Editorial: The Adventures of a Pepper Sprayed Armed Customer
December 6, 2011, 4:50 am
Filed under: Papers | Tags: , ,

Let’s face it: Christmas is the year’s best time to shop. Megastores like Wal-Mart know this and they save their biggest savings for this special day: Black Friday.

Every year, thousands of intrepid costumers wait long hours in longer lines for the best deals of the year in electronics, beddings, jewelry and sporting goods. They also save up a lot of anxiety and it is all released, in a manner of seconds, as the doors open wide at 3:00 am; in some stores, even earlier.

These events have not been exactly controlled before and, as a consequence, sales have turned violent in the past though minor disturbances have been the worse that have occurred. This year, however, creativity has been at its best.

As the doors of a Los Angeles Wal-Mart opened, a woman, armed with a pepper spray propellant, fired the lachrymatory substance over the eyes and faces of several customers in order to get a head start towards a crate full of cheap X-box games. The woman’s identity was not revealed to the media.

“We have [the woman’s] identity and we know who [the woman] is and where [the woman’s] at. When appropriate action needs to be taken, we know where to find her,” said Officer Bruce Borihanh, a police spokesman. “She’s a suspect, but she’s not booked or anything, so we’re not releasing her name,” added the law enforcer.

With ongoing rising prices, many shoppers are willing to suffocate in line for long hours in order to buy electronics at the lowest prices of the year. Yet, is it worth it? An X-box is worth what, two hundred dollars? Even if X-box consoles were at its lowest price ever, there is no justification for what happened inside the San Fernando Valley Wal-Mart.

Normally, police agents are the ones investigated for pepper spraying civilians during confrontations. Their reason is always the same: the tear gas is used to attain control of the situation. This time, a visionary woman followed police procedure and attained control of her own situation by pepper spraying customers. Ironic isn’t?

As of today, the police are investigating the incident as a self-defense act, since she might have used the tear gas out of fear of been squeezed to death. They’re also investigating whether or not the woman managed to buy the X-box games.

As absurd as it sounds, other violent incidents have been reported in the past happening either near or inside Wal-Mart stores. States like South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, New York, Alabama and Connecticut have all reported confuse incidents in which the greenish substance has been either sprayed or at least brought into the picture. One can wonder if there’s any correlation between sudden violent conduct, pepper sprays, X-box games crates and Wal-Mart retail stores.

Maybe is time for consumers to reconsider buying during days like Black Friday. Although prices seem to be a lot lower than normal, the sleeplessness, the waiting, and now the pepper spraying, are serious determinants to think about.


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