Posted by on 1 September 2005 at 11:03 am  Uncategorized
Sep 012005

Via Gus Van Horn and David Veskler, I found this scary first-hand account of the current state of New Orleans. It’s a must-read.

If I donate to hurricane relief, how can I be sure that my money won’t go to these barbarian looters?

Also, Don Watkins has two good posts on the looting: here and here. With the reservation that simple poverty isn’t a valid necessity defense, I do agree with David Kopel:

My view on the looting is that it is reasonable, under the legal excuse of Necessity, for a person to take food from a store, if no other food is available in the disaster zone. Such a person would be obligated to remember the value of the food, and to make payment for what he took as soon as practically possible. However, the looting of concern in New Orleans isn’t Jean Valjean taking bread for his children; the looting involves attacks on hospitals to steal their narcotics, and attacks on stores or homes which have nothing to do with acquiring necessities for short-term survival. Given the absence of a sufficient police presence in order to stop the looters, I strongly agree with Glenn Reynolds that such looters should be shot on sight by armed citizens. A citizen’s arrest and detention isn’t possible as a practical matter. Shooting the New Orleans looters is, under present circumstances, an appropriate response to the collapse of civic order, and a first step towards the restoration of that order.

I wonder whether we’ll ever have reliable numbers on the deaths due to hurricane and the deaths due to looters.

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