns.”
Members of the community recognize that there’s an economic component too, from the overworked and underpaid parents who don’t have time to keep their kids off the streets, to the ex-cons trying to turn their life around who find themselves back in a life of crime when they can’t get hired because of a criminal record.
“We love putting band aids on our sores rather than healing the ailments and the real problems that keep causing us to go from one emergency to the next,” Sharpton said. “And we’ve come to the point when we’re going to have to deal with it. From Newtown to New York to New Orleans, we’re going to have to deal with this problem, and a bandaid won’t cover it anymore.”
Find out what Mayor Landrieu and other members of the New Orleans community think the city needs to help bring down the murder rate by watching “50 Years of Guns,” a special MSNBC program examining the epidemic of gun violence in America, hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton airing Friday, Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. ET.