(WTVM) - Two recent public arguments in Georgia captured on cellphone video, both escalated to out-and-out brawls that included life-threatening behavior.
In both cases, young women were involved. And of course, the video of the fights went viral.
In one case, a woman supposedly upset about cold fries, brought a gun into a Savannah area fast food store and fired it inside the kitchen, without any regard for public safety.
In another case, near Albany, a mother holding a three-month old baby started pounding on an opponent outside a beauty salon. As the fists flew, the woman dropped the infant on the ground and kept fighting! That little, innocent baby later died.
In both cases, a disagreement dramatically escalated out of proportion.
In both cases, the fights showed a complete lack of mutual respect and normal, safe and civil behavior.
What can we learn from these events?
Somewhere along the line, both these women failed to develop normal coping skills, the ability to reason and to make good choices – including just walking away.
Life skills of the kind that keep us from acting like wild animals must be learned at an early age.
Children with responsible parents are taught coping skills, including showing respect for others, how to politely disagree and most important: when to turn the other cheek.
If children grow up without these life lessons, they can grow up to be just like these women, unable to handle conflict and being too quick to anger.
People who lash out in a violent way never seem to realize it’s a bad idea.
As news stories, these brawls are not the biggest events we cover. Some could argue such incidents don’t deserve any publicity.
But news coverage showing such outrageous behavior can be valuable.
It gets us talking about why petty disagreements blow up into very dangerous fights so quickly.
The video also helps police track down the offenders.
Finally, there might be one other consequence to showing those videos of people making poor choices: public shaming.
Maybe it’s too much to hope for, but public humiliation might deter bad behavior the next time.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings an editorial a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906