Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Escape from New Orleans 

Gun stores are being looted, the jails have been emptied, there is a complete breakdown in law and order, and armed gangs are roming the streets. (I don't have a link, but I heard this on the radio news as being reported by the AP)

Not to be disrespectful to those that are suffering, but the minute I heard about this latest development I thought of one thing, or well, one man. Let the cry go out: Someone call Snake Plissken!

UPDATE: Here's a quote on the gangs from a seemingly authoritative source in the New Orleans government (as an aside, can it be called a working government at this point when its population is dispersed and it has no control over the use of force--one of the key markers of sovereignty--in its jurisdiction? Hmmm...by many benchmarks the city of New Orleans as a political entity of people, government, culture, infrastructure, etc, no longer exists):
A giant new Wal-Mart in New Orleans was looted, and the entire gun collection was taken, The Times-Picayune reported. "There are gangs of armed men in the city moving around the city," said Ebbert, the city's homeland security chief. Also, looters tried to break into Children's Hospital, the governor's office said.
Not good.

I think a tangent on this is the issue of dealing with looters by shooting to kill. That might have worked if they had started doing it almost immediatly, with a few warning shots at first, but it seems that now it's too late unless we're going to be shooting hundreds of people. Clearly a policy should be disseminated in the days before a disaster that those looting anything but, say, food and survival equipment (not guns!), will be shot on sight by the police and national guard. That way a few warning shots or a few people being shot would have the appropriate effect. Now, I feel, it's just too late to do this without killing a lot of people. And that would be another catastrophe in itself.

Now, shooting roving, armed gans is another thing entirely. Breaking some skulls in that case would probably be a good thing. Maybe we can use the United States Police Force for that...

Another UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg says that there should be forgiveness for looting that saves lives. I agree with that.

I don't agree with what he also reports: looters shooting police officers in the head and looters shooting other looters... He says that authorities should stem this tide of lawlessness before it's too late. Unless they have thousands and thousands of troops to guard things and bodily remove people, I don't see how anything but shooting people will curtail this crime. And, as I said above, I think it's too late for that.

Michelle Malkin has a story of a childrens hospital under siege by looters trying to break in an pick it clean. There are still patients and staff inside while this gang is coallescing.

All I can say is wow. The more I read, the more shocked I become at how bad it actually is. It's like the State of Nature, and as we all know, life in it is famously "nasty, brutish, and short".

Yep, looking at New Orleans it seems that Hobbes got that one right.

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