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When is it OKAY to LOOT?

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posted on Sep, 3 2011 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by wigit

I agree; in and of itself, shooting a man for stealing a TV is as much a violation of social convention as looting....if not more so...because in and of itself it is far from self defense.

The "lessons learned" that officers talk about after the Los Angeles and London riots, however, clearly indicate that an early show of force dissuades others from joining the fray, and that standing idly by actually emboldens others and causes the overall risk level to skyrocket.

posted on Sep, 3 2011 @ 03:11 PM

Originally posted by wigit
But if some twat runs off with a telly in the middle of a flood and the telly shop is in ruins anyway, shouldn't that be more a laughing matter than a man-hunt with a loaded gun?

It was an American who replied, shooting people is the answer to everything!

Of course he forgets that once he fires a shot, hes made himself and his family a target and will probably end up dead over a loaf of bread.

posted on Sep, 3 2011 @ 03:33 PM
I think looting is justifiable if its a survival situation. I dont think it should be a known rule but maybe a unspoken rule in police circles that in emergency situations, police join emergancy/first responders and act as humanitarians; they should be helping people get what they need and not add to the problem by trying to inforce petty laws onto desperate people.
edit on 3-9-2011 by swimmer15 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 3 2011 @ 04:04 PM
reply to post by wigit

I think the way people use the word looting is the biggest problem. If you look at the definition, it should be used to describe someone taking another's belongings by force or violence. Although the word is related to steal, hunt, rummage, and burglarize; they are not considered synonyms and for very good reason.

I would argue that after any catastrophic event that destorys an entire area's infrastructure and brings uncertainty as to whether property or goods is abandoned, the use or rummaging/hunting for property or goods cannot be considered looting. If the doors and windows to a building are blown open or off and you casually walk in and happen to leave with goods, then it cannot be considered looting because no force or violence is involved. I would actually call it foraging.

In my opinion, the hunting or searching for goods that occured after the levees broke following Katrina cannot be considered looting because there was no infrastructure or police force for the citizens to violently oppose. On the other hand, the riots and stealing in the UK could be considered looting because it was violent and the police were activiely trying to force them to stop.

There is nothing wrong or immoral about rummaging, foraging, or hunting for food or goods for survival. I would also not have issue with a group of people living or taking things from my own house after a major catastrophy if I was not there and my return was questionable. The looting in the UK was definitely unecessary and immoral.

edit on 3-9-2011 by MaryStillToe because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 3 2011 @ 04:25 PM
I strongly agree with Nightshift! It is never okay to loot. Looting is stealing that is why
The word is listed as a synonym. Looting is also barbaric! Once you deviate
From moral values, you become the problem and not the solution.

To the op, i say this idea is like a person who says i'll just break the law a little, but not a lot.
Its either wrong or right. Our conscience is the only thing that separates us from the animals.


posted on Sep, 3 2011 @ 04:31 PM
I think the problem with this argument is the word "loot," simply because of the negative connotation. Even though, technically, the word loot means something stolen/gained illegally, i would not consider a starving person stealing food as "looting," even though the media love to throw around the phrase when people are taking things that are not theirs in a chaotic event.

I would not consider anyone stealing anything necessary for their immediate survival a looter or their action as looting.


Now, people keeping bring up the TV and other technological devices thing, which is a valid point, with which i agree. Stealing TVs for the sake of stealing a TV is not ok, IMO, and is certainly looting; HOWEVER (and i imagine this is NOT the case 95% or even 99% of the time), if a person could steal a $500 TV to sell and then buy $500 dollars worth of food, i think that would be OK. Why? It's harder to steal $500 worth of food than it is to steal a $500 TV.

Would it be justified? Perhaps. Then again, it goes back to "immediate survival," and $500 worth of food could last an average family a LONG time, if they purchased and ate responsibly. If a person would starvingo n the brink of death, then if would have to be food (and said person could not carry a TV anyway). This does, though, bring about another issue with what is "immediate." I would say only in an extremely dire situation would stealing a TV for food be justified, and in such cases it would be difficult to get said food(?), unless one did this to hunker down for an extended period of time.

Stealing food or something necessary for survival: not looting (or, acceptable looting).

Stealing something not immediately necessary but stolen to "immediately" sell and purchase something necessary for survival: likely acceptable looting, depending on circumstance.

Stealing something not necessary for survival just to do it: looting.


posted on Sep, 3 2011 @ 06:06 PM
reply to post by wigit

I think it is also important to point out that a person cannot "loot" what another person does not own.

Ownership in nature is typically only established by physical presence. If a bear goes into an empty cave and no one is there, he owns that cave. However, if he left for an extended period of time, then any other animal is free to establish their ownership of the cave by their physical presence unless otherwise challenged. The same can be said about the water in a lake full of alligators.

For humans, however, most societies also have a legal system that allows people to establish ownership rights over natural resources and goods without physical presence. However, those ownerships rights are only recognized and protected as part of a larger infrastructure. If there is a breakdown in a society's infrastructure temporarily or permanently due to natural disaster or otherwise, there is no moral obligation to acknowledge ownership rights without physical presence under a broken infrastructure that no longer exists. If that infrastructure still existed, then you wouldn't be left to fend for yourself and you wouldn't have a moral justification to take things that you did not already own before the collapse.

Essentially if our economy and government collapsed, I wouldn't go into people's houses who I knew lived there and steal their stuff. BUT. .. if I came across a house or building with food and it seemed no one was there. I wouldn't hesitate to camp out there and eat what I find for survivial. Not immoral at all to me, seems quite natural actually.

posted on Sep, 3 2011 @ 06:22 PM
Helping yourself to other people's property is NEVER ok, and yes stores have owners, and no you can't take their things.

That said most coutries have law about emergency justice ... IF and only if you are doing something wrong to prevent something clearly worse ... hitting a guy on the head to revent him from shooting an other guy the violent act can be excused.

So I guess looting can be excused if people are near death from starvation ... you could probably only be excused for taking drinkable water after katarina, since no one was near death from starvation (it takes 2 months) ... but someone might have a problem with thirst and risk of serious illness due to lack of potable water making bottled water looting ok.

TV's ? no way ... Food ? ... not in recent western history, maybe somewhere in arctic canada in the winter finding a cabin when lost in the wilderness.

Looting is just plain stealing.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 03:16 AM
reply to post by paxnatus

So youd let your family starve or freeze to death over morals?
Im sure they would be pleased with that.

Its one thing being high and mighty behind a keyboard, I bet youd do the exact opposite if you were actually in that situation.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 03:21 AM
It is NEVER okay to loot or steal from anyone else, NOTHING justifies that!!!

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 03:41 AM
reply to post by HomerinNC

So Tom Hanks on that island in the middle of nowhere with his FedEx parcels shoulda kept wilson in the box?

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 03:43 AM
Pretty easy answer to this one, like it even needs to be said.

But out of principle, I would loot wal-mart and target, frankly. Wouldn't go ravaging a local store. Though, even if I was starving, I'd hesitate to loot half the crap they call 'food' on their shelves. But, hey.. if you're starving.
edit on 4-9-2011 by SyphonX because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 03:48 AM
Looting (meaning indiscriminate stealing of anything) is not okay. On the other hand, SCAVENGING (meaning taking of items necessary for survival) is indeed okay. Human life is more precious than property.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 03:52 AM
reply to post by wigit

Many thousands of looters were shot dead immediately after the San Francisco EQK too. 70 odd years on, we still don't know the exact number of people that died after that EQK.

When is it time to loot? When I can't feed my family, house them or giving them safe drinking water.....I WILL loot the food shops or whats left on their shelves.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 04:00 AM
reply to post by wigit

morally? no, but like the previous poster said, thats scavenging..totally diffrent
edit on 9/4/2011 by HomerinNC because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 04:16 AM
the only time its okat is food water etc for your own survival or if you know the owners dead/never going to return to claim it.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 04:27 AM
Mmmm... "when is it ok to loot"?

Well, wearing an expensive suit, working in the upper echelons of the government or banking certainly helps?

Seriously though, there are big differences in what constitutes looting. In a time of civil unrest or natural disaster, the theft of a widescreen tv, designer clothes and latest Apple ixxxxxx products constitute simple theft. End of story. They add nothing to continued survival or political dissent.

However, the taking of food, water and other essentials after a natural disaster constitutes, in my opinion, simple survival and should be seen as such. I remember seeing after Katrina, at least one case of someone being arrested at gunpoint after being seen retreiving bottled water and other foodstuffs from a flooded store. In cases such as that, the collection of food becomes a priority and should be treated as such by the authorities, rather than the arrest and treatment as a "looter".
edit on 4-9-2011 by Britguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 04:53 AM

Originally posted by Britguy
Mmmm... "when is it ok to loot"?

Well, wearing an expensive suit, working in the upper echelons of the government or banking certainly helps?

it certainly does seem socially acceptable to commit any crime when you fit this description... doesn't say much for social aceptability does it.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 05:10 AM

Originally posted by NightShift
If you choose to loot, you choose to break from social convention. If you choose to break from social convention, you become a threat to those trying to maintain social convention.

If looting began taking place in my immediate vicinity, I would have to consider those looters as a direct threat to my person and property, and without a social convention in place, I would have to defend myself by any means possible.

Looting is therefore never "ok" because it signals to others that you have gone rogue, and you are therefore putting yourself at great risk. Mobs can fight back, looters are out for themselves and will scatter.

Your response implies that fairness and parity exists in times of disaster. No matter what we're told survival of the fittest still hold true in our world today - this is a dog eat dog world. I would certainly 'loot' to help my family if no other option was available to ensure their survival. My family are my responsibility - not the states.

I wouldn't consider looting for food as having gone 'rogue' - I would consider it human/e. Rogue is when the state kills its own people for trying to get drinking water and food in a time of dire need.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 06:55 AM

Originally posted by NightShift
reply to post by GmoS719

Sissy talk backed by deadly weapons.

If you want to express your rage through an act of public violence, you better stay the hell out of Malibu, Lebowski.

So you justify killing someone who is looting. Moreover you justify killing a person because of whatever reason? Is that the impression I need to get from "deadly weapons"?

WTF is wrong with some people. It might be just me but firearms or any kind of deadly weapons shouldn't even be produced moreover distributed to people. I don't get the mentality of some people that it is all right to kill for any other reason other than defending your own life.

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