No they aren't. They CHOOSE to do nothing about looters. The idea that armed police are helpless is both false and offensive: They have been ordered to do nothing.
There is nothing simpler or less time consuming than controlling looting: Shoot looters on sight. Move on, find more looters. Repeat. Announce the results. Looting will stop very quickly.
As a number of ppl have pointed out, it is one thing for ppl in extraordinary circumstances such as New Orleans is going thru to appropriate- loot, if you will- food, water, diapers, and first aid supplies. It is entirely different to break into jewelry shops and electronics shops and steal the contents.
Kevin McGill, an Associated Press Writer, has one of the numerous reports on looting
The Times-Picayune newspaper reported that the gun section at a new Wal-Mart had been cleaned out by looters...
On New Orleans' Canal Street, dozens of looters ripped open the steel gates on clothing and jewelry stores and grabbed merchandise. In Biloxi, Miss., people picked through casino slot machines for coins and ransacked other businesses. In some cases, the looting was in full view of police and National Guardsmen...
Other looters were seen leaving a store with armfuls of tennis shoes and football jerseys.
Uh huh. And tvs, vacuum cleaners, and other essentials.
Korean store owners knew how to stop looting during the LA riots.