No Bull Survival’s Guide to Looting – Ethical?

Surfing the SHTF internet waves a few days ago I came across No Bullshit Survival. The “no bullshit” in the sites’ name makes it, in a sense, a non-shtf shtf site ……. anyway, I found the site administrator’s post, Guide to Looting when SHTF. The author prefaces the post with “If you’re a law abiding citizen I suggest you don’t read this section.”

The “guide” is brief and talks about:

  • making a “looting kit”
  • making a “looting team”
  • mapping and creating a list of targets
  • what to loot
  • places to avoid

The author’s logic seems misplaced. In “places to avoid” he writes:

The family run corner stores should be avoided as the owners actually have an interest in the store. The best historical example to illustrate this point occurred during the LA riots … remember Korea town?

Yet in the “creating a list of targets” section he suggests police stations, fire stations and military/armory bases …. seriously? Yes – seriously.

Looting during a time of crisis – ethical?

It would seem the obvious answer is NO – unless it’s a total cataclysmic TEOTWAWKI scenario, something Mad Max like. In an unrealistic, movie-like scenario like that, looting wouldn’t be stealing, it’d be surviving. I think the ethics of looting are based on that single factor – survival. Example:

  • Ethical – A hurricane hit three days ago, everything is destroyed and flooded, people are dead, thugs are out and help is nowhere to be seen. You need clean, potable water – you loot the convenience store for bottles of water and power bars. You hit up the pharmacy for insulin to treat your diabetes.
  • Stealing – You then grab a bag of lollipops and go across the street to snatch a flat panel television.

If I could honestly tell a judge (or higher power) that I took the item(s) because I feared for my survival without them, I’d be okay with it.

Looting during the New York City 1977 blackouts?

Cover of July 25, 1977 Time Magazine showing the looting that happened during the New York City blackout of 1977.

Not okay.

– Ranger Man