THE BLOG
12/03/2011 02:35 am ET Updated Feb 01, 2012

Black Friday: Destroy or Regulate

Every year in the United States, the Friday after Thanksgiving becomes a madhouse. It is known as Black Friday -- the day when people shiver outside stores everywhere to save a couple bucks.

Every year we see videos of people injured due to Black Friday. This year, for example, a woman pepper sprayed a crowd of 20 people just to get her hands on an Xbox 360. Every year people are getting injured and in some cases losing their lives just for some price cuts. Things have gotten too serious for this to continue.

What does this say about our nation when people are fighting each other over some material item?

But who am I to judge these shoppers? I, for one, partook in Black Friday. However, I played it safe and stayed in a mall where there is plenty of open space. At first, after watching all the news every year about Black Friday, I was scared that I might get hurt. However, I was surprised to see that when I arrived at the mall, there was no mob of customers pushing and shoving to get inside the doors. My situation was different from many, though. In malls, there is such a large space for people to spread out. Usually you see incidents occur in single shop retailers, such as Walmart or Best Buy.

What I specifically do not like about Black Friday is how many incidents there have been and how nothing has been done to stop it. Yes, sometimes there are police officers present, but think about how they see Black Friday. Imagine standing in front of a crowd of people whose sole purpose it is to get that great deal before anyone else. Now imagine being the only officer in a store where these people are running wild. In some instances, police officers have overreacted to the crowd. For instance, this past Black Friday, an elderly man was with his grandson. The young boy was knocked over by a passerby, so the grandfather took the video games he was about to purchase and tucked them in his belt so that he could have his hands free. The officer on duty saw this and immediately arrested the man for theft. She threw him on the ground, breaking his nose so that he now was lying face down in a puddle of his own blood. After five minutes of the crowd yelling and criticizing the officer for excessive force, an off-duty nurse ran in and rolled the man over on his back, getting the fluids out of his airway.

Accidents like this would not have to occur if only the government realized that it's time to step in and either stop Black Friday altogether or regulate it. Since Black Friday is really not a bad tradition, rather just a tradition gone wild, I believe the government should regulate it. For one, they can issue more than one police officer to watch an entire store. When cops are put under pressure, they tend to overreact. If we take that pressure away, then they will protect citizens instead of hurting them. Or the government can mandate that if retailers are going to have Black Friday deals than they must have their own staff whose role it is to monitor the safety and security of the customers. If the stores do not meet these requirements, then Black Friday should not happen.

I know some of you might rebuke my suggestion because that would mean the government is once again trying to control the private sector. But ask yourself, is it worth it to risk one life just for a good deal?