In 1979, at a sold-out concert of The Who with approximately 18,000 fans in attendance, the force of the crowd at the entrance caused 11 people to be crushed to death.
In 2008, a crowd of around 2,000 Black Friday shoppers flooded into a Long Island Wal-Mart, fatally trampling 34-year-old employee Jdimytai Damour.
At the turn of 2013, a surge of people leaving a New Year’s Eve fireworks display at an Ivory Coast arena trampled 61 people to death and injured over 200 others.
Bottom line: under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t voluntarily place yourself in front of a large crowd of people moving in the same direction unless you had a death wish.
Why am I bringing this up?
Last week, an estimated 200,000 pro-lifers took part in the March for Life in Washington, D.C.* As they arrived at the Supreme Court building, counter-protesters from the radical pro-abortion group “Stop Patriarchy” were standing in the way. The March came to a halt for until police arrested the counter-protesters.**
The members of Stop Patriarchy do not have a death wish. They want to live to see the Communist revolution. (Really.) But they didn’t appear to be at all concerned for their safety when they stood in front of a moving crowd far, far larger than the ones that trampled people at a Who concert, a fireworks display, and a Wal-Mart.
Of course, their confidence was objectively well-founded. But I can’t understand why they felt that way. After all, we hate women and stop caring about human lives after birth… right?
*Unfortunately, the National Park Service no longer provides official crowd size numbers. I was there and the 200,000 ballpark figure strikes me as reasonable, but I was toward the front and couldn’t see everyone, so attendance may have been higher.
**They did an encore presentation of their stunt at the Walk for Life in San Francisco, which brings in a smaller crowd than the D.C. march.