Happy Holidaze. From what I'm reading on the net this AM, people have gotten off to a great Holiday start by pepper spraying & shooting each other. Happy Black Friday! What have we become? What happened to the true meaning & spirit of it? Wake me when it's over, please:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman shot pepper spray to keep shoppers from merchandise she wanted during a Black Friday sale, and 20 people suffered minor injuries, authorities said.
The incident occurred shortly after 10:20 p.m. Thursday in a crowded Los Angeles-area Walmart as shoppers hungry for deals were let inside the store.
Police said the suspect shot the pepper spray when the coverings over the items she wanted were removed.
"Somehow she was trying to use it to gain an upper hand," police Lt. Abel Parga told The Associated Press early Friday.
He said she was apparently after some electronics and used the pepper spray to keep other shoppers at bay.
Officials said 20 people suffered minor injuries. Fire department spokesman Shawn Lenske said the injuries to least 10 of them were due to " rapid crowd movement."
Parga said police were still looking for the woman.
The store remained open and those not affected by the pepper spray continued shopping.
"Black Friday, A Sad Day Indeed"
reflections by L. Lisa Lawrence
Are people fleeing an attack? Is this a natural disaster? Are people starving and fighting for survival for themselves and their families? What crisis could possibly make human beings behave this way towards each other?
Sadly, the answer is greed.
This disgusting display did not happen in a third world country or a disaster zone. It happened in the affluent community of South Hill Washington where all people could think of was their own need for material things at the expense of the health and safety of others and even their own dignity.
Sadly, this scenario played out over and over again all across this “great’ country of ours, as people left their homes and families in the cold, dark wee hours of the morning in order to beat others to holiday sales and deals, resorting to violence when they deemed it necessary.
The Tacoma News Tribune decided to print an editorial about how stores should do a better job of stocking their shelves in order to prevent this from occurring.
Are the stores taking advantage of people’s most base instincts? Yes. Do they contribute to the problem because all they care about is sucking people in to spend money on other things? Yes.
But the fault lies with society and the never ending need that many feel to drive a bigger SUV, have a bigger TV screen and to show the neighbors how successful they are all the while driving themselves deeper into credit card debt. Yeah, it’s great for the ten minutes while the presents are ripped open, and people get “everything that they wanted”, only to be let down later, when the weeks (Oh wait, MONTHS, this started before Halloween this year) of anticipation and build up fade away with nothing of substance or resembling the intended holiday (s) left.
What ever happened to gathering with family and friends to share the joy of whatever holiday or tradition one celebrates and actually thinking about what the holiday means? Does greed and a mob mentality celebrate any of the miracles of the season? Does it celebrate the lamps that burned for eight days which is celebrated at Hanukkah or the return of the light at Solstice? Can anyone say that this has anything to do with the birth of one tradition’s Messiah at Christmas or the reclaiming of another groups heritage at Kwanzaa? No. This new “tradition” is as far from the sacredness of any of these celebrations as anything could possibly be.
No amount of product availability, rain checks or security is going to change the underlying problem of greed and complete disregard for anything other than instant gratification.
I am happy to say that rather than engaging in this disgusting display, I shared a day with many friends, (who will be receiving home made gifts), decorating a tree with hand cut snowflakes each visitor made with love and wrote wonderful messages on, sharing food, hospitality and spending another day being thankful for what we do have. Many of us also spend this day gathering clothing, blankets and food for those who have less. Yes, it is possible to be thankful more than one day a year and to give back to our community.
Don’t get me wrong, although I do make almost all of the gifts I give, I will purchase a small gift or two for those closest to me, something that will make them smile and that will decorate their home, help them enjoy one of their favorite hobbies, or keep them warm in the winter. They will be modest, purchased from retailers who care for their employees and contribute to their communities, and I will most certainly not behave like an animal in order to get them.
I pity those who are part of the Black Friday mob. They don’t realize it, but they are the ones missing out.