America is the "land of freedom", and people religiously guard their freedom to do what they like, including when it imposes or harms others.
Now, I'm not going to argue that a shop fingerprinting is "the same as" zealots arming and fortifying hills, or Governments writing CDA-type legislation, or car-owners polluting the air and poisoning the environment.
These are all VERY different activities, with wildly-different potentials for consequences. On the other hand, they ALL come from the same basic attitude: "My Freedom is Bigger, Better and Badder than Yours! So Nyah!"
Freedom does not exist in isolation. If you're isolated, freedom has no meaning, since you can't do anything. Freedom exists only because there is a society for it to exist =in=. I cannot be free to listen to, or ignore, you if I'm totally isolated from everything you say or do.
But once you - even provisisionally - accept that freedom may be a function of a larger context, then you implicitly accept that there are going to be conflicts between the freedom of person A, and the freedom of person B.
How to resolve this conflict? Well, present-day attitudes seem to hold that gun-wielding alchoholics in armor-plated monster trucks have absolute freedom, at least on the roads.
IMHO, this is not really what the Founding Fathers had in mind. I could be wrong - I can't exactly phone them up and ask - but it's my impression that they wanted a system in which nobody could dominate others and abuse them and their rights.
But how can we achieve this? Sure, there are plenty of groups who try to keep the power of Government bodies in check. There are even a few people who get concerned about over-powerful corporations (though the religion of Market Forces keeps that number down).
But who keeps individuals in check? Who stops the average man/woman in the street from coldly twisting the promise of freedom into the Nightmare from Elm Street?
These shops who fingerprint their customers - sure, you can rail against them. But are your hands so clean? All these fingerprints are about is them railing against YOU. Sure, they're treating you like a criminal. But you've been doing the same thing to them, every time you demand a receipt, cross-check the totals, or bitch about something that costs more than you expect.
I'm not saying that these shops are "right" - they're not. Fingerprints aren't going to deter thieves, and it's more a revenge thing than security, anyway. But if you expect to persuade stores to be reasonable, you've got to be reasonable yourself. Clerks aren't paid enough to take the kind of abuse they get on a daily basis. They don't get "danger money", and they don't get psychiatric treatment afterwards.
What I'm saying comes down to this. Every person, every entity, every organization that exists, or ever has existed, in America has tried to establish authority and power over every other person, entity and organization. While this continues, power-plays (such as fingerprinting) are inevitable. There is ONLY one solution. Stop this childish war! Stop vying for supremecy. Get along with each other, for a change.
Put that solution into practice, on any reasonable scale, and I feel confident that 99.9% of all "social ills" will vanish like the morning mist. There can be no gang warfare, when there are no gangs. There can be no paranoia or socio-phobia, when there is nothing feeding the monster in the mind.
If all this sounds bizare, unworkable, incomprehensible and the ravings of a lunatic, I accept that might well be true. I don't care. I prefer the company, and at least I'm not (likely) to get nailed to any trees, unlike another guy who said much the same thing, 2000 years ago.