The day after Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday shopping season. Thousands camp out all night or early in the pre-dawn hours, waiting for stores to open and to get the best deals possible. And as you can imagine, that can also lead to a bunch of craziness.

Early Friday morning in San Leandro, a person was shot outside a Walmart store after an attempted robbery. Police said the victim and his family were confronted by multiple suspects, who asked for his items. After refusing, the victim was shot by one of the suspects, with another fleeing the scene.

This was just part of the craziness in California and across the country as the holiday shopping season got underway. In Los Angeles, a woman shot fellow shoppers with pepper spray late Thursday night, trying to keep them away from merchandise she wanted at a Walmart. At least 20 people suffered minor injuries in the spraying and melee that ensued after.

There were plenty of similar instances of “stupidity” across the country and I’m sure there will be more throughout the weekend as most retail analysts expect huge crowds. In fact, the National Retail Federation expects 152 million to take advantage of Black Friday discounts, up 10 percent from last year.

I guess I never really understood the Black Friday craze and phenomenon, but can understand that for many people, it is part of their Thanksgiving holiday weekend tradition, just like turkey leftovers, the family football game, or watching the NFL on Turkey Day. I think I’ll wait out the madness once again.



Photo Credit: Gridpop, via Wikimedia Commons