December 28, 2016
Fights, Disturbances and Chaos Breaks Out In Malls Across the United States
Americans brought more than just unwanted gifts to the mall on Monday. They carried anger.
A series of apparently unconnected fights and disturbances broke out at malls across the country on the day after Christmas — known as "Boxing Day" in many British Commonwealth countries, for reasons unrelated to fisticuffs — leaving shoppers desperate for an exit and authorities struggling to wrangle unruly crowds.
Several arrests and multiple injuries were reported — including an assault on an officer — and authorities and witnesses described panic-stricken scenes from Aurora, Colo. to East Garden City, N.Y.
In Manchester, Conn., police said what began as an unspecified "disturbance" among 10 teenagers on Monday afternoon quickly escalated as multiple fights broke out simultaneously, NBC Connecticut reported.
In Colorado, the Town Center at Aurora was shuttered and evacuated on Monday afternoon after the Aurora Police Department reported "multiple skirmishes" and "a large disturbance" inside the mall.
In Beachwood, Ohio, a mall outside Cleveland was closed after a fight on Monday night led responding police officers to pepper spray a large crowd, Cleveland.com reported.
In Chattanooga, Tenn., and Elizabeth, N.J., there were reports of gunshots on Monday afternoon. At Hamilton Place, in Tennessee, that gunfire turned out to be a cover-up attempt, NBC affiliate WRCB reported: teenagers threw firecrackers to divert attention from a shoplifting incident. The teens were still at large, though they were seen on surveillance footage, a police spokesman told the station. Several customers were injured in the crush of people trying to flee the mall.
Source: Tim Stelloh/MSN News
Photo: Jim Weber/AP
Proverbs 7:14 (NASB)
The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.
James 1:19-20 (ESV)
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
What does today’s God’s Story scripture teach us about anger and fighting?
The verse from Proverbs that tells how difficult it is to contain water is a great picture of how anger can spill out into fights. And the verse in James gives us a great example of how to deal with anger before that happens. We need to listen carefully to what the other person is saying. And we must think carefully before we respond. The stories in today’s news article might have turned out quite differently if some of the people had followed James’ advice.
How can I connect today’s God’s Story scripture to my life?
Anger is a normal emotion but it must be managed. Some of us stuff our anger and some of us explode in anger. Both ways are unhealthy, so what are some practical steps to take when we experience anger? First, we take our anger to God; is it the kind of anger that does not produce the righteousness of God? Then we think about why we get angry and consider how we respond to the anger of others. And most importantly, we ask for God’s help to deal with it; pray that we will be quick to listen and slow to speak.
How can I connect Today’s Story, God’s Story, and My Story to others?
- Talk with friends about what makes them angry.
- Brainstorm some things that they could do to manage anger.
- Talk about the difference it would make if they were quick to hear and slow to speak.