Further thoughts on New Orleans
Comments to the previous post have led me to do a little thinking. I'm not the one to do it (not admitted to practice in LA), and the courts may nonfunctional (I saw a law blog posting where they mentioned that the district court and the 5th Cir. were badly flooded ... and where do you keep records in a counthouse? In the basement....) Anyway,
1. As noted below, LA has a right to bear arms clause in its constitution (with an exception for CCW laws, making it obvious that it's individual and broad).
2. As far as the federal rights goes, LA is in the 5th Circuit, which recognizes the 2nd Amendment as an individual right. The most probable result of a federal challenge would be either (a) a win or (b) some caselaw on time-manner-place limitations of exercising the right, which would be useful toward establishing a jurisprudence of the amendment. It might also lead to a decision on incorporating the 2d via the 14th, an issue not present in Emerson.
3. The right to keep and bear arms is nowhere more important than in an emergency such as this, when the most fundamental right of all -- to defend oneself and one's family when the government has failed to do so -- is on the line.
4. Assuming that a present-day challenge is out of the question, the courthouse being under water and all that, how would one be brought down the road? One comment mentioned an action for intentional infliction of emotional distress... I doubt that'd fly. I suspect, tho, that emotional distress would be compensable in a 1983 civil rights suit against the state. I recall you can recover nominal damages in one of those, too. Now, if someone was attacked, under conditions where they could have defended themselves, there would be a serious basis for seeking damages. Considering the conditions there (the jails having been opened up) there would be a basis to fear that.