Maeve Bidonde, Staff Writer
On Friday, Nov. 24, the American Dream Mall in New Jersey was evacuated minutes after it opened for Black Friday due to a bomb threat being made. K9 units were called in to dispatch and sweep the mall in search of this bomb. At 8:30 AM, after being informed of the threat, customers were asked to leave the mall but not use elevators. About two hours later, the mall was deemed safe and an alert was sent to customers telling them it was safe to return. Witnesses have spoken about the event, calling the evacuation confusing but orderly.
“We all had to run and scatter for our lives before we know what’s going on,” said Annette Freedman, a shopper interviewed by ABC 7 New York. “I plan to go back in once the coast is clear, but it’s sad this is how we have to live our life.”
“The shopping holiday poses unique risks to retailers because of the large crowds that it draws. In years past, fights have broken out between customers, and others were injured in stampedes,” CNBC had spoken on the troubles of holiday shopping. Black Friday is one of the busiest days of the year in retail because everyone wants to take advantage of the deals and complete their Christmas shopping while the prices are cheaper. To the surprise and shock of many, it’s unfortunately become a predictable time for bombings or mass shootings to occur due to the attention surrounding it. Whether it’s seen as an opportunity to rob a store or defend themselves from violent shoppers, things have been known to take a turn for the worst around Black Friday. These violent acts of shootings are beginning to plague the country, as seen at the time of the Tops shooting in Buffalo almost two years ago.
The bigger problem is figuring out how to stop this from happening again in the future. Threats of this nature happen and not much has been done to truly prevent the situation from worsening. It’s become a cycle of violence. It’s not from a lack of trying, but from a lack of perspective and call for change. Bills which have been proposed in the past haven’t always gone through due to the opposers’ view of it being an oppression of the second amendment. From then to now, the privilege of having a gun in your home can turn into the reality of gathering enough dangerous weapons to attack the innocent. This battle between law and judgment is still ongoing.
In this situation it could have been worse and the threat could have been credible. There could have been chaos and casualties but instead customers left the mall in a calm manner and waited to continue their shopping. It’s even more disheartening to know that this has happened so many times in the past and people have become relatively unfazed. Which raises the question, where does our future lie in violence?