Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wal-mart Line-Jumpers were Horrible, Selfish Jerks

The fate of a Wal-mart employee, trambled by shoppers the day after Thanksgiving, is now being used to bolster the personal agendas of various interests.

Parade magazine blamed "shopoholics." As if it some type of illness that bears no responsibility.

A column in The New York Post blamed "anxiety about the economy." Again, not the shopper's fault.

The New York Times, consistent idiots that they are, blamed President Bush for encouraging people to continue bolstering the economy after 9/11.

Some people blame the Nassau police. Admittedly, people would probably behave differently if a police car was parked near the entrance and a couple of uniforms stood on the sidewalk. But are the police supposed to man every store that opens early after Thanksgiving, and is it their job to do so?

Fox News contributor, Judith Miller, wrote, "Attorney Hecht, targeting Wal-Mart and other companies, was quick to absolve shoppers of blame. "They are not responsible."

Miller went on, "Perhaps greed is not criminal and behaving like a crazed animal is understandable in light of tough economic times. But I think many Americans would disagree, even avid shoppers like me. Blaming "capitalism" for such conduct, or diluting Wal-Mart’s responsibility through psycho-babble about the addiction of shopping only underscores the injustice of Mr. Damour’s fate."

Wal-mart DOES bear responsibility for crowd control. One method used by some stores in the past was to hand out tickets in the waiting crowd - 100 tickets for the 100 low-priced TV's, 75 tickets for that microwave. That way, the 101st person waiting for the TV and 76th person waiting for the microwave could go home. Without a ticket, there's no need to rush. However, that wouldn't get serve the purpose of having "door busters" in the first place - which is to get as many people in the door as possible in the hope that they will purchase regularily priced merchandise as well.

Still, crowd control is the responsibility of Wal-mart and other stores, and if police can't be there, then the stores need to hire a trained, private security firm. Their employees are not crowd control specialists and shouldn't be put in the position to be so. I have a son and a son-in law working at Wal-mart, and although those two guys are pretty big, I wouldn't want either of them to be standing in front of a rampaging crowd.

Finally, YES, some, but not all, within the crowd itself DO bear responsibility. Specifically, those that sat in their cars waiting for the doors to open, and then rushed the front of the line. My daughter stood in the cold in a line in North Dakota, only to have a crowd of people rush the line at opening there, as well. She said anger surged through the front line as those waiting patiently were pushed aside by line jumpers. She thought a fight was going to break out and felt fear at the pushing.

Jerks. Selfish, greedy, horrible people. Yes, they ARE totally responsible for their behavior, and if there is any way to discover who they are, a way should be found to punish them - perhaps something to do with behavior that incites a riot and results in injury or death.

The shoppers that stood properly in line waiting for the doors to open, but were pushed through the doors by the horrible greedy people that rushed the line, were victims along with Mr. Damour. While there were people in the crowd that couldn't care less about Mr. Damour, most people in America do have a conscience. Some of them are going to live the rest of their lives with the guilt of having seen Mr. Damour fall. They might have even felt themselves stumble over him, but under the crush of the crowd were unable to stop or do anything about it. Fearful of admitting they were among those that were pushed across Mr. Damour, they will always feel that guilt and will always wonder what, if anything, they could have or should have done differently.

If there is anyway to tell who waited in the cars and then rushed the front of the line, these are the people to prosecute.

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