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.