Hold together a cogent argument!
"Would Eric Butler steal a child's bike to teach the child to keep his bike locked up?"
No, but that's theft and is illegal.
"Would he beat up a staggering drunk to teach him binge drinking was wrong?"
No, that's assault and is illegal.
"Would he hurl bricks through windows to "encourage house builders to use better security practices"?"
No, that's vandalism and damage to property, also illegal.
"Would he steal babies from a hospital maternity ward to promote better automated baby tracking systems?'
No, that's kidnapping ( and theft?! ), once again illegal.
"Would he hand out bags of bent nails to school children to be scattered on roads to protest the auto industries failure to use puncture-proof tires?"
No, that's endangering lives on the public highway. Again, illegal.
Firesheep does nothing illegal, it merely pulls information from an open source. If you choose to abuse, then that's your business, but be prepared for th 6ft bloke who's just had his FB account cracked open to walk across the coffee shop and lump you one!
Seriously though, if Eric went down to the B&Q ( DIY hardware store for those outside the UK ) and bought a crowbar, a hammer and a bag of nails. That's not illegal, he's done nothing wrong. If then goes on to commit the crimes you mentioned using those tools, that's not the fault of the Stanley or B&Q is it? I don't see B&Q being collared in a lot of burglary cases for 'adding and abetting', do you?
Nmap, Wireshark, Aircrack, are any of these illegal? No, but they can be used for nefarious purposes if used in the "right" way.