On: November 30, 2008

The next time you wonder why many of our problems persist, remember the headlines in the aftermath of the recent Mumbai slaughter and Walmart stampede.

In Mumbai the capital of India, Islamic terrorists slaughtered 200 individuals.  The attacks were designed to kill 5,000 mostly “whites” and were indiscriminate – many women and children were killed. The Taj Majal was heavily damaged. The post slaughter headline: “Indians Blame Government and Police.”

At a Walmart in New York, a 34 year old male Walmart employee was trampled to death by hundreds of shoppers who had been waiting in line for hours to get the best Black Friday discounts. The post stampede focus – The union for Walmart employees plans to sue Walmart over lack of security.

When tragedy occurs, we too often focus our anger and emotions on those easiest to blame like the Indian government or on those who best serve a special interest like Walmart’s union rather than on the real source of the pain.  The result is we spend our efforts on the wrong people and the real source of our anger is largely ignored.

India is a democracy. If, in fact, the politicians didn’t do their job, it’s the people fault as they elected those politicians.  The facts are that a number of fishermen and hotel individuals saw suspicious activity prior to the attack but failed to report anything to authorities or to follow-up.  The headline might better have read: Islamic Terrorism Still a Threat to Country – Needs Everyone’s Attention.

The notion that Walmart didn’t have sufficient security is bogus and merely a diversion by a self-absorbed union.  Did they not have enough doors? Were the doors not wide enough? Did they not check out the backgrounds and dispositions of those who had been waiting in line.  Were there not enough security personnel to stop hundreds of crazed, stampeding individuals?

Is each of the hundreds of thousands of retail stores in the U.S. supposed to have their own security force? Should all retail stores have metal detectors to prevent shootings like the one that occurred at a Toys R Us in Palm Desert, California in which two men shot and killed each other?  Is stampeding the norm? The headline might better have read: “Police Determined to Find and Prosecute All Involved in the Stampede Death of Walmart Employee” or perhaps “Greed Not Only a Major Factor in Housing and Credit Crises but also in Walmart Stampede Death.”