The holidays can get the best of us.
There are those of us who came back from Thanksgiving with hangovers or similar kinds of nausea, whether it was from drinking or the occasional over-indulgence in turkey.
This year, though, people came away from the holidays with cuts, bruises and contusions. Some even lost their lives.
In Nassau County, New York, a Wal-Mart employee was killed after being trampled by overeager shoppers who rushed into the store to take advantage of post-Thanksgiving sales.
At least four other people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. It was reported that so many people came rushing through the metal frame of the entrance that part of the frame was crushed like an accordion.
Now, I like a deal as much as the next guy, but I would like to think I would have the good sense to not trample a man to death in pursuit of a vacuum cleaner or a DVD.
In fact, what is going on in these stores on “Black Friday” seems more akin to looting rather than shopping — the only difference being that these people are paying for the items after the beating and destruction takes place.
Perhaps large retail chains need to consider adding more security to their stores to keep incidents like this from happening.
Is getting an inexpensive set of linens or a new television worth injuring someone to get it? Does saving a few dollars justify violence toward another person?
As sad as it is to think about, these are questions that are becoming more and more commonplace during the holiday season, and it is not right.
Human casualties are hard enough to deal with in instances like war and terrorism – we don’t need them during shopping trips. It’s time for people to realize that, though you might get caught up in the fun and excitement of holiday shopping, there can be no excuse for the kind of violent and childish behavior that exists among holiday shoppers.
Though some of the fault must lie with the retailers for their aggressive promotion of these sales, it is ultimately the responsibility of the shopper to discern what is right and wrong when faced with a “holiday mob” situation. They must always remember most of these items are available year-round, though they might cost a few dollars more.
With our current economy, no one can be blamed for wanting to pinch a few pennies, but there has got to be a line drawn somewhere.
I think now is a good time to start.
Jim Banks is a senior in mass communications. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.