Black Friday has passed with all shoppers and employees having survived it happily this year. But that is not standard in the United States. The incident of an apparently desperate shopper pepper spraying her competition in a California Walmart is not the worst possible scenario. As the saying has it, count your blessings, while taking a look at the history of casualties that occurred during Black Fridays of the past, with many of the incidents taking place at Walmart locations.
2011 - In Los Angeles, Calif., a woman pepper sprayed fellow customers to keep them away from merchandise she had her eye on. The incident took place at a San Fernando Valley Walmart. Authorities reported that it happened around 10:30 p.m.
Media around the country reported fights, acts of verbal assault, and even a shooting, which took place in a parking lot in front of a California's Bay Area Walmart. A man and his family were outside in the parking lot when they were confronted by a group of men who demanded they hand over their merchandise. When the family refused, a suspect opened fire on them, injuring the father, The Associated Press reported. The victim remains in critical, but stable, condition, reports say.
2009 - Reports from 2009 include a Florida Walmart, where shoppers were fighting over GPS devices with such zeal, that law enforcement had to intervene.
2008 - In 2008, a Walmart employee at a Long Island, N.Y., store was trampled to death by a crowd of shoppers in a frenzy. Jdimytai Damour, 34, was trampled on after the doors of the Valley Stream, N.Y., store opened, while his colleagues were also thrown back by the crowd.
At the same store on the same night, a pregnant woman was reported to have miscarried, although the veracity of that report is now being questioned.
The same year a deadly shooting took place in front of a Toys "R" Us in in Palm Desert, Calif, where two women got into a fight, reportedly prompting their male companions to pull out their handguns and shoot each other.
2007 - Again in a Walmart, near Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2007, a man reportedly pushed shoppers so hard upon running through the open door that several people were knocked to the ground, almost getting trampled. A pregnant woman had to be taken away by an ambulance.
2005 - In 2005, at a Florida BrandsMart, a 72-year-old woman was reportedly knocked down to the ground by the frantic crowd.
Some prominent Christian voices have been calling for people of faith to walk away from the consumerism-infused shopping traditions surrounding the holiday season.