Guns & Katrina, Reconsidered

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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4 Responses

  1. Re: “unleashing private violence – and encouraging armed self-help – doesn’t necessarily lead to the restoration of civic order. It may, as it turns out, result in biased, erroneous, decision making and awful tragedy.”

    Indeed, perhaps it’s time to re-visit Hobbes.

  2. Guest says:

    You refrain from blaming Reynolds and that VC fellow on the grounds that “Obviously, they were writing about the facts as they knew them.”

    But just a few sentences before this you quoted: “The narrative of those early, chaotic days — built largely on half-baked anecdote and unfounded rumor — quickly hardened into a kind of ugly consensus”.

    If “they” were writing about the “facts” based on half-baked anecdote and unfounded rumor, then they weren’t writing about facts at all, and should be blamed – blamed for the racism their extraordinary overreactions would seem blatantly to manifest. I would like to suggest that sophisticated law professors and professional bloggers should be held to a pretty high standard of skepticism and fact-checking, and should be roundly censured for jumping on a band-wagon that involves *encouraging people to shoot strangers to death*.

    Sorry, giving you a bit of a hard time, but the point kind of makes itself, doesn’t it?

  3. ParatrooperJJ says:

    Shooting looters has been an accepted and necessary part of US common law and continues to be an effective response to looting in a natural disaster or uprising.

  4. ParatrooperJJ,

    Yet again you’ve failed to take your reality medication: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-solnit-katrina-looting-20100829,0,7411362.story

    A prescription is ineffective if you ignore or forget it.