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to loot or not to loot

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posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 01:23 AM
Don't loot from citizen property. Corporate property? Absolutely, because they are insured, and frankly, if it's a sit-x, the corporations will be officially out-of-business anyway, and the insurance companies too, for that matter. But the citizenry is us, and hence, the golden rule applies.

That being said, what would I take? Assuming some time has passed by and I'm anticipating shortages of my survival stockpile, I'd loot what ever I needed to survive. I don't think ammo would be an issue as, if I find myself going through lots of ammo (battling humans), chances of survival won't be great anyway. More than likely, just the basics like foods (salt), clothing, fuel.

And if it's really bad, and the county library/bookstore is abandoned, I'd grab books of every type I could find, before people started burning them for fuel. Knowledge (in the wasteland) is power.

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 08:52 AM

Originally posted by harrytuttle
Don't loot from citizen property. Corporate property? Absolutely,

If stealing is wrong, it's always wrong. Whether you steal from Donald Trump or you steal from a single working mother, it's still wrong.

Stealing is wrong because of the act itself, not because of the moral value of the victim.

Who owns the property is a hair-splitting contest that looters will not be wasting time on. Sure, the riot starts at walmart; but the looters will hit the mom-and-pop groceries just as soon as the big stores are empty.

I think a lot of corporates learned from walmart in katrina: next time around, the majors will hire armed guards from the suburbs. Then you'll have the opposite problem, as all the Wyatt Earps and Wild Bills shoot anything that moves.

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 09:17 AM
All morality aside. If people are just trying to put food in their stomachs and keep warm I really could not blame them. If I were in their shoes I would do whatever it takes to provide for my family. Others I am sure will feel the same.

As for myself and family we should be O.K. In some ways I feel sorry for those not prepared. Especially if they try and take it away from me.
Toe there will nothing out there that is worth the risk.

Most of those who choose to loot will however probably take the wrong things because the do not understand the possible severity of the situation. If it is a world shattering event they will not even know what to take.

Unfortunately I see a poor case of situational ethics. On one hand you will have the crooks and thieves and on the other you will have those trying to survive in a situation that they have no idea how to handle, once they realize that the govt. can't or won't help. For the former I say shoot them and be done ,for the latter I say let them go about their business but stay away from me.



posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 09:22 AM
In much of the rural US whoever is left will join together to preserve the ideals of the US Constitution. I do not see a complete breakdown of society where I live. People will join together to help their fellow man at least until winter comes around again then the ill prepared will be culled by the harsh climate and cleaned up by the coyotes. Churches will still have food banks with local armed guards available as needed. People around where I live are used to subsisting on far less than the fatted cows of suburbia.
From watching Katrina it looked like water and beer where the first to go so I will prepare for that at the first sign of anything going south. I keep a few days water on hand as is but need to beef that up.
I used to live in the city and I can see that that would be a much more chaotic situation than I foresee going through.
If I still lived in the city, priority one would be bugging out by car or bicycle. I would not hang around masses of ill prepared and desperate people.

To loot or not to loot is the question. I would not loot until it became scavaging/salvaging as the previous posters have suggested.
Thou shall not steal.
not that I believe anything in the bible

[edit on 6-2-2008 by stikkinikki]

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 09:23 AM
To some people its a question of morality to me it is a question of survival.

That being said I would not loot TV's or things like that ,just the essentials IE. food,water medical supply's.

Sure I'm going to do everything to be prepared for sit-x but if I lost all and me and my family was out in the cold without essentials for survival.
I'm going to do everything possible to survive and to take care of my family.

There is no way I'm going to watch my family starve or need for medical attention when there is a grocery store or pharmacy riddled from destruction that could possible save our lives.

I would however after it was all said and done ,if life was restored repay the store for that which I had taken during the chaos. If order is never restored then it doesn't matter anyway.

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 09:58 AM

I would not loot until it became scavaging/salvaging

At what legal/moral point does one act become the other?

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 05:41 PM
Cicero wrote "Necessity knows no law."

He used it as a defense for his legal clients in court. I too see a difference between feeding your family and burning appliance stores and loading up on free TV's.

Looting generally implies taking stuff you want because know one will be able to hold you responsible. Salvaging is taking abandoned or damaged property. Begging or bartering or working for food are all much more realistic alternatives to being killed over a can of spam.

Looting for a meal is one thing. But it's hardly a survival plan. Suppose you have guns, but no food. You and four friends decide to take what you "need" at gunpoint from the people around you. . . .

In a week, you'll need 3 meals, times 7 days, times 5 people. That's 105 meals you are going to need to get through theft or armed robbery. Estimate it at 200 lb. of food. Now, you probably wont find 200 pounds of food in one location---you're going to have to rob and rob and rob a number of times.

Any one of those times, if anyone successfully pulls a gun on you, then you're wounded at the very least. Probably dead.

And once you start looting, don't expect the neighborhood to give you the benefit of the doubt. You'll probably draw gunfire wherever you go after that, once the word gets out that you're a predator.

Not a very good plan for solving your hunger, even for a single week.

Consider my stance, though. If I successfully deal with even a single looter, my neighbors will rally to my cause. I'll be an instant hero. They may even begin to look to me as a leader.

As an example, consider the US west. Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hicock, Judge Roy Bean. Each of them killed criminals, sometimes under extremely questionable circumstances. But with all three men, their local communities made them sheriff or judge, knowing full well that they were cold-blooded killers. But because they shot other bad guys, they were beloved heroes.

The same thing is true with much more sinister types: Mussolini and Hitler. They don't teach it in US schools, but those fascists didn't seize power; they were voted into national office by a populace that was sick of anarchy and unchecked crime.

There's no real point in looting, simply because there's not much future in it. Unless you're the poorest of the poor (which you aren't, if you have a computer) then you have a great deal more to lose than you stand to gain.

That's the main reason that the watts riots and rodney king riots didn't spread beyond the ghettos. People who stand to lose their liberty or life are not willing to risk it. Looters are generally unemployed people who own nothing anyway, and who frankly aren't intimidated by the thought of jail, where at least there are guaranteed meals.

Sure, I'd probably steal stuff to feed my kids if I was desperate. But that's not a plan. And even then, I'd get further by offering to work for food, or at least cooperating with my neighbors to obtain the necessities.

all the best.


posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 08:26 PM
I personally don't plan on being anywhere, where looting is possible. I have enough seeds and can dry some from each year to provide for the next. I how ever would barter extra food for essentials that i did need like that extra roll of charmin.

It's true i can not predict every senerio that could happen, which in that case i still wouldn't loot.

The best laid plans of mice and men.........

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 12:14 AM

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
If stealing is wrong, it's always wrong. Whether you steal from Donald Trump or you steal from a single working mother, it's still wrong.

This logic you are using is faulty. So, if killing is wrong, is it always wrong? Of course not. We can all think of situations like where killing an aggressor to protect our innocent family is not "wrong".

If lying is wrong, is it always wrong?
If speeding is wrong, is it always wrong?
etc., etc...

If you believe that even in a worst case scenario-X (as is being discussed here) it is more wrong to secure supplies from an abandoned corporate store than it is to let your family starve or freeze to death, then you are either being completely disingenuous or haven't really given it too much thought. Or perhaps you are just too well trained.

Either way, I feel sorry for those that would look to you for protection if they needed it.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 01:54 AM
Well there is quite the distinction between looting and scavanging/scrounging. While looting should not be as high as a Plan E, it would have a bit more merit than Plan ZZXaa79 which would be desparation enough to try building some sort of dimentional/time travel device to save you and yours out of magnets and gum wrappers.

As to what items would be on my looting list would indeed be books from stores and libraries. Specifically those pocket guides that we all like to look at but can never quite seem to buy eventhough I did manage to talk myself into all those silly Radio Shack project/educational books and a series of family homecrafts books from the 1970's from a second hand bookstore. Might I say some projects and activites are very good such as brewing root beer but the braided rugs (I am sure a few here remember them) are quite useless except for creature comforts and recycling old clothing.

Which brings up another item, buckskins are simple to make and most us could fashion some replacement wear from the cloth car seats of abandoned vehicles but those Levi's won't last forever especially if you are forced to start out quite with just the clothes on your back and contents of your pockets due to being far from home when the SHTF. Three hundred miles is a long, long walk especially if your gear consists of dress shoes and a three piece suit when 12 large cities were just nuclearly removed from existance.

Weapons at that point might be a less than pretty rock and a tree branch with the twigs snapped off. Laying low and hidden until you can upgrade would quickly raise the concept of looting for a good number of people. Especially when gun toters are running amok. Yeah the tie would make a good makeshift sling if you are willing to spend the time to train with it. But bartering goods for your labor may not be a consideration to the stranger who finds your hiding spot. You may not get the opportunity to offer such a deal.

So no, theft is not a part of the general plan but I will reserve options based on situation and estimation of sucessful escape without detection in lack of better ideas. But outright thuggery and murder is pretty much off the table unless of course they have the needed magnets and gum wrappers. In which case I should have already died long, long beforehand.

[edit on 7-2-2008 by Ahabstar]

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:26 AM
Just wondering. Should looting for the sake of this discussion include being a part of the looting frenzy that we've all seen so many times at the onset of social unrest? I've always considered that to be a social statement. Not a genuine attempt to survive.

Here's another thought. How about buying a few shares of stock in Wal-Mart or any other store chain that you think a distribution center or store might be vital to you at some point. At least that way you can at least know that you're part owner of the company by virtue of the stock you own. If you are able to limit your plunder to the value of your investment what have you stolen?

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 09:18 AM
We are truly taking some time to consider this. There are many opinions on this page for sure. Most here are I am sure hard working honest folks that go about their daily activities, but I am sure that there are those that might resort to criminal mischief if allowed. I think that most here would resort to a type of looting if in dire need. The thought of scavenging expo-facto actually never crossed my mind. If it were that severe of a type of situation I am sure all survivors would be forced to out of necessity. I must say it would be tempting to take that new ipod sitting next to the batteries even if I had no use for it. I too would eventually go to the library as well as the local farm store. Most people don't know that many of the veterinary supplies could if necessary be used on humans. We really don't know what we might need until it is too late.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 02:20 PM

Originally posted by harrytuttle

This logic you are using is faulty. So, if killing is wrong, is it always wrong? Of course not. We can all think of situations like where killing an aggressor to protect our innocent family is not "wrong".

If lying is wrong, is it always wrong?
If speeding is wrong, is it always wrong?
etc., etc...

Those are good points. ANY sweeping generalization would paint with too broad a brush. Maybe I should refine my statement and say that it DOES depend on the reason for stealing.

As always, we all make decisions by weighing in the balance the harm done versus the good to be gained.

If you believe that even in a worst case scenario-X (as is being discussed here) it is more wrong to secure supplies from an abandoned corporate store than it is to let your family starve or freeze to death, then you are either being completely disingenuous or haven't really given it too much thought. Or perhaps you are just too well trained.

I didn't say that at all. Again, abandoned property cannot be stolen--merely salvaged. And wer're not really focusing on that.

Look, if someone in your group needed insulin, I'd help you break into a deserted pharmacy to get it. Is someone in your group needed food, and we had it, I'd share it with you, as long as our medium range chances of survival were not seriously lessened.

If a hoarder had that insulin, and refused to share it, or was demanding a ridiculous price, I'd help you get it on better terms. Even at gunpoint.

But again, that's not looting.

Looting is where, in the wake of a hurricane, you break into empty houses and take stuff. Not just the food (which would spoil anyway), but their TV's, their jewelry, their PS2. THAT's looting.

I don't think anyone would fault you for stealing tools or car parts in order to escape the emergency. The problem is where the owner is still using them, and you take them anyway, that the problems begin.

In the riots in 1992 in LA, a few grocery stores were looted. But a lot more liquor stores and appliance stores were looted. Its a safe bet to say that the value of all bread stolen was exceeded by the value of the looted stereos and beer.

Either way, I feel sorry for those that would look to you for protection if they needed it.

Why? because I'm so well prepared that I don't NEED become a social parasite?

Another point that hasn't been addressed in this therad is that the greatest risk of violence is exactly where looters are fighting over the last of the booty. Personally, I wouldn't want to set foot in a store where the windows were smashed and there were goods scattered and burning in the streets.

And if you think I'm being naive in my stance, consider the french revolution. The whole thing started in Paris, when the official price of bread was raised yet again. A crowd outside a bake shop broke into the store. The "customers" took a loaf of bread each off the shelf, and left the old price on the shelf. This went on for most of the summer. The bakers began to accept it, and go through the ritual of baking the break, and letting "customers" take it for the old price.

Eventually, though, a crowd was hauling bread out of a bakery, and someone, instead of leaving the old price, left no money at all. Pretty soon, the crowd that had already paid went back and picked up their money too. Soon, people began breaking into stores and grabbing everything. Then churches and houses. Next they began killing each other to settle old scores. Finally, a group of extremists took control and ended the violence through "the reign of terror."

Look, we all do what we have to. But even attacking corporate property is a first, slight, step down the road to anarchy. Look at the neighborhoods where the riots happened in LA 15 years ago. The chief problem is they cannot get any groceries to open in those areas--no one wants to invest in an area with a track record of looting.

Likewise New Orleans. Their biggest problem after the cleanup is getting people to move back into the empty city. But the whole world saw those pictures of the Superdome, and dead bodies floating in the floodwater, and heard about hospitals being looted and policemen deserting their posts.

Civilization ends where we each sacrifice the common end for our own betterment. We are already pretty far along that path in the West. Deficit spending by liberal democracies is merely a legal example of "looting" on a massive scale.

If you end up stealing all the useful books out of the libraries, when do you think there will be another library in your town?

I agree that survival always comes first, but the people that looted and later burned the library of alexandria were thinking the same thing.

The word republic is from the latin "res publica," literally "this public thing." And this public endeavor is over, the republic is ended, when we begin looting the libraries and hospitals, when we steal from "the public" to save ourselves.

Maybe its not really the cause. Maybe it's just a symptom.

Do you know the name of the tribes that finally killed off the roman empire?

They were called . . . the vandals.

all the best.


posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:20 PM
reply to post by dr_strangecraft

Doc, if I may be so free.
Your point is exactly what I as looking for. At what point do we turn from the civilized law abiding to those who run through society and take whatever we may find. Most people here would follow basic procedures for some form of reimbursement if possible, but we may all eventually succumb to that sirens call of mob mentality. Why does no one follow the speed limit? Because no one else follows it. I think that it may well be only a short time until we see this kind of mentality in sit-x. This then becomes the situational ethics question. Do we stand alone and follow some preconceived morality when all about us is falling into chaos, or take what we can when we can get it? Certainly after only a short time 6mo.-1 yr. we will a massive decrease in the population. Those that remain will be one of only a few select groups.
1. the prepared
2. the gangs
3. the hardened criminals
4. the govt.
I see no place where a true law abiding wait our turn in line type person will survive outside of an organized community. I see these communities formed out of necessity but they may well be overrun by mass refugees and criminal types. At this point I see very little going for society at this point and must stop to think about those repercussions.



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 12:30 AM
[edit on 8-2-2008 by dr_strangecraft]

posted on Feb, 10 2008 @ 11:58 AM
reply to post by dr_strangecraft

The Celts didn't think the Romans were all that civilized when they came and conquered them. The Roman Empire had a 'me first,last, and always' attitude which didn't go over all that well with the neighbors. When the Vandals came, they merely performed a mercy killing on a sick and dying culture.
Barring a man-made or natural global level disaster, I don't see a sudden massive collapse of civilized society. Everyone points at the bad things that happened after Katrina and doesn't realize that had it happened some 100 years earlier, it would have been 10 times worse. Most of the people who stayed there to ride it out behaved in a fairly civilized manner. I believe however the world is in for some economic hard times over the next 10-20 years while the global economy sorts itself out. I think that the folks that it will affect the most are those who live that 24/7 lifestyle who spend 2-6 hours a day driving their 2-ton plus SUV's thinking they have to keep up to get ahead.

I personally don't plan on looting and I've been practicing scavenging and bartering for years. While I still get most of my food from a grocery store, at one of my retreats, I've planted a stealth garden of wild edible plants and stocked the 1/2 acre pond with free fish from a source best unnamed. The fish are doing well. I've learned how to make pemmican and hardtack and have found out which and where the local edible wild plants are growing.

I'm saving up right now for a good sized solar array and battery pack to power my trailer's lights, some fans and a computer. Maybe a small 12v cooler for my beer

posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 05:44 PM
I think organization is key, why steal what you can carry, when you can keep the whole store. find a grocery store, get a generator, get 5-10 guys, you have enough food to last you a while. Addititionally, should the owner of the store return, and provide valid proof, you can say you were gaurding it from looters, which would be the truth. You were taking food, as payment.



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 12:08 PM
I don't believe anyone can be so prepared, that at one point or another they won't be forced to leave their refuge and scavenge for food and supplies.

I keep all the survival essentials onhand, but I know they won't last forever. Somewhere along the way if we're fortunate enough to live so long, the cupboards will go bare, the medicine will go bad or run out, and I'll need more ammo just to feed and protect my loved ones.

At that point "Yes", I'd resort to scavenging for the things I needed. "Looting" is another matter. It implies forcibly taking things from others.

I'd like to believe that I'd never hurt or kill someone just for their belongings, but then again, if it was something like medicine or food and my family desperately needed it, and I could not beg, barter, or steal it for them, maybe I might. A person never knows what they're truly capable of until they find themselves in that particular situation.

[edit on 2/14/08 by LLoyd45]

posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 12:23 PM
In all honesty I would go for essentials (food, water, clothing etc) for me and my little group - I expect something shiny would catch my eye, I would have to see how it goes... I mean sit x is so vague no one could give any sort of definite answer, if it was clear that this situation could continue for an extended period of time then I might consider small items of fairly high value / usefulness for possible trading at a later date... Abandoned vehicles could also be considered in life or death cases I suppose (older ones should be easier to get into and start - no 7 series BMW unless you got the keys!!)

What I would never do is loot indiscriminately, such as breaking into a pharmacy and taking any medication I could get my hands on - that would be very bad and totally reckless... I hope everyone would keep their heads, not let greed and personal profit get into way - keep things targeted and sensible.

One thing I'm pretty sure of... I there is to be any looting in my green and pleasant land, us Brits will do it with decorum - That is to say there will be an orderly que!! (Chea right!

posted on Feb, 15 2008 @ 09:09 PM

Originally posted by crgintx
reply to post by dr_strangecraft

The Celts didn't think the Romans were all that civilized when they came and conquered them.

The Kelts copied language, political system, agriculture, viticulture and laws. Even keltic coins were minted in imitation of Roman models. The very word "civilized" refers the degree to which people are cityfied-and Rome was simply "the city" to the rest of the ancient world.

The Kelts, and even the conquering gothic tribes, were falling over themselves to copy and incorporate roman culture in their families and courts. The reason for feudalism in Europe is simply that it was the final model that Roman rulers attempted before the collapse of Rome: the rulers lived in villas, which devolved into mere "villages" by the middle ages.

When the Vandals came, they merely performed a mercy killing on a sick and dying culture.

The reason that the Catholic Church calls itself Roman is that until about 1500, the terms Roman and "civilized" meant the same thing. That church is roman simply because "Roman" represented the old order and learning, which barbarians like Clovis and Charles Martel were eager to emulate. They were quick to call themselves the Holy Roman Empire.

all the best.


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