Posted by: martinworster | December 9, 2008

143. GUNS R US

_dsc00611Thankfully on Friday 28th of November I wasn’t in the Toys R Us branch of Palm Desert, CA, which is about two hours inland from us. Luckily – as a gunfight broke out leaving two men dead and the rest of the shoppers hiding amongst the Star Wars figures and Bratz.

“Joan Barrick, 40, of Desert Hot Springs said she was buying a Barbie Jeep for her daughter when the two women started brawling. As the two women swung at each other, the men they were with also started arguing….As the two men started shooting through the aisles, shoppers dropped their purchases.” (Los Angeles Times)

Only in America. This was the day after Thanksgiving when American families get together to celebrate harvest and as a general expression of gratitude and togetherness. And apparently the day after they run amok in toy shops popping caps amongst children and babies.

The day after Thanksgiving is named Black Friday and is the start of massive retail sales. On the East Coast near New York a worker at Walmart died after being trampled to death by shoppers, obviously in search of some killer bargains. Black Friday – named I imagine as retailers make extra profits keeping them out of the ‘red’. But how portentous given these incidents – now a black day of mourning after the spilling of red blood in the aisles.

The day before Thanksgiving I was actually in Toys R US with my family, including my parents who were over visiting. What is clear to see is there needs to be tougher gun laws here but it will never happen. Most Americans see it as a basic liberty, a God ordained right. In other recent news an 8 year old boy in Arizona is being charged with murdering (with a gun, obviously) two men, including his father. There’s not even really a public debate about tougher gun laws. There never will be. England suddenly seems so quaint and charming.

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