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calendar   Thursday - September 01, 2005

Shoot To Kill

There are always human vermin who will prey on the weak and suffering. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is no exception. I remember back in 1969 when Hurricane Camille tore through Mobile and the Gulf Coast. Our house was destroyed as were the houses of thousands of others. The vermin descended on us almost immediately. The bastards came flooding in from all over, selling ice for $10 per bag and water for $5 per gallon. Yes, there was some looting but everyone was too stunned to take advantage of any “five-finger discounts”. The worst criminals were the jerks taking advantage of our misery. There were laws passed after Camille to make it illegal to do those kind of ripoffs again.

Nowadays, the only ripoffs are coming from the oil companies. The price of gas here in St. Louis jacked up to $3.09 per gallon yesterday and it’s only going to get worse. Meanwhile, in the devastated areas a new breed of “survivor” is running around New Orleans, armed with guns and grabbing everything that’s not nailed down ....

imageimageNEW ORLEANS (AP)—National Guardsmen in armored vehicles poured into New Orleans on Thursday to curb the growing lawlessness as Mississippi’s governor vowed to deal with looters in the neighboring state as “ruthlessly as we can get our hands on them.” An additional 10,000 National Guard troops from across the country were ordered into the Gulf Coast to shore up security, rescue and relief operations. The new units brought the number of troops dedicated to the effort to more than 28,000, in what may be the largest military response to a natural disaster.

“The truth is, a terrible tragedy like this brings out the best in most people, brings out the worst in some people,” said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on NBC’s “Today” show. “We’re trying to deal with looters as ruthlessly as we can get our hands on them.” New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin also ordered virtually the entire police force to abandon search-and-rescue efforts and stop thieves who were becoming increasingly hostile.

“They are starting to get closer to heavily populated areas—hotels, hospitals, and we’re going to stop it right now,” Nagin said. President Bush said Thursday the federal government has launched the most massive relief effort in history to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, pledging to reach thousands of victims that still needed to be rescued. With more than a thousand people feared dead, some refugees that had been staying in increasingly deteriorating conditions at the Louisiana Superdome began arriving by bus at a new, more comfortable home at the Astrodome in Houston.

Conditions at the Superdome had become horrendous: There was no air conditioning, the toilets were backed up, and the stench was so bad that medical workers wore masks as they walked around. The first of 500 busloads of people arrived early Thursday at the Astrodome. Bush expressed sympathy for those who were still suffering but also said there should be “zero tolerance” for breaking the law during an emergency situation.

In a sign of growing lawlessness, Tenet HealthCare Corp. asked authorities late Wednesday to help evacuate a fully functioning hospital in Gretna after a supply truck carrying food, water and medical supplies was held up at gunpoint. “There are physical threats to safety from roving bands of armed individuals with weapons who are threatening the safety of the hospital,” said spokesman Steven Campanini. He estimated there were about 350 employees in the hospital and between 125 to 150 patients.

Tempers were starting to flare across the devastated region. Police said a man in Hattiesburg, Miss., fatally shot his sister in the head over a bag of ice. Dozens of carjackings were reported, including a nursing home bus. One officer was shot in the head and a looter was wounded in a shootout. Both were expected to survive.

I saw on Fox News last night an interview with a Gulfport policeman who admitted that what he wanted to do when he saw looters was “shoot them in the head and hang a sign on the corpse that says ‘LOOTER’”. I approve.



Update: Property owners and ordinary citizens are taking up arms to stop looters in New Orleans ....

imageimage(NY TIMES)—In a city shut down for business, the Rite Aid at Oak and South Carrollton was wide open on Wednesday. Someone had stolen a forklift, driven it four blocks, peeled up the security gate and smashed through the front door. The young and the old walked in empty-handed and walked out with armfuls of candy, sunglasses, notebooks, soda and whatever else they could need or find. No one tried to stop them.

Across New Orleans, the rule of law, like the city’s levees, could not hold out after Hurricane Katrina. The desperate and the opportunistic took advantage of an overwhelmed police force and helped themselves to anything that could be carried, wheeled or floated away, including food, water, shoes, television sets, sporting goods and firearms. Many people with property brought out their own shotguns and sidearms. Many without brought out shopping carts. The two groups have moved warily in and out of each other’s paths for the last three days, and the rising danger has kept even some rescue efforts from proceeding.

Some frightened homeowners took security into their own hands. John Carolan was sitting on his porch in the thick, humid darkness just before midnight Tuesday when three or four young men, one with a knife and another with a machete, stopped in front of his fence and pointed to the generator humming in the front yard, he said.

One said, “We want that generator,” he recalled.

“I fired a couple of rounds over their heads with a .357 Magnum,” Mr. Carolan recounted Wednesday. “They scattered.”

He smiled and added, “You’ve heard of law west of the Pecos. This is law west of Canal Street.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/01/2005 at 07:18 AM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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