NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 31 – In a city shut down for business, the Rite Aid at Oak and South Carrollton was wide open on Wednesday. Someone had stolen a forklift, driven it four blocks, peeled up the security gate and smashed through the front door.
The young and the old walked in empty-handed and walked out with armfuls of candy, sunglasses, notebooks, soda and whatever else they could need or find. No one tried to stop them.
I just had this discussion yesterday with a co-worker. I realize that the police are busy. But, were I making decisions, looters would be dealt with harshly, though if ammunition levels were okay I’d authorize warning shots first.
As for private property:
John Carolan was sitting on his porch in the thick, humid darkness just before midnight Tuesday when three or four young men, one with a knife and another with a machete, stopped in front of his fence and pointed to the generator humming in the front yard, he said.
One said, “We want that generator,” he recalled.
“I fired a couple of rounds over their heads with a .357 Magnum,” Mr. Carolan recounted Wednesday. “They scattered.”
Scattered is better than splattered, I guess.
The article does note, however, that things aren’t exactly cut and dried:
One woman outside a Sav-a-Center on Tchoupitoulas Street was loading food, soda, water, bread, peanut butter and canned food into the trunk of a gray Oldsmobile.
“Yes, in a sense it’s wrong, but survival is the name of the game,” said the woman, who would not identify herself. “I’ve got six grandchildren. We didn’t know this was going to happen. The water is off. We’re trying to get supplies we need.”
UPDATE: Regardless of the amount of on-hand ammunition, I would not waste time with warning shots for those shooting at helicopters evacuating victims.
What sort of
clueless idiot damn fool fires at United States Army Chinook helicopters? Haven’t they heard of the Chinook’s little cousin the Apache?
They probably have heard of the Apache, of course. The thing is, they don’t think the Apache will show up or do anything. And that’s why it’s okay to shoot at Chinooks full of refugees.
Which is exactly why I’d be as harsh as my manpower and ammunition supply allowed.
UPDATE 2: Looters? What looters? See Winds of Change.
I fully acknowledge that shooting looters is an inappropriately disproportionate response if one views looting as mere larceny. But one doesn’t shoot looters to protect property, one does so to protect order. Somebody is going to suffer unjustly when society breaks down. I don’t understand why Muller thinks it preferable for the law-abiding citizens to be the cost-bearers. History has shown repeatedly that the way to stop an anarchic riot is an early display of substantial force.
The concept of “order” is exactly what I’ve been harping on in my discussions with co-workers. The situation along the Gulf coast is dire enough without having to worry about this crap.
When aid workers in Somalia couldn’t get through due to violence, we sent in the Marines. When the Marines were pulled out, the violence re-escalated to the point where we had to send in Special Forces to hunt the perpetrators.
Some people are shooting at evacuation helicopters, carjacking aid trucks, and attacking police and medical personnel.
Many are calling the Gulf coast a “third-world” region in the aftermath of Katrina.
Let’s not let it get there.