As a believer in capitalism and liberty, I understand Walmart’s desire to squeeze as much money out of the Christmas shopping season as possible. But if we don’t want to invite government control, we have to be able to police ourselves, and Walmart just isn’t doing that. Opening on Thanksgiving night is not only a cruel thing to do to your employees, it brings out a tired crowd — many of whom have probably had too much to drink — and that only increases the likelihood of this:
At least three people got into a fight in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Rialto, Calif., because shoppers were cutting in line, Sgt. Nicholas Borchard told NBC Southern California. Two were taken into custody after the fight at around 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET), he added. A police officer suffered a minor unknown injury.
A man in Claypool Hill, West Virginia, was slashed to the bone with a knife after threatening another man with a gun in an argument over a Wal-Mart parking spot, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told NBC station WVVA. Both faced charges after the incident that happened at 6:30 p.m. the station reported. …
Another shopper was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer after getting into an argument with a New Jersey Wal-Mart store manager about a television set, police told NBC New York. Officers arrived at the scene at 6:39 p.m. and once they had pacified the customer they also charged the shopper with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Garfield police told the station.
Three different stores, three different acts of violence, all happening Thanksgiving night.
What does Walmart expect after dark when bad guys know people will be hauling expensive goodies to their cars? Maybe Walmart is comfortable with this because they back ObamaCare. People might get hurt, but at least they are insured!
Though it is mostly unfair, especially when it comes to wages, Walmart already has a public relations problem with the media. Waiting a mere 12 hours to open up early on the morning after Thanksgiving might knock a tenth of a point off the bottom line, but you can’t really put a price on goodwill from the public or your employees.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC