Apparently, a part of the Pandemic Panic and Lockdown ™ and the Twenty-Dollar Rebellion (the post-George Floyd) “protest movement” – and therefore, the “new normal” is continued looting. Also known as pillaging and plundering, it appears that such actions are the prerogative of people protesting 500 years of evil white supremacy and racism, while demanding the defunding of police. Regardless of the “protesters” own race, economic status, or social class.
In the next few weeks, there will undoubtedly be numerous times that the “opportunity” for looting will be created by protests – however peaceful they are intended to be. So let us examine this cute little pasttime.
Like so much else, looting is not a feature of a liberty-loving, peaceful, and prosperous society, dedicated to the idea that God created all humans equal.
- Illegal: A crime – certainly under the Common Law, no matter what modern, wishy-washy, woke judges (and juries) may claim. It is a form of stealing just as much as burglary, robbery, or purse-snatching (and shoplifting, whatever Sacramento says)
- Immoral – no matter how someone attempts to twist Scripture and invoke so-called rights and claims of restitution
- An act of aggression – not just “against property” but against the people who own that property and those who benefit from it, directly and indirectly
- An act of violence – using threats and acts of destructive force to hurt others, physically, financially, or otherwise
- Damaging to the cause(s) that those who do it espouse (or claim to) – they show themselves as gluttons, mean-spirited, incapable of reasoning, and foolish. This reflects on their cause (or the cause they use as an excuse)
- Destructive – no matter what is claimed, looting is intimately associated with the destruction of buildings and other property in/near the loot: a key part of looting, pillaging and laying waste to your enemies (and any convenient target)
- Intimidating – designed to put fear in people – not just the owners of what was stolen, but those nearby and in similar circumstances
- A seductive evil – it is easy for those of weak conscience and poor self-discipline to be tempted into joining the looting or going off and doing their own looting elsewhere
- A political act of contempt – showing your total disdain for society and others, and proving you are a parasite and all-around work of art
- Still wrong – even if the victims do not resist: property owners or their employees (such as clerks and security guards) may not actively resist out of fear for safety, but that does not make them “voluntary donations”
- Not suddenly moral (or even legal) – if you loot/liberate/steal just enough to stay under whatever stupid de minimus requirement your local jurisdiction has established (example: California’s insane decision NOT to prosecute if less than $950 value Is stolen)
- Deserving of active, defensive suppression – including deadly force by those victims or intended victims, and those seeking to defend and protect them
- A capital crime – for which the death penalty is appropriate. just as it is for rape, arson, and aggressive killing, in any rational and decent society
NO, I am not saying that a child – or even a young teenager – should be shot down for shoplifting some candy. Any more than deadly force is appropriate on a vandal spray-painting slogans on your walls.
Anytime that deadly force is used against a thief, a shoplifter, or a looter, there needs to be a trial by a coroner’s jury in which the person using the deadly force must defend himself or herself by justifying their action as necessary, reasonable, and prudent. This is definitely a conundrum today: the woke Street Mob and their Extreme Democrat allies use lawsuits, pressure on grand juries and prosecutors, and of course, social media to attack and destroy. Destroy whom? Those who clearly have used a weapon in self-defense and to prevent theft and destruction of property.
A correspondent wrote, given current conditions in many cities, “A really bold criminal could take a car on a joy test drive and just take it home, claiming that they should be able to keep it because stolen property is reparations, and if they dealer calls the cops, that’s racist because they value property over black lives, and they will get their Twitter followers to attack the dealer until they lose their franchise.” The amount stolen is NOT the factor which should be used to determine whether to prosecute – whether to consider it a crime or not. The amount is germane to determining the penalty.
But more than the dollar amount is important. In the Old West, stealing a horse was a capital crime, for which the penalty was death. Not because horses were so costly – a simple, rather worn-down nag could sell for as little as $20 (an ounce of gold in those days and less than a month’s wages). It was a capital crime because stealing a person’s horse, essential to them for life, could be a death sentence for the owner and user of the horse. The consequences were so great that society deemed it acceptable to punish by execution. The same rule should apply to the looting and destruction of the property (goods, equipment, structures) on which a person’s livelihood depends, even in 2020.
Another key factor to determine penalties is the use of force, whether threatened or actual violence. Especially when that violence could reasonably result in serious injury (disabling the person attacked) or death. The use of fire (torches, etc.) is an much the use of a deadly weapon as a pistol or rifle or knife. Ditto for clubs, spears, coshes, and the like.
Liberty – including the right to own and enjoy property – must be defended.