Stopping Looters: We Ain’t Gonna Take It, Any More

It appears some people aren’t going to put up with brazen looters any more.

The 1976 film Network had one iconic moment, where Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch, started a social phenomenon by declaring during a live broadcast that his viewers should all shout, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!”

Looting of retail establishments has become a far worse pandemic than COVID was. Thieves boldly walk in, stuff bags and boxes full of merchandise and stroll out, knowing nothing will be done. Stores are resorting to all sorts of counter-measures, anything except actually apprehending and arresting the looters. And let’s be clear; this isn’t what Americans usually consider shoplifting. It’s not a 12-year-old kid sneaking a pack of gum into his pocket and skulking out the door. These people are looters, pure and simple. They aren’t hungry, their motive is profit, and in lots of places, they’re just allowed to get away with it.

Now in New York City, we see a would-be robber walk into a bodega to walk away with a garbage can full of free, tax-free smokes. He’s operating on the assumption that, like most large-scale shoplifters, he’ll just be able to walk out the door with the booty. In fact, you can hear someone, presumably the one shooting the video, advising the employees not to act. Observe the look on the looter’s face; he is calm, he is confident, and he is sure he’ll be able to just walk away with a garbage bag full of cigarettes.

He wasn’t counting on the two guys that stopped him, one of which was wearing what looks like the traditional head covering of the Sikhs.

In case you didn’t know it, the Sikhs are typically pretty hardcore.

The would-be cigarette thief, instead of free smokes, got a free beat-down.

If that doesn’t bring a chuckle from any viewer, then that viewer is ready for embalming.

There is precedent to this: At one point, during the 1992 Los Angeles “Rodney King” riots, a group of Korean store owners determined that the businesses they had spent years building were not going to be looted and burned. They grabbed weapons and defended their property, vigorously and with motivation and purpose.

AP/Reuters Feed Library

Their businesses were not looted and burned out. Imagine that. We had Roof Koreans; now we have Bodega Sikhs.

There’s a more vivid example from American history. On September 7, 1876, the infamous James-Younger gang, which at the time included Jesse and Frank James as well as Cole, Bob, and Jim Younger, who (along with Clell Miller, Charlie Pitts, and Bill Stiles) rode into Northfield, Minnesota, to rob the town’s bank, which they had been ‘casing’ for some time.

Things did not go well.

The safe couldn’t be opened as it was on a time lock, and the James-Younger gang’s time ran out when a local named J.S. Allen slipped out of the bank and shouted “Get your guns, boys, they’re robbing the bank!”

The gang tried to flee, but were cut to pieces; there was a rifle or pistol in every window. Jesse and Frank James were the only ones to escape but were eventually hunted down.

There’s a lesson in what Americans, still by and large a well-armed populace, can do if necessary.

Which brings us back to New York.

The issue New Yorkers have, of course, is one that did not face the citizens of Northfield in 1876. Law-abiding New Yorkers, along with residents of most of our major cities that are experiencing these kinds of looting issues, are disarmed by their own municipal governments. Not that anyone should endorse opening fire on thieves, but we can see how disorder in our major cities is increasing, and the city governments are less and less willing to do anything. So we can expect to see more people getting the stuffing beaten out of them with broom handles.

Our major cities are falling apart, and the local police and hamstrung by their city governments and apparently can do nothing. That leaves it up to the citizens. As we see here, people are increasingly mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.





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