Damour did nothing wrong on the morning of Friday, November 28, other than show up for his job at a Long Island Wal-Mart. And in a shameless show of greed and ugly consumerism, he was trampled to death by frenzied shoppers who were willing to take a man’s life in exchange for getting their hands on the latest gaming system or electronic gadget at a slightly discounted price.
Damour’s death calls for some reflection on the part of society as a whole. What it doesn’t call for is legislation.
But that is exactly what one City Council member thinks is the appropriate reaction to Damour’s death.
Before the weekend could end, Councilman James Gennaro announced that he would be writing legislation setting the parameters regarding actions retailers need to take when they hold sales that could attract large crowds.
This is far from the purview of the New York City Council.
First, there is the mind-boggling number of situations that will need to be accounted for. Just what constitutes a big sale, and will there be a sliding set of guidelines for how much and what type of security stores need to provide?
And if there is crowd control, will that actually help? Wal-Mart hired third-party security and it didn’t prevent Damour’s death.
There are to may variables (most of them human) in this situation and others like it to boil it down to one set of legal guidelines that must be followed. It would be much simpler to just ban sales.
This legislation is dead in the water, and the sad truth is that soon Damour’s death will be forgotten as will Gennaro’s bill, if it ever gets written.
No doubt that Wal-Mart deserves a large portion of the blame in Damour’s death, and the company and others like it need to be responsible and pro-active, taking into account the unfortunate reality that incidents like Damour’s death are a very real possibility.
But even more deserving are those in the mob that were so blinded by their own greed that they took a man’s life. Unfortunately, no legislation is going to address that.