On November 28th, this year’s version of the “Black Friday” kickoff to the holiday shopping season, the senseless violence and disregard for human life manifested itself again. A Wal-mart employee was trampled to death by over zealous bargain hunters in New York, and a gunfight erupted in a Toys-r-Us store in Riverside California leaving both gunmen dead. When shoppers were informed of the employee’s death and asked to clear out of the New York Wal-mart, several customers protested that they had waited hours outside to get in and continued their shopping. In Riverside, the gunmen having been the only killed or wounded in a toy store full of adults and children is somewhat miraculous.
Why can’t we as a society just go back to the “good old days”? My belief is quite simple. There were no “good old days”.
I believe that these types of senseless violence are nothing new at all. I think that incidents like the ones described above have always happened in some form. I think that the major difference is that we have access to so much news that some think that it this kind of tragedy is a modern day phenomenon.
My premise is this. All of these awful things that we hear about now, chances are we would have been unaware of not so many years ago. A murder, child abduction or senseless tragedy that takes place today is on CNN and hundreds of other news outlets in minutes. Everyone around the globe sees the event unfold, sometimes with live video feeds. A child abduction or shots fired by a disgruntled employee in small town America that is front page news in 2008, may or may not have made the half hour national news broadcast in 1978, and may not have appeared a newspaper two hundred miles away in 1918. But it still went on.