I worked for several years in retail and then for two decades in retail-related security, and have no intention of participating in the longest, roughest day in American shopping. In all of those years, I never heard a story like this, though, which indicates that people have lost their minds and their humanity for the sake of discounts (via Michelle):
A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.
The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.
Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.
“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too…I literally had to fight people off my back.”
I’ve seen people get into shoving matches and fistfights, and I’ve heard of injuries, but a death and a miscarriage? This didn’t happen because of a fire erupting or a terrorist/hostage situation, as we have seen in Mumbai. Hundreds of people trampled others to death so that they could get to cheap retail goods the fastest — presumably to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
At some point, that horrible irony should cause people to pause and think about what motivates them in this holiday season. Everyone likes a good deal, but few of us would choose to die for one — and therefore we shouldn’t want to kill for one, either. Retailers won’t like to hear this, but maybe we need to spend a little less and recover our humanity just a little more.
Update (AP): Breitbart has video of the aftermath.
Update II (Ed): Thankfully, the miscarriage appears to have been inaccurate, although the pregnant woman did get injured. The Anchoress has more thoughts.