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Another Violent Black Friday

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Another Violent Black Friday

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The Black Friday deals throughout the retail world again caused widespread mayhem in the United States with huge crowds, long lines, and violent shopping incidents.

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
Overnight buyers: Crowds gather outside Macy’s in New York in advance of the midnight November 23 opening to start the store’s Black Friday shopping weekend.

Around 247 million Americans went shopping over the Black Friday weekend—a new record, and almost equal to the 2010 census statistics of the total number of American citizens over 14 years of age. A staggering $59.1 billion was spent—a 13 percent increase over last year.

During the spending spree, violence broke out. In one instance, a mob of young girls rushed a store in northern California, leading to fist fights and a giant brawl.

Of the incident, one employee stated, “I’ve been in the retail business six years now, and I’ve never [seen] a Black Friday this bad…They were throwing merchandise in the air, and we had some boxed gift sets and it hit another girl in the head…Some people got trampled on, and a 15-year-old got punched in the stomach” (New York Daily News). The damage to the store took all day to clean up.

Although the stories are too numerous to list, a few examples include:

  • Two people were shot in Tallahassee, Florida, in a Walmart parking lot.
  • In Moultrie, Georgia, one Walmart saw an uncontrollable crowd fighting over cheap cellphones, despite having six police officers there to help control the throngs of people.
  • One man in San Antonio, Texas, pulled a gun at a mall after being punched in the face by another man trying to cut in front of him in line.

A telling aspect of this trend is the shift in focus from observing Thanksgiving Day to shopping that night. The holiday has been changed by the advent of stores opening their doors at 9:00 p.m. Thursday night, with many Americans now leaving their table after finishing their Thanksgiving Day meal to head straight to the mall.

It begs the question: how long before Black Friday is changed to Black Thursday Night?

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