Two dead in Black Friday stampede at Wal-Mart

Thomas Lifson
It sounds like an article from the Onion, but it's not. A surging crowd of bargain hunters at a Wal-Mart in Long Island trampled to death a store worker, and caused a miscarriage in a pregnant woman shopper, as they trampled human beings rushing into the store. Joe Gould of the New York Daily News reports:

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."

A pregnant shopper was also knocked down and lost her baby.

Mobs are dangerous entities. Even the slightest provocation (like a savings of $20 on a television) can unleash brutality when individuals lose their individuality and surrender to the impulses of a mob.

This is no joke. I expect that lawyers are already readying suits against Wal-Mart. Perhaps strict crowd control measures must be employed whenever super bargains are on offer. This lust for bargains is one element of then holiday season I can do without. Don't get me wrong: I love a bargain. But no bargain is worth this carnge. I wonder how much enjoyment the purchasers of those flat screen TVs are going to get, knowing two people died in their rush to purchase?

Hat tip: Lucianne.com
It sounds like an article from the Onion, but it's not. A surging crowd of bargain hunters at a Wal-Mart in Long Island trampled to death a store worker, and caused a miscarriage in a pregnant woman shopper, as they trampled human beings rushing into the store. Joe Gould of the New York Daily News reports:

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."

A pregnant shopper was also knocked down and lost her baby.

Mobs are dangerous entities. Even the slightest provocation (like a savings of $20 on a television) can unleash brutality when individuals lose their individuality and surrender to the impulses of a mob.

This is no joke. I expect that lawyers are already readying suits against Wal-Mart. Perhaps strict crowd control measures must be employed whenever super bargains are on offer. This lust for bargains is one element of then holiday season I can do without. Don't get me wrong: I love a bargain. But no bargain is worth this carnge. I wonder how much enjoyment the purchasers of those flat screen TVs are going to get, knowing two people died in their rush to purchase?

Hat tip: Lucianne.com