if someone does not have the means to leave the city during the hurricane, then looting is not always wrong. i personally see nothing wrong with looting from say walmart.
agreed, they could be doing something more constructive, but dont automatically condemn all looters. in a society where you have to pay for absolutely everything (the thought that if i got hit by a car one day, and was without health insurance and lived, that i could be bankrupted for life makes me shudder) you cannot blame those with the least for making the best of the bad situation. they certainly didnt stay behind with the mentality "ooh - lets ride out the biggest storm in american history so we can get some free beer".
even if they are looting private property, insurance will pay for it so there really is little to be lost, unless you are sympathetic to insurance companies (i personally wouldnt piss on an insurance exec if he/she was on fire!).
people generally only steal from others if they are aggreved (bar a tiny proportion of career criminals). rather than blaming the individual, you have to address the cause - why is that these people are so quick to loot? probably because they are on minimum wage ($5.15/hr? jesus - its low here at $9/hr and its going up to $9.80 next month) whilst the people they work for give them no benefits, no vacation, no health plan and are millionaires themselves.
pointing the finger at the looters lets the real criminals off the hook.
my sympathy goes out to anyone suffering in the hurricane.
In other words, use the cause as a scape goat? Ok I understand (althought i still believe it is wrong, but I just understand) if you loot in the means of survival, but this? BEER?! ELECTRONICS?! Now that is unacceptable.
And the insurance will pay for it?
Looting is looting and it is a crime. If I had a store there and someone broke in and took all my stuff, I wouldnt just dismiss and say "Eh, they are in a storm, so I dont care if they steal my stuff".