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Black Friday: from bargain shopping to violence and death

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I will no longer be able to think of Black Friday as just the day after Thanksgiving that kick starts the holiday shopping season. Yesterday, the crowds showed up to hunt for bargains, but some really ugly incidents marred this yearly tradition.


About a 100 miles or so away at a Toys ‘R’ Us in Palm Desert, horrified shoppers watched two women go at each other in a bloody fistfight. Then, their two male companions upped the violence by engaging in a shootout that left both dead.

Another shopping tragedy erupted across the nation in Long Island, New York, where thousands of early morning shoppers turned into an unruly mob, surged through the doors of a Wal-Mart, trampling to death a male temp employee and injuring several others in the stampede.

Black Friday was made more painful by the bloody terrorist siege in Mumbai, India, which was moving toward an end. Today, officials are saying the death toll is somewhere around 200 with 300 injured. At least five of the dead are Americans.

Black Friday is traditionally a benchmark for retailers, hoping the profits on that day of shopping will put them in the black and signal more of the same on the holiday shopping days ahead. Now, it will be hard to think of Black Friday without remembering the violence and death that occurred on this day; robbing us of some of the joy of the season. 

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