September 01, 2005

A Comment about Looting

I have written a couple of times about the looting in New Orleans and decided that it is time to make a couple of things clear to the 17 people who care about my thoughts on this.

I understand the need for basic supplies and why some people are engaging in looting. I look very differently upon the person who steals food/medicine than the people stealing jewelry, electronics and other items.

I can even understand why some people might feel that they are forced to steal clothes, but I cannot get behind the general lawlessness.

I cannot accept the dog-eat-dog, lord of the flies attitude that some people have adopted. This is not a race issue. It is not a class issue. It is bigger than that. It is a being a good person issue.

As a father I am well familiar with the need to provide for a family and I hope to never be in that type of situation.

The looters are not just stealing from nameless corporations. They are stealing from their neighbors. The mom and pop grocery store, the guy who sells electronics and competes with the big corporations.

There are faces and real people associated with these places. It just makes me sad to see this.

11 comments:

callieischatty said...

While the comparison may be a stretch I wanted to point out that in NYC after p disaster struck eople pulled themselves together and helped each other. Often to the point of risking their own lives.

People can say what they want about how bad New Yorkers are, its a bunch of crap.

PsychoToddler said...

It's about being human beings. We are not animals.

dorothy rothschild said...

I can't excuse it, and it is just so morally wrong on every level, but being the good little bleeding-heart liberal that I am, I can't help but ask how it gets to this...decades and decades of people living disaffected, poverty-stricken lives and the ignorance that often goes hand in hand with truly desperate poverty. People who feel cut off from society have no remorse about going out and taking whatever they can get their hands on. Consequences of destroying one's own neighborhood, stealing from people who are no better off than you yourself, are probably the furthest thing from the minds of those who don't feel a part of anything. I dunno. I wish it weren't happening, but it is.

Jack's Shack said...

DR,

I can only take that argument so far. I know too many people who grew up in impoverished homes but never became thieves.

And like I said in the post, it is one thing to take necessities, but the other stuff. It is just inexcusable.

Sweettooth120 said...

I have thought about what I would do if I was in that situation, and although it's easy for me to say this, I think I would somehow need to pay for what I had took, not neccessrily with cash, but in some way. Has anyone heard if nursing homes, pet shelters, etc were able to evacuate before the storm hit? I had wonder during the storm where they put their prison population. If they had transported them out of there too? I haven't heard any news about this. Does anyone know if volunteers are allowed to go down there to pitch a hand and to bring down supplies? Please let me know. I would like to go down there even if it's only for a few days.

Irina Tsukerman said...

Even if they were just stealing from nameless corporations, it would still be wrong. Nameless corporations are as much part of our economy, if not more, as the smaller stores.

Jack's Shack said...

Jaime,

Call the Red Cross and maybe they can tell you.

Irina,

You are correct.

Mike said...

As far as the looting, stealing a carton of milk is just as wrong as stealing a television set.
When Moshe came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, the one that reads "Thou Shalt Not Steal," does not read "Thou shalt not steal unless it is necessary for thy well being"
Maybe if the looting would cease, the agencies wouldn't have to deal with it and get people the hell out of New Orleans a whole lot quicker.
I love seeing pictures of the people with shotguns planning to blast anyone who dare steal to high heaven.

Anonymous said...

Personally to me theft is theft.

However I disagree with Mike and his biblical quote.
I'm not sure G-d intended his laws to cause the deaths of inocents, this is way too legalistic an approach to religion.

Would you have a child die while a carton of babyfood or milk sits unused to rot in the abandoned house or business next door?

If I had left New Orleans with food in my cupboards, I would not be unhappy if some poor soul stole it to feed himself or his family.

I would suggest to anyone that evacuated and left food behind that they call their neighbors still trapped in the city (by cell) and tell them where to get it.

But as for the looting of electronics and consumer products not needed for survival, you steal it your a crook.

But as for Mike's assertion that "I love seeing pictures of the people with shotguns planning to blast anyone who dare steal to high heaven." I think capital punishment for looting is a bit much. The punishment does not fit the crime.

Jack's Shack said...

I think capital punishment for looting is a bit much. The punishment does not fit the crime.

Agreed.

Bill said...

As mentioned earlier " capital punishment for looting is a bit much."

It is the sort of vigilantism that Mike mentioned that turned New Orleans into Chaos.

New Orleans is such a beautiful city I hope that it can be restored.