by John Hawkins | August 31, 2005 10:59 am
Looting stores for any reason, for food, for water, for diapers, for baby food, is wrong and it should not be condoned. There are very good reasons for that:
— Looting is theft of somebody’s else’s goods pure and simple. That’s not OK even after a hurricane.
— Usually, a window or door has to be kicked in to get to the food. So property is being damaged beyond what’s being stolen.
— If you look the other way on looting, you will only encourage more people to act that way. If it’s OK to loot food during a hurricane, how many people are going to make the LOGICAL LEAP and say, “OK, why can’t I just steal ‘necessities’ because I want it and don’t have the money to pay for it?”
— Looting also almost inevitably leads to violence.
But most importantly…
— Even if people start with food, the crowd is not going to stop there. That’s just human nature. Once someone walks out of Wal-Mart with a sack full of looted groceries, somebody else is going to go, “If he can get groceries, why can’t I get a TV?”
Then after that, the next person is going to think, “If we can get away with looting Wal-Mart, we can get away with looting every store on this street.” We can already see this happening in New Orleans where we even have scumbag looters trying to break into a Children’s Hospital.
The people who are looting are criminals, period, and they’re causing significant damage beyond that done by the hurricane. The police, military, and National Guard should be instructed to stop them by any means necessary including lethal force.
*** Update #1 ***: Hey look, we even have pro-looting liberals posting in the comments section here at RWN:
“If your slippery slope argument that they won’t stop there is true, then you nail them when they don’t stop there. Food is a different animal. And let’s not forget about botled water! There’s no clean water down there – so if you have to grab some from th local grocery store, that’s what you need to do. You need to survive.
This is very good example of a point that takes the philosophy so fart hat it no longer makes sense. You start with very good ideas about protecting private property, but you take it way too far when you include food&water for starving people. You’re so rigid in your philisophical position that you’ve let all application go. You’re saying that people should starve or dehydrate in the parking lot of a grocery store. That’s absurd.” — brs04wsc
Let me explain something: life is full of choices.
Take what happened in New Orleans, for example: People had plenty of forewarning that a monster hurricane was headed their way. They could have left town. They didn’t. They could have gone to the Super Dome. They didn’t. They could have prepared properly for the storm by stocking up on bottled water, food, and other necessities. They didn’t.
So the storm hits and suddenly they realize — duh — we have no food, we have no water, and we’re in trouble. So then, if instead of looking for help or trying to move to a place where they’ll have easier access to help, they kick in a door and start stealing whatever they want. I have very little sympathy for them — even if they’re taking food, water, and baby food.
These people didn’t prepare and if they turn to crime because of it, they deserve to be treated like exactly what they are: scumbag criminals.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour had it exactly right when he said:
“I have instructed the highway patrol and the National Guard to treat looters ruthlessly.”
Spot-on Haley, spot-on!
Just to be clear: Am I saying the police should be forced to keep people out of grocery stores? Absolutely. Should people be prosecuted and sent to jail for looting whenever possible? Absolutely. Should the police, National Guard, and military be willing to gun people down to keep them from looting? Absolutely.
This is not downtown Baghdad after Saddam fell, it’s not the Sudan, and it’s not “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” This is the United States of America and we should not tolerate this ridiculous, lawless behavior in this country.
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