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My sister lived just outside the tornado’s path of destruction in Tuscaloosa. A lower income housing project was destroyed a few hundreds yards away. The first few nights saw sporadic looting across the city. One of the first nights after the destruction, a man wandered into the back yard and tried to get into her house. She grabbed a .22 revolver and called the police. The police arrived moments later and ran off the man, who was either testing her house to see if anyone was home, or was confused about which house he was at due to widespread power outages . . .

Upon relaying the story to me (her brother) I packed up the van with weapons, food and a ham radio and went down and spent the night in the front yard. We setup a tiki torch perimeter and created signs in her front yard to deter the looters which had been visiting houses in her area for the last couple of nights.

I stood watch with weapons in the open. The National Guard had been called in to keep the peace (notice they have no magazines in their M-16s). When they drove by the signs and the rather small woman, their interests were peaked and upon my request they got out of their HMMWVs for a quick photo op.

The police were very friendly and welcome to the idea of the common citizen guarding their house with weapons in the open. I even held a discussion (and provided a demonstration) by two officers who demonstrated the proper way to load my magazine fed shotgun without having to retract the bolt to the rear.

The National Guard, State Government, Mayor Walter Maddox, Police Force, and Police Chief Steven Anderson are to be commended for the professional actions and good job handling such a large scale crisis which could have easily deteriorated.

When contacted to see if any of the photos or video captured of the officers during the crisis should be censored, Police Chief Anderson stated citizens are encouraged to use any photos or video they have collected.  This governmental transparency and cooperation with the law abiding citizen is very encouraging.

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  1. I’ve been through a few tornadoes and other natural disasters. I’m trying to imagine what it would be like to be the absolute dickhead who, amid all the destruction around him, is guarding his home with a gun when he could be helping with the rescue and cleanup. Nope, can’t quite wrap my head around that.

    People, if there is a natural disaster in our neck of the woods, please know that you are welcome to anything I have if you think it will help. Help yourself to anything you see. I’ll be busy with things other than my own precious material possessions.

    You know, usually I’m having fun with you lovable fruitcakes, but I have to admit there are times when you make me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

    • That’s all nice and cool until the looting starts, which, as we know from other disasters in the US, will start eventually. And that’s fine? I’m not supposed to defend my stuff? Seriously? It’s not just the stuff in the house, you know. There may be family members as well. So what do you think the looters will do with them? Kill them, of course.

      It’s not Japan after all.

      As for helping with the rescue, yeah, I’ve seen civilians trying to help with rescue operations. They usually get in the way and are insufferable know-it-alls. And cleaning up isn’t an issue until the area is searched for survivors and bodies. Given the devastation after quakes and tornados you do that with heavy vehicles, cause it’s easier than doing it with a shovel.

    • What a troll. What color is the sun in your world? It must be rose colored. I’m one of the loveable fruitcakes who frequents this blog. You should take the time to help out at one of those disaster ravaged places. If you did you would know that the people doing the looting aren’t doing so because they were victims of the disaster. They are predators coming in to take advantage. Having taken time to volunteer in Joplin to help people clean up I’ve seen this first hand. If you are in need, there is more than enough charity being distributed by local churches and service organizations like the lions club. There is literally no need to steal for survival reasons. So go ahead and throw up in your mouth if you want as that will be one mouth that won’t need to be fed in a crisis.

      • Been there, done that. I’ve seen the mentality at work in the blog item above. It’s phony bullshit. It’s also anti-social, anti-christian, and anti-human. It’s a futile attempt to assert control over one’s surroundings in the face of the power of nature. It’s not even about people, really. That’s simply where the acting out is directed. I have no problem telling you that you have no idea what you are talking about.

        • You sound very much like a “Holier Than Thou ” Christian. I’d prefer you do as Jesus commanded, to love one another as He has loved you, and leave the judging to God.

          I’m sure you’d welcome the hood rat(s) probing your backyard at night into your home with open arms.

    • Magoo seems to know everything, been everywhere and done everything. Magoo is more Walter Mitty or Moby then anything else.

        • Heah walter err I mean Magoo, In any disaster you first secure your person, family and property, then you render aid as best you can to those in immediate danger and back off when the authorities arrive. But the most important step is step 1 because if you lack a secure base you become a danger to yourself and others.

    • “there are times when you make me throw up in my mouth a little bit”

      Next time, throw up on the floor like a real man.

  2. The first thing you need to understand in these situations is that the stories of crime, looting, and lawlessness are immediately exaggerated by several orders of magnitude. It’s one of the common manifestations of mass hysteria, a very predictable human stress trait. You can even count on the media to feed the hysteria. Call it the War of the Worlds Syndrome if you like.

    In these cases people need to stop and think for a second about what they are so excited about. Looters, oh no! They’ll take my flat-screen TV! Folks, I have watched some TV. It’s ok but it’s not great. I don’t think I would shoot anyone over one. Besides, it’s insured anyway.

    • We have historical flooding going on in Bismarck, ND right now and I’ve seen a few “looters will be shot on site” signs. Anyone in western ND knows that those signs aren’t just for fun, you’ll get your ass shot off here for stealing someone else’s flat screen. That’s how we like it and aim to keep it that way. ND has never sniffed the top of the “crime food chain” in America, now you know why.
      As for helping other people, the citizens of Bismarck set an un-official world record for sandbagging on Sunday June 5 with 290,740 bags filled(volunteers). We all have helped people sandbag their homes, move em’ out of their homes and store their valuables at homes that aren’t affected by the flooding. We work in the daylight and many home owners stand watch at their homes at night with Firearms. Stay where you are Magoo, people with your pathetically liberal train of thought are not welcome in places like Bismarck where most folks have a lot of what you lack…common sense.

    • So, the “looters” are welcome to take your TV. Next they also want your food. What little food you have to feed YOUR family, THEY want. And, they’re willing to take it by force. Are you going to throw up a little bit in your mouth then? Or will you do something to protect your family?

    • This is not an either or situation. What are you going to do: put your stuff outside your home with a sign saying “take it” but leave me the F alone? Protect your stuff, protect your family.

  3. The first thing you need to understand in these situations is that the stories of crime, looting, and lawlessness are immediately exaggerated by several orders of magnitude.

    Exaggerated? By whom? In fact, it is usually the other way around. Generally, a more civilized and socialized people will not loot. The key attribute is whether the society is homogenous, and whether citizens share both a common understanding of social order and personal responsibility. That is why you did not observe much crime in the recent Japanese disaster.

    Contrast that with the New Orleans situation after Katrina. Here, because of their political agenda, the MSM did everything it could to downplay looting and violence. A more stark example is that of Haiti. There, even the MSM could not hide the truth.

    • Actually, the looting was a pretty big story in the Katrina debacle. Looting was covered and covered extensively. Your post should simply read “I don’t like black people.”. That is, after all, what you’re saying.

      Looting in Haiti is something else entirely. The majority of the infrastructure was destroyed making aid slow to arrive in many situations. For some, looting was definitely a way of survival for some. Especially when there is zero potable water. No one really wants cholera.

  4. Magoo wrote: “usually I’m having fun with you lovable fruitcakes”

    I don’t object to the “fruitcake” reference, but the “lovable” part is going way too far. Magoo, are you hitting on us? ‘Cause we don’t swing that way. Well, not most of us. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

  5. ~ People, if there is a natural disaster in our neck of the woods, please know that you are welcome to anything I have if you think it will help. ~

    Does that include your wife and daughters? There’s no doubt a single man finding himself caught in the midst of a disaster would benefit from the company of several attentive females. Note to self: Always engage brain before opening mouth.

  6. RB – Nice Saiga 12 you’re sister is holding there. Any thoughts on doing a pistol grip conversion? Presently thinking about doing it for my own.

  7. You folks are all crazy and live in a paranoid state. You should know that not all criminals are bad and that most just want to politely rob all your stuff and then leave. I mean do you guys really think those criminals are out to get you? They are taking your stuff and you should let them. They have families to feed too! Won’t someone please think of the looters! That flat screen they took from your house will help with that. The fact that they are stealing should tell you they are in need and wouldn’t do it otherwise. Yes, they may seem mean but the average criminal is no more mean then me or you. So what they get out of hand sometimes and a couple of ladies get raped or killed. It happens but the chances of it happening to you are statistically non-existent (don’t ask me for these stats I can’t find them). So, next time you are in a state of chaos just keep your guard down and take it in the ass. Remember to pass around your wife and daughters too. Satisfied criminals are even nicer criminals.

  8. “notice they have no magazines in their M-16s”

    Can anyone tell me why this is? Is the National Guard not allowed to use mags in their M-16s?

  9. Also, good work on your part Robert. You did what was right – protecting your family. I’d do the same.

    Curious, typically your on;y allowed to use deadly force if you or someone else is in danger of being killed or maimed.

    What’s the legality of shooting looters of they are not placing your life (or someone else’s) in danger?

    • State laws vary wildly as to the so-called Castle Doctrine and what you can do to protect your own home and property.

      • I figured it came down to that but I didn’t know if there was some provision if a state of emergency was declared, or if martial law was declared.

        Weren’t citizens given the ok to shoot-to-kill looters in New Orleans?

        • Um…yeah. Right after Mayor Ray “Chocolate Town” Nagin of New Orleans gave the go-ahead to his police chief to confiscate all the guns owned by private citizens.

        • Yeah, I can’t find any references other than speculation that the mayor gave cops the shoot-to-kill order. Must have been something that got recorded in my brain wrong.

  10. I’ve been through a few tornadoes in my life though none quite this bad. In the evenings I kept my shotgun handy loaded with a mix of 00 buckshot and slug. I will help those that need to the extent I can. If someone tries to break in and take by force I get a bit Old Testament. What I have will be needed for my families survival and looting will not be tolerated.

    As for the statement that the amount of looting is exagerated, this is the first report I’ve seen of looting. Plus I’m pretty sure the looters aren’t the neighbors so stand to and hold the line.

  11. I remember Hurricane Hugo and being stationed at Charleston Naval Base as security for the aftermath. Thugs started dressing as National Guard. One group broke into Naval housing, shot the husband and raped the wife. I guess Magoo wasn’t there…

    • “shot the husband and raped the wife. I guess Magoo wasn’t there…”

      The two statements aren’t mutually exclusive.

      • I just remember it from pulling security duty for The Naval Station/Charleston Naval Base, within a week or so after Hugo. Things were so bad after that we drove w/o stopping once we left the base until we hit the highway. I remember it was Navy Housing, I’ll see if I can find an archive.

      • No luck so far. As I recall, it came up in briefing-especially since thugs were dressing up as friendlies. It was weeks before we had power at most places on base, so I wouldn’t know if TV news covered it.

    • Terrible crimes occur with and without natural disasters. The thing to remember is that crime hysteria pegs the needle during natural disasters.

  12. If Magoo was at the Pentagon on 9-11 he would have been on point saving livers left and right. He would have won the Medal of Honor. If he was at the WTC no one would have died. If he were on the Titanic the Liner would not have sunk. Magoo is a superhero.

  13. I wish you had taken my BONE COLLECTOR and the snubbie cuz your sis would have looked even cooler holding these two 500’s in her front yard. If she’s not married I have a matching Saiga to go along with hers, plus a few other guns that she may like.

  14. Magoo,anyone who is out trying to steal from those who have lost most everything else are nothing but scum.You sound like one of those people who would tell a woman to just let the rapist have what he wants.I live not far from Tuscaloosa,and I have absolutely no respect for looters.Thanks for your insights to human nature,but Dr. Phil called and said leave the pseudo analyzing to him.

  15. Just wanted to mention that I’m in Duquesne, MO, just adjacent to Joplin. You see all the news about Joplin, but our small city got heavily damaged as well. And I’ve heard gunshots at night almost every night for the past 3 weeks. I was very lucky that my house was only slightly damaged. One block south of me started complete and total destruction. (The WalMart and the Academy Sports were just west and south of where I live.)
    I wanted to mention this about those convicted of looting here. Well first off, if they were arrested, several bailbondsmen stated that they would not post bail for suspected looters, ha ha. Then if convicted, they have to spend 100 days in jail, and maybe 15 days off for good behavior.
    And I have 2 snubbies and a 500A, just in case.

  16. You did the right thing Robert. Your sister is very fortunate to have a brother and a family member she can count on for help.

    If a tornado rolled through my town and did the same sort of damage, I’d be fighting back the vermin 24/7. Mine is one of the southeastern Pennsylvania towns that filled up with New York City scum when Giuliani ran them off some years back. It would be a lootfest free-for-all.

    I don’t know what pleasant place Magoo lives in but I wish I could visit there to see what it’s like.

  17. This is not complicated. Take a look at the photo above and the story with it. Do you see anything there that might raise some red flags for you?

    In and around New Orleans in the wake of Katrina, thugs with guns, many of them with badges, declared open season on innocent civilians. Two examples: Algiers Point and the Danziger Bridge. What enabled this lawlessness? Panic and hysteria. Don’t be a dope. Don’t swallow the hype.

    • I don’t know where you live Magoo, but it seems to be a truly blessed place where the normal rules of human nature are suspended.

      I lived through the NYC blackout in 1977 and saw, first hand, the behavior you claim doesn’t happen. I arrived at the Charleston naval base one day after hurricane Hugo, and my first assigned duty was to patrol off-base housing with a shotgun to guard against the people you claim don’t exist. A month later I was in St. Croix, staying in a hotel that had been picked clean by, according to you, figments of a hysterical imagination.

      There is no contradiction between securing your property and helping your neighbors. In fact our tendency to prepare in advance and defend what we have makes us better able to help out.

      Yes, the media tends to exaggerate bad news because that’s what sells papers. But your insistence that there’s nothing to worry about is just exaggeration in the other direction. It’s not logic or thought, it’s wishful thinking.

  18. As I have never been in this scenario I must respectfully leave it to the judgment of how necessary this could be to the individuals who lived it. In an uncontrolled situation, things can change rapidly and unpredictably. There is no “general rule” for decorum which could be relevant for every block, neighborhood, house, person, etc. These folks may have very well may have arrived at the decision to visibly protect their house in this way through a completely rational and logical process. Or they could be nuts. Regardless, if they aren’t hurting anyone then it is no one’s business or right to judge.


  19. What struck me about the picture is that those signs could very well keep the barbarians away. They just might heed the warning and move on to easier pickings. If not, your sister is now equipped to handle the Darwin-award eligible, terminally clueless scum.

    I also note that the aptly named Magoo is blind to the evil in some people that are perfectly willing to pillage and rape others. I shudder to think what might have happened to your sister if confronted with one or more of these barbarians with only a .22 revolver.

    Your support for your sister is the essence of practical brotherly love. Bravo sir.

  20. Late post, but if anyone knows where Magoo lives, would you please go by his house and post the following (large print) sign on his front lawn:


    After all, why should the criminals have to take a chance on an armed homeowner who might shoot them when Magoo is perfectly happy sharing his possessions with people who would rather steal than work?

  21. Magoo, wouldn’t it be easier to help other people rebuild their lives if you knew that your own possessions and the lives of your family were safe? If there was a natural disaster where I live, you can be certain that my family and I would secure our place (perhaps leaving 2 members at home, armed, and with signs proclaiming this fact), while the other members of our clan would go out and help the neighbors clean up. For damn sure if the tornado didn’t get the house, I’m not letting a group of thugs get the things inside of it.








  23. First of let me apologize for reacting on an old topic. I was just searching in Google about home defense setup and ran across this site.

    Anyways let’s just respect if Magoo wants to be unarmed, if fact its his right not to embrace gun culture or its ideas. Let’s just hope that nothing bad ever happens to him during calamities.

    I prefer to arm myself and not rely on luck to survive. There is a reason Jesus gave us a brain and that is to us it, I’m not doubting that Jesus can protect me but I will not totally rely it to him so that he can help the one’s who cannot protect them selves like Magoo for example.

    Oh and I don’t want to be questioned by Jesus “Son why did you not defended yourself when you were still alive? You have the means and the capability, what’s the reason I gave you a brain and not use it?”.


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