Though we cheer Captain Jack Sparrow and the pirates from the old Carribean at the movies, in real life we’re on the side of the crown. We want our navy to douse the blackguards and we’re cheering today for the U.S. Navy Seals off the coast of Somalia.
And although safe transport on the seas is certainly a standard worth defending, I can’t help but think that companies shipping through dangerous waters should bear more of the security expense.
Evidently merchant marines avoid arming their boats for fear they may provoke pirates to deploy even larger weapons. Also, some argue that an armed crew is a mutiny waiting to happen.
Still, aren’t the shipping companies a little like gas station operators who dumped wage-earning pump attendants in favor of self-serve pumps? A certain number of pirates drive off without paying and station owners rely on the police to stop them. If I stacked widgets by the roadside and complained about people stealing them, I expect the police would tell me to lock up my widgets.
We can’t assign a destroyer to every pleasure and merchant vessel on the water anymore than we can post a cop at every gas pump.