Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Outsourcing strength

It seems to be the thing to do these days. People believe that they are somehow not qualified to protect themselves or their property because they are not "highly trained." Constantly being told that "experts agree" that they "will do more harm than good" if they resist, the _________(s) will just take away your ________(s) and kill you with it or hurt you more for resisting.

So the almost daily occurrence of piracy is not at all surprising considering that we have so many unarmed vessels floating around just waiting to be harvested by goons with rusty weapons.

But CTone, they're Highly Trained madmen!!! How do you expect anyone to repel such an onslaught of half starved men who barely know how to use their weapons?

I'm not against outsourcing violence on others behalf - military and police come to mind - as long as the people charging them with their protection are capable of providing their own protection as well. There should be no monopoly of force. Paying people to be vigilant while you sleep is a proven concept, but defending yourself on your own should never make you a vigilante.

With that said, why is it that the people insist on making ships defenseless? Really. Pirates are not invincible people who are trained to take down ships, and it doesn't take much effort to board the vessel with a half empty bolt action rifle when the handful of people on board are unarmed. And I'm sorry, but telling those on board that repelling boarders with rifles is futile, but repelling boarders with water hoses and beer bottles is a great idea.

Sure, some of the pirates have machine guns and RPGs, but it doesn't take a genius to see that a ship with a M2 Browning would make short work of a little boat full of armed crazies that was heading their way. And a couple of guys with Ruger Mini 14s would make the climb on board more treacherous than the ship would be worth.

What do we have to show for maintaining valuable ships full of defenseless people? An explosive increase in piracy, hostage taking, and murders.

When will we learn that being defenseless is stupid?

Update: The crew of Maersk Alabama has reported that they have taken back control of the ship, and that they have one pirate in custody; the rest have been cast back into the sea. No word on how this was accomplished, but good on em'.

Update: Well, FOX News reports that the crew was not armed:
"All the crew members are trained in security detail in how to deal with piracy," Maersk CEO John Reinhart told reporters. "As merchant vessels we do not carry arms. We have ways to push back, but we do not carry arms."
That's pretty silly, but in this case it did work. I'm sure we will have details soon.

Update: The pirates have the Alabama's Captain hostage, and are holding him on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Not good. It seems that the Captain surrendering was part of how the crew was able to re-take the ship.
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