Monday, August 11, 2014
Looting isn't a protest - it's a crime
I'm sure many of us have seen news reports about looting and arson in Ferguson, Missouri, after a young man was shot by police under circumstances that appear questionable (according to initial reports). Protests and a prayer vigil had been organized, but last night some elements of the community took it upon themselves to rob local stores and set fires, allegedly in response to the shooting.
Looting and arson aren't protest actions - they're crimes. Period. There's nothing else that needs to be said about them. If local store-owners were to stand guard over their property (as some are reported to have done), good. If some of them were to use force - up to and including lethal force - to protect their property against such criminals, more power to them. I'll buy them a beer - heck, I'll buy them replacement ammunition if necessary!
I'm sorry if that offends some people, but I have absolutely zero tolerance for criminal conduct masquerading as (or committed under the excuse of) outraged public opinion. It's crime, pure and simple - and criminals need to be stopped. I wish police had acted more firmly to stop the culprits yesterday; but I presume the local powers that be were trying to avoid escalating the tension between them and residents. Still, why more locals didn't act on their own to preserve law and order, and defend local property, speaks ill of the level of community spirit in Ferguson. It wouldn't be that way where I live.