Few people are lower than looters. Looters who take advantage of a natural disaster are even lower than the lowest. Hurricane Irma looters deserve to be infamous for their terrible behavior.
According to the Daily Mail, thirty-two men and women have been arrested for looting in the wake of Hurricane Irma. These individuals stand accused of not only stealing shoes and clothing from abandoned stores, but of stealing weapons, and even engaging in an armed standoff with Orlando SWAT.
So far, one video captured by a private citizen has been shared thousands of times on social media. The video shows a large gang of individuals breaking into an Academy Sports store in Orlando in the midst of heavy rains from Hurricane Irma.
Unsurprisingly, this video did not make the rounds on mainstream media. Twenty-eight of the thirty-two individuals apprehended are from the Miami area. During the standoff with SWAT officers, at least one individual barricaded himself in a mall.
All told, all looters were arrested without any serious injury or death. Two of the arrested individuals have been identified as Ryan Cook and Max Saintvil.
Many Twitter and Facebook users have expressed sharp outrage over such disregard for human life and safety, and for heartlessly taking advantage of people and institutions while their guards were down.
Another Twitter user named O (@_0HOUR1_) used this case in order to criticize Black Lives Matter: “#Irma looters being detained tonight #BlackLivesMatter being retired. You goofballs will never learn goodboy by march bad boy by riot.”
The racial component of this particular case has been noted by many internet commentators. RAMZPAUL (real name Paul Ramsay) compared the looters in Florida to the citizens of Japan, whom, in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, did not resort to looting — nor did they rob each other. Japan, it should be noted, is over ninety-percent Japanese.
Scumbag Irma looters rounded up. Should these thieves get stiffer penalties for disaster looting?
However, other commentators like Alex Jones have contrasted the response to Irma with the response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas. While there were cases of looting in Houston, most Texans, regardless of skin color, came together and helped each other out. In Florida, this does not seem to have been the case. A stark difference exists.
At the end of the day, there is no excuse for looting. God commanded everyone not to steal. This includes rich people, poor people, and those in the middle. Looting is theft — it is not only stealing the labor of those who make the looted merchandise, but also the labor of those who sell these items, and those who want to legitimately purchase them. Looting is not a “victimless” crime. It is a serious offense that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Hopefully, these thirty-two individuals become famous, and become shunned in their communities. Such crimes are unconscionable, and directly target the fabric of our frayed society.