Creatures of the State

From a news story about New Orleans, now being linked on Drudge:

Authorities continued trying to clear the city of holdouts, and also confiscated guns from homeowners. Police and soldiers feared deadly confrontations with jittery residents who have armed themselves against looters.

"Walking up and down these streets, you don’t want to think about the stuff that you’re going to have to do, if somebody pops out around a corner," said National Guardsman Chris Montgomery.

I guess this must be legal. Maybe it’s necessary. But I don’t like it. What do you guys think? Then there’s this, which I don’t understand at all:

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Jason Rule said his crew pulled 18 people from their homes Thursday. He said some of the holdouts did not want to leave unless they could take their pets.

Making people leave their pets behind in an immediate emergency when you have to choose between saving some people’s dogs and saving other human beings is the right thing to do. But is this still that kind of emergency?

Or are these signs that we’re that much closer to being mere creatures of the state?