Why shoot looters?
After reading an article about the "shoot to kill" order that cops may or may not have gotten in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, I began wondering: Is it necessary to shoot looters?
First, we have to distinguish amongst armed gangs, random people with guns, and looters.
I'm referring to people that, during a disaster, go into stores and take food, water, shoes, TVs (not a good idea), and such. I'm referring to people that are taking merchandise.
Now, in New Orleans, there is footage of people taking stuff they needed from WalMart, but they weren't violent or armed. The cops in the stores just made sure people don't start fighting and hurting each other. In this clip, the cops were doing just that:
This seems the proper way to handle the situation to me.
How would turning that scene into a killing field help me, or make me safer?
At what point is the "shoot looters on sight" order legitimate? How can someone stealing, DURING A DISASTER, become such a threat to others that they need to die . . . and die right then?
What if someone had taken a loaf of bread . . . literally. He couldn't get out of the city, found a bakery, and took a loaf of bread. How is that punishable by death?
And just to be snarky, isn't that what insurance is for? Stolen merchandise?
How is stealing water-soaked property worth someone's life?
Now, I'm not talking about people breaking into your house while you're there. I'm talking about people taking things they need to survive from abandoned businesses. How is killing the bread thief protecting me? Or you?
Hell, how is killing some idiot taking a TV protecting anyone from violence?
The energy that goes into killing looters should be used to load trucks with food and water and hand it out to people in the street. That energy should be used to find people in the street, place them into vehicles, and take them out of the city.
By all means, the police should fight armed people hurting others. But explain how the bread-stealing guy had to die? And, while you're at it, explain how a woman stealing food deserves death at that point.
That is my question.
Explain that one to me.